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Design showcase: Marylebone pop-up for VIU

Swiss eyewear brand VIU picked Marylebone in London for the site of its second pop-up branch in the UK, after a successful opening earlier this year in Soho.

VIU was established in Switzerland in 2013. It seeks to be a disruptive presence in the market, providing high quality service and a free trial at home of up to four frames, before purchasing. Its products are made from robust Japanese Titanium, using a 3D printing process. The brand has developed a chain of more than 50 branches across Europe.

The latest site, on Marylebone Lane, was secured through pop-up location specialist Storefront, and then developed by VIU's in-house team, led by creative director Fabrice Aeberhard. The design has preserved original features of the Victorian building, including an extensive glass shopfront. Stone floors and exposed brickwork have also been kept.

The store uses a range of subtle and sustainable additions to put its mark on the space. Stacked box shapes – made of black recycled compressed paper board - are used to display glasses. The boxes are supported by wooden frames made of solid timber. The flexible fixtures allow the store layout to evolve as required.

The Marylebone store will serve as a creative and collaborative space, hosting regular events, workshops and discussions. The beauty of the pop-up space is that it allows for a modular and flexible retail design, which is ideal for experimentation and an opportunity to create multiple experiences.

“The VIU brand is about being conscious, simple and honest. With the Marylebone store, we have created a retail experience with minimal waste, maximum transparency for the consumer and ultimate functionality of every design element,” said VIU head of PR and communications Stefanie Eifert.

“It is crucial for us to have physical stores. The journey for our customers starts online, but it leads to them to visiting our stores and coming face to face with our brand and experiencing our high level of service.” It is this level of interaction, which cements the customer relationship with the brand, and cannot be replicated to the same extent by pure play retail alone,” added Eifert.