Ace & Tate's Soho Flagship Store

  • Rosie Atkinson
  • Charlie Sheppard

We brought a playful wink to Soho's Brewer St with a flagship store with Ace & Tate.

Ace & Tate approached Anyways to collaborate in the storytelling and design of their London flagship store in Soho. After spending some time digging into the history and culture of the area, it was clear that the store needed to play up to the quirks of Soho - the day and the night, the old and the new, out on the streets and inside the buildings. We also worked with Assemble's Granby Workshop to help Ace & Tate bring the concept to life.
Alongside Ace & Tate, we worked with an architectural partner - Assemble Studio - to playfully design the space from the ground up. Collaboratively, we all worked to make sure the design fitted with Ace & Tate's brand, from their ethos, championing creativity, to their commercial requirements
It was important for the store to retain flexiblity and serve these needs as the space needs to function for events and exhibitions as well as an opticians and a store.
Trying on glasses is a very personal affair - not something you necessarily want to do in front of a group of strangers! Keeping this in mind for the Ace & Tate customer, we divided the space into an architectural enfilade creating intimate areas where customers can try on Ace & Tate's glasses in privacy and without feeling too closed-in.
Each zones of the enfilade has a distinctive colour, inspired by Ace & Tate's bold and simple visual language that often uses primary colours. It invites passers-by to peer into the depth of the store, from room to room, creating a relationship with the inside and the outside. The zones lead you through the retail space and into the opticians downstairs.
To allow for Ace & Tate to have multifunctional and adaptable store, together we decided to keep the product display simple, white and interchangeable, creating a space that's flexible in its usage, can be completely removed when needed, and really lets the product sing.
The Tiles. Soho has such a rich history that we wanted to make a loud, locally relevant statement without interfering with the retail system. So much of the research pointed towards tiles so, upholding their creative ethos, Ace & Tate partnered with Assemble's Granby Workshop and challenged them to turn the floor of the store into an artistic masterpiece that references the renowned tiles of Soho's Carnaby Street in the '70s.
Granby Workshop. Each tile, handmade from blocks of marbled clay which are sliced and flattened in a 60 tonne hydraulic press, comes from Granby Workshop, a manufacturer of architectural ceramics set up by Assemble Studio as a community-led project to rebuild Granby, Liverpool. The project earned Assemble the coveted Turner Prize in 2015 and has now grown into a business of its own.