Two years since launching the Yinka Ilori Homeware brand, the designer opens his first pop-up store in Shoreditch, east London. Featuring Yinka Ilori’s signature colourful motifs, the space is inspired by West African architecture and features his homeware products as well as limited-edition pieces and a new collection created to coincide with the launch.
With his first retail space, Ilori aims to explore how stores can help customers ‘connect, experience and discover’, at a time when the retail sector faces creative and practical challenges. Inspired by his heritage, the designer created colourful display furniture whose forms nod to the architecture of houses and mosques in Burkina Faso, rendered in a bright palette of blue, green, pink and red to instil a sense of joy and optimism in his visitors.
Ilori’s new collection is also aimed at fostering joy and togetherness, with stationery, games and homeware that focus on ‘memory-making and play’. These include the ‘Ayo Game’, a strategy game popular among the Yoruba people, which Ilori redesigned as a collectible object, as well as notebooks and umbrellas.
‘The high street plays such an important role in our communities but in recent years we have experienced a steep decline, with many independent businesses struggling,’ says Ilori, who in 2021 took over a nearby space to create a play area inspired by a traditional London launderette in collaboration with Lego.
Community is central to the designer's work. Drawing from his childhood growing up on a north-west London council estate, and with the current struggles of families everywhere in mind, Ilori will donate 5 per cent of profits from the shop to Shelter, a charity dedicated to supporting those who struggle with housing or homelessness.
‘With this pop-up, I wanted to bring retail back and design a fun, engaging space that tells a story. I want to start a conversation about the future of our stores, how we curate these spaces and what experiences we can create to forge deeper, more meaningful connections.’
Yinka Ilori Shop, until 3 January 2023
9 Club Row
London E1 6JX
yinkailori.com (opens in new tab)
Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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