Andy Thornton provides the vintage look at River Island

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    UK fashion retailer River Island’s new flagship store, which won Shop Fit / Design of the Year at the BCSC Gold Awards, is based in the heart of Westfield Stratford City – the largest shopping centre in Europe. For the shop interior, River Island turned to contract furniture and lighting specialists Andy Thornton to help create a stand-out, cutting-edge look befitting their ever-innovative collections. Inside the flagship store, the women’s footwear and accessories area features an assortment of dazzling crystal chandeliers and pendants from Andy Thornton’s Empire lighting range, in a mix of nickel and antique brass finishes. The crystal lights are suspended from ornate plaster ceiling roses, completing the feminine, boutique feel. Vintage mirrors dotted around the walls reflect the sea of lights, creating a lovely, glittering effect.

    Soft pink walls continue the boudoir theme and contrast nicely with the industrial display furniture, including the adjustable iron pub table from Andy Thornton’s hugely popular Urban Vintage furniture range. Based on an original factory table, it features a hand-antiqued wooden top and a hand-cranked cog mechanism, allowing the table top to be set at any height.

    Move further on in the store and the look is urban and industrial, with men’s shoes perched atop Andy Thornton industrial shelving unit in antiqued steel with wooden slats, based on an original discovered in a tailor’s shop in Wales. A re-design of the piece means it can be used either as a vertical or angled shelving unit, or converted into a table. Nearby, vintage chairs in a mix of colours and finishes provide a spot for busy shoppers to try on new shoes.

    Navigate through the vast array of men’s jeans and discover an Andy Thornton heavy duty factory trolley displaying numerous pairs. Manufactured in steel with rivet detailing, the trolley features spoked wheels, a pull handle, two large shelves and four pull-out wire baskets. Functional and durable, it epitomises the cool, industrial look.

    Elsewhere in the menswear department, an Andy Thornton Factory cart coffee table is bang in the middle of the winter knits, with jumpers, boots and warm hats arranged lovingly on top. And near the store entrance on the lower floor, industrial tables tempt shoppers into the store with a display of bags and purses featuring the gold studding and vintage-style ball clasps which are so firmly back in vogue.

    With close to 300 stores across the UK & internationally and rumours of numerous new store openings, including a first store in New York, River Island’s star is firmly in the ascendant.

    Daniel Fountain / 29.01.2013

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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