ARKET by H&M, London
224 Regent Street, London, 004001-940
Ulrika Bernhardtz, ARKET
H&M has life’s basics covered with ARKET, a chic modern-day market featuring functional homewares and ever-green wardrobe staples.
Taking its name from the Swedish for ‘sheet of paper’, Arket embodies a crisp Scandinavian sensibility. Its first retail space on London’s Regent Street is two storeys of achromatic stone, nude timber and matte metallics that together shape a pointedly neutral backdrop for an eye-catchingly curated collection of merchandise.
ARKET creative director Ulrika Bernhardtz has crafted a chic, Scandi-inspired setting for this H&M spin-off’s London flagship.
A square shelving paradigm creates structured displays that invite exploration of merchandise arranged by colour and texture. In line with the brand’s mission to ‘democratise quality’, the products on offer are chosen to be timeless, well-made and long-lasting, and include ARKET’s own products as well as those from a selection of other brands.
All products are labelled with an ‘Archive’ number that persists across both the physical space and the brand’s website, and is designed to help customers find or reference a product at a later date. Installations describe the specific techniques and materials that have shaped each item. Packaging is simple and informative, with a stripped-back, homespun vibe.
But the brand’s differentiation is more than aesthetic. With its children’s section and vegetarian cafe plating up dishes based on the New Nordic Food Manifesto, ARKET extends its upmarket offerings to the entire household. This, combined with its emphasis on the simple, foundational and timeless, will endear it to loyal fans.