ENG Shanghai: Minority Report-inspired retail for the Gen Z mind
ENG Shanghai opens its second luxury fashion concept store aimed at Gen Z customers, inside the city’s TX Mall, featuring artworks by Carlos Saez, robotic arms and cyborg-like mannequins
‘We wanted to create a retail experience which transported people forwards into time, where reality and science collide,’ says Sherry Huang, owner of experiential Shanghai-based luxury boutique ENG, which has opened its second outpost in Shanghai’s TX Mall, a sprawling six-floor space that has the technologically savvy, experientially inclined Gen Z shopper in mind. ‘This gave birth to a strong sci-fi vision, referencing influences including Zaha Hadid for curves and shapes, Oscar Niemeyer for furniture installations, and also iconic science fiction classics like Gattaca, Minority Report and Westworld.’
‘We kept coming back to the “all-round” aspect of interiors in this sci-fi concept, a world where every surface in all dimensions is utilised in the absence of gravity drawing everything to the ground,’ adds Huang of ENG’s second multi-brand concept store, a space that houses labels including Ottolinger, Martine Rose, Helmut Lang and Telfar. Its futuristic folds and metallic fixtures and fittings are interspersed with robotic arms, cyborg-like mannequins and geometric strips of lighting. Since ENG’s inception in 2019, the boutique has focused on immersive retail, bridging cultural gaps between fashion, art and music, and stimulating the senses with holographic projections, vending machines and installations. It is also expanding the online domestic retail operations it runs through WeChat, and launching a global e-commerce platform.
Enter the futuristic world of ENG Shanghai
Shanghai’s TX Mall and its ENG outpost aim to bridge the gap between bricks-and-mortar and digital retail experiences. ‘Generally speaking, the young generation is more concerned with the cultural interpretation behind the clothes instead of the clothes themselves,’ Huang says, emphasising her decision to locate the new store within a leisure- and entertaintment-focused mall environment, and to dedicate 50 per cent of its floor space to ‘creative endeavours’ that are not fashion focused. This is a consumer trend in luxury that we see not only in China but echoed around the world’s international markets, she adds.
One result of such a trend is ENG’s collaboration with Valencia-born artist Carlos Saez, whose work has been exhibited at MoMA and The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), The National Portrait Gallery (London) and La Termica, Las Naves and Espai Tactel (Spain). The collaboration comprises a series of art pieces resembling robotic arachnids, which will be exhibited at the new ENG until September 2021. ‘Saez’s work uniquely explores the relationships between the human and technology. We were immediately drawn to the synergy between this and our own vision and philosophy around this topic, and the common ground in bringing to fore the aesthetic of machinery and mechanisation,’ Huang says.
‘By building all-round fashion content in three-dimensions, the space encourages our customers to change their perspective and see things differently,’ she adds. ‘This physically embodies what is at the heart of ENG.’ §
523 Huaihai Zhong Lu
near Yandang Lu