LONDON — Selfridges is starting 2022 on a high with a project that looks into the future, bringing fashion, art, retail, theater and NFTs all under one roof.
The British retailer is joining with Paco Rabanne and Fondation Vasarely — which represents the works of French-Hungarian artist Victor Vasarely — to create one-of-a-kind shop windows, pop-ups, in-store art exhibitions and NFTs.
Building on Paco Rabanne creative director Julien Dossena’s spring 2022 range, where Vasarely’s abstract art featured throughout his collection, Selfridges decided to take things up a notch and bring Vasarely’s entire universe alive.
The artist — who pioneered the Op Art movement, worked with David Bowie and counted Yoko Ono and Andy Warhol as fans — is known for his bold use of color, geometric designs and flair for optical illusions.
The idea was to translate “Universe” across every possible touch point — “from archive to metaverse” — hence the archival Paco Rabanne pieces set to drop tomorrow at Selfridges, alongside 12 Paco Rabanne “unwearable” NFTs.
Vasarely art will also be exhibited throughout the store: the windows will be wrapped in the artist’s geometric designs, while both original and NFT art will be available for sale.
This marks Selfridges’ first foray into the metaverse and it plans to simplify access for its customers, too, by making it possible to buy NFTs with a regular bank card over the counter — no need for crypto currency here.
Prices for the NFTs will range from 2,000 to 100,000 pounds.
The department store’s ever-changing Corner Shop is also getting the Vasarely and Paco Rabanne treatment. As part of the “Universe” project, the space will be wrapped in aluminum scaffolding and stock a series of product, including hand-painted Bamford watches, skateboards, Globe Trotter luggage and “gift shop” items such as candles and cushions — all featuring Vasarely graphic artworks.
There’s plenty on offer in the fashion department, too. Paco Rabanne’s spring 2022 range will be dropping in store throughout the season and be available to both rent and buy — in line with the retailer’s sustainability commitments to embrace more circular models. The buying team has also curated a mix of other fashion products, both pre-loved and new, featuring the hexagonal Op Art patterns Vasarely is known for.
“As Selfridges looks to the future, we continue to find inspiration in the past. In the case of Victor Vasarely and Paco Rabanne, we have more than 50 years of proposals for the future to explore. I love the idea of bringing Vasarely’s passion for social art to a social space like Selfridges and using their universe as a way to bring emotion, connection and accessibility to the experience,” said Sebastian Manes, Selfridges’ executive buying and merchandizing director.
As part of the initiative, the retailer plans to raise funds to restore artworks at the Vasarely Foundation’s museum in Aix-en-Provence, France.