William Russell and team have designed Nigel Cabourn’s new flagship store in London. Based in Covent Garden, The Army Gym is Cabourn’s first outside of Japan.
The brand is inspired by traditional British military uniforms and iconic outerwear of famous explorers, and this is reflected in the store’s interior. As with all of Cabourn’s stores, the London edition takes aesthetic clues from old army gyms and includes an army green colour palette on the shopfront.
The location and design elements of the outlet are firmly rooted in Britain’s history. It’s situated within a historic 19th century property, which used to be part of St. Peter’s Hospital, an institution that treated wounded servicemen during WWI. Within the store, key pieces such as a wicker aeroplane crafted by British prisoners of war and portraits of pilots pay homage to the legacy of WWII.
Russell wanted to strip the interior of fine furnishings and discover the original fabric of the building. Exposed brickwork and reclaimed wooden floors form a backdrop to the clothing, creating a warmth that’s juxtaposed with industrial steel fittings.
Cabourn’s family history features heavily throughout the space. An image of his father’s WWI journal is printed on the changing room curtain. Well-worn leather chairs that have been in his family for more than 100 years provide seating for customers. These details create a personal environment where visitors can connect with the inspiration for the garments that surround them.
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