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British designer Tom Dixon discusses experiential retail and his new LA store

The interior “The Shop", Tom Dixon's collaborative store space in Los Angeles

Though his work can be found in some of the most inspirational restaurants, hotels and social clubs in the world, Tom Dixon’s retail footprint has always remained relatively small. For his third retail store, which opened at the end of June, Dixon headed to Los Angeles for “The Shop,” collaboration with high-end fashion boutique Curve.

“What I had been looking for was ways of working slightly outside the norm, in terms of partnerships with other sectors,” Dixon told WGSN. “It’s nice to be in the faster moving, more community-driven world of fashion. The reason we said yes was because of the mix of tenants and the vision, but also because we could show things alongside more colour, more softness, than we would normally be able to, working on our own or with another interior brand.”

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The 7,000 square foot space is split between Dixon’s range of furniture, lighting and objects and Curve’s assortment of pulled-from-the-runway looks. Here, high-end collections from Balmain, Viktor & Rolf, Galvan and Isabel Marant are separated from Dixon’s work via movable metal screens covered in faux fur rugs and white marble.

The store is part of Platform, a mixed-use, urban development project that combines hip brands like Blue Bottle Coffee, Linda Farrow, Aesop and Soul Cycle. It’s LA’s newest community hang-out, shop, eat and exercise zone, a concept that’s becoming even more appealing as physical retailers try to stand up to the digital takeover.

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“You can’t just sit back and expect people to come anymore,” Dixon explains. “People have so much choice, and they’re spending their whole lives on their screens, so if you want people to come out and enjoy your stuff, you have to do something that is a bit closer to entertainment than to retail.”

Dixon isn’t a stranger to experiential retail. Last October, he collaborated with Wallpaper Magazine on Multiplex, a “retail space of the future” which hosted fashion, tech, furniture, beauty and food from over 30 international brands and designers. Following suit, “The Shop” also features a food component—the store’s eye-catching marble bar will start serving champagne later this month.

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