Flannels launches major Youth-Phoria project as Oxford St flagship becomes Flannels X
As one of the UK’s fastest-growing high-end chains, Frasers Group’s Flannels has become a key destination for young, luxury-focused consumers. And its latest development both adds to and underlines that with the launch of Youth-Phoria.
It’s a overarching title for a “daring creative scheme, built to champion a generation obsessed with ability and ambition”.
And it includes a massive programme of art and creative link-ups, exclusive product launches, special events and youth-supporting activities that are focused on the rebranded Oxford Street flagship but also make an impact beyond London.
Mirroring the retailer’s young audience’s “multi-hyphenate, mega-hustle energy”, it “examines next-generation excellence across fashion, music and art. Harnessing the uncensored voices and unique insight of the UK’s home-grown youth culture leaders, Youth-Phoria is a high-energy showcase of entrepreneurship; a celebration of unconventional journeys and personal expression”.
It aims to become a "platform for a vibrant exchange of ideas, and a playground for new creative collaboration” with the retailer doubling-down on its “commitment to youth culture — not only inspiring the next generation of rule-breakers, but welcoming them into the business to shape its next chapter”.
We’re frequently being told that young consumers are the driving forces in luxury at present and Youth-Phoria recognises that, as well as addressing many of the priorities such consumers have aside from simply buying products.
The practical signs of the new approach include Flannels rebranding its London flagship on Oxford street as Flannels X, “defining a new blueprint” for its store concepts as the flagship becomes “a stage, from which bold new ideas will be broadcast across the Flannels estate”.
The store will be used as a hub for special launches, link-ups with creatives, supporting young businesses, working with artists and more.
In the initial 10 weeks of the project, Flannels X will launch a global exclusive in a link with award-winning MC Kano and CP Company. That label’s Metropolis field jacket has been extensively reimagined by the musician and will be pre-sale from 30 March at the London and Liverpool stores, as well as online.
Another product development will be from Dior’s Kim Jones. He’s designed a bottle, decanter and a pair of monochrome trainers for luxury cognac brand Hennessy XO, which will be seen in an exclusive Flannels X pop-up from next week.
The HNY Low Sneakers are the first trainers created for the drinks brand. Inspired by early basketball shoes, they have a simple design with a grooved rubber sole, imprinted with cognac vines on its base, and a nubuck leather upper.
Also key from the start will be the new Creative Council, a line-up of six “highly-respected polymath creatives, each uniquely shaping the spaces and industries they inhabit”.
Members include Anita Chhiba, founder of community platform Diet Paratha; Elgar Johnson, founder and editor-in-chief of sport, style and culture magazine CircleZeroEight; Issac Poleon, hairstylist and beauty industry “disruptor”; Leah Abbott, fashion and celebrity stylist; Raphaelle Moore, emerging designer mentor and Head of Projects at Fashion East; and UK arts scene star Slawn.
From this month until the summer, each will present projects turning the Oxford Street branch and other locations “into a creative playground”. For instance, in June, Slawn will open an arts kiosk at the London store.
Gen Z is also very focused on doing good and on entrepreneurship and with this in mind, the retailer is partnering with Gen Z luxury platform and mystery box specialist Heat to introduce a new business grant.
Heat founders Joe Wilkinson and Mario Maher have linked up with Flannels to launch Inside The Box. This will offer £10,000 grants to entrepreneurs aged 18-25 building digital-first businesses. The three pillars of the grants will be fashion, innovation and circularity, judged by a “committee of industry leaders”. And there’ll be connected in-store talks and workshops too.
Meanwhile, during May, ‘The Boys’ special exhibition by young artist Corbin Shaw and CircleZeroEight will include work inspired by, and created in collaboration with a group of school children from Shaw’s hometown Sheffield.
And stylist Leah Abbott next month will curate her first-ever fashion pop-up space with all pieces available to rent via Flannel’s Hurr link-up.
More initiatives to come will include live music, digital art experiences, and talks from insiders in music, art and fashion.
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