Cross-collaborations between fashion houses and artists, designers and the like are nothing new; but one more likely to surprise is shopping centre giant Westfield's latest venture. It has teamed up with Tracey Emin, Tom Dixon and Roland Mouret on a new creative initiative for its upcoming UK Stratford City flagship.
When it opens in late 2011, Stratford City will be Europe's largest urban shopping centre. And with a floor space clocking in at 1.9 million sq ft, someone obviously thought it would be a good idea to fill some of it with attractive, hopefully crowd-drawing, artwork.
From this idea has emerged 'Studio East by Westfield Stratford City'. Headed by a high-powered panel comprising Emin, Dixon, Mouret, British model Erin O'Connor and retail expert Mary Portas, Studio East will provide a bursary for a series of four artistic commissions in the categories of fashion, art, product design and environment. Each commission is worth £10,000 while production costs will be picked up by Westfield.
The idea for Studio East, says Portas, is to 'engage the cultural community to identify, foster and nurture the freshest new talent which will create a new benchmark for the future of retail.'
Translated: an engaging, visual inventory that will not only displace the traditionally bland shopping centre interior, it will also fuse the arts world with retail therapy.
Watch this space.