Space for Ideas: Meet The Winners
30 Jun 2020
We launched Space for Ideas with the aim to discover the ideas that would define the decade. Although no one could have predicted how this decade would start, the thousands of entries we received this year proved how, even in hard times, the entrepreneurial spirit endures. More than ever, stores are being valued as places to connect and communicate, and this year's winners promise a bright future for retail.
Each of our winners has a story to tell. Their stores stand for more than just driving profit: they contribute to the culture of their cities, give a platform to emerging talent, and create lasting social impact. Above all, they inspire hope for the future of our streets.
We want to give a massive thank you to our panel of industry judges who took the time to choose our winners, and to the thousands who applied.
Here are the finalists and winners of Space for Ideas 2020
The London Finalists
Rejina Pyo: Timeless and award-winning womenswear brand. In just the last 5 years, designer Rejina Pyo has picked up the British Fashion Trust Award, The Samsung Fashion Design Award and the British Emerging Talent for Womenswear Award.
Petit Pli: Pleated children’s clothing that expands as they grow. The brand was founded by Ryan Mario Yasin to minimise wasted clothing, and has since been awarded Best Wearable Design at the Dezeen Awards, the H&M Global Change Award and the James Dyson Award.
Nicholas Daley: Half Scottish, half Jamaican, Nicholas Daley celebrates and explores the intersection between fashion and music, drawing inspiration from multicultural Britain. Everything is crafted in the UK, working closely with artisans to create unique pieces. Supported by the British Fashion Councils’ NEWGEN program, Nicholas’ designs went all the way to the LVMH finals this year.
Ceylon: Skincare scientifically developed for men of colour. While serving at his post, Former Foreign Service Officer Patrick Boateng II experienced a variety of skincare issues, but could find no options that met his needs as a man of colour. Along with business partner Dr. McKinley-Grant, he is on a mission to revolutionise skincare.
Nodaleto: Italian design studio led by footwear designer Julia Toledano. Debuting only last year for Paris Fashion Week, her striking designs pull inspiration from the 1970s and like-minded brands, including the ceramicist Anissa Kermiche.
Nicholas Daley is a Scottish-Jamaican designer whose label centres around the multicultural British identity. He takes his inspiration from Britain’s rich multicultural music history - from reggae to punk. Each piece is crafted in the UK, working closely with local artisans for bespoke textiles and finishes. Not only is he part of the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN designer program, his collections also made it to the LVMH finals this year.
In his signature spirit of collaboration, the store will play host to the work of artists and musicians of all cultures to invite guests into the world of Nicholas Daley. For the design, Daley will bring together fragments from all sides of British culture: from knitted rugs to Indian stools, aiming to upcycle many materials. The space will also be his first-ever store, showcasing Daley’s garments, samples and exclusive one-off pieces.
The Paris Finalists
Danshan: Danxia Liu was raised as a boy due to her Chinese grandmother’s desire for a grandson. Her unique experience of gender dynamics in China became core to the design vision for her menswear label DANSHAN, founded with fellow CSM graduate Shanpeng Wong.
Corail: Sneakers made from recycled plastic found in the sea. After a vacation to Marseille revealed a beach covered in plastic, founder Alex and Paul teamed up with local fishermen to clean up France’s beaches.
L'Équipée: Nairobi-based design studio that works with Kenyan designers to create unique homeware. Founded five years ago by artist Lilo Chaumont and her interior designer daughter, L'Équipée is on a mission to promote Kenyan craftsmanship to a global audience.
Almé: Founder and new mother Emmanuelle Szerer struggled to find chic clothes over the standard size 28 in France. Her designs celebrate all body shapes, without compromising on style.
Gang de Paris: A unique fashion label that pays tribute to the history of the youth who shaped Paris. Centred around a culture of storytelling, each ‘episode’ of clothing celebrates Parisian culture.
Just five years ago artist Lilo Chaumont joined forces with her interior designer daughter Gus to found L'Équipée. What started out as a family affair is now a pioneering Nairobi-based design studio that works with 19 Kenyan designers. Due to the lack of access to standard industrialised products, there has been an explosion in craftsmanship, making homemade products commonplace.
To bring the light and offbeat universe of L'Équipée to life in Paris, their store will present an authentic Nairobi landscape. Guests will be immersed in a tactile and colourful store, which will feature each of their collections for visitors to experience. Plus, the store will shine a light on the origins and production of each piece, using photography taken in their artisans’ workshops as well as a screening of a film documenting Kenyan craftsmanship.
The New York Finalists
Maude: A modern and inclusive intimacy company founded to eradicate the social stigma around sexual health. Founded by New Mexican entrepreneurs Éva Goicochea after a successful career in healthcare legislation.
Thingtesting: A review website for the modern age. Founder Jenny Gyllander found it impossible to determine the quality of Instagram brands after working as a VC. Thingtesting started life as an Instagram page and has now amassed 50,000 followers.
Tove Studio: The brand was born after the former Heads of Buying and Design at Topshop spotted a gap in the market for feminine clothing with a luxury attention to detail. Their store will invite visitors to appreciate the craftsmanship and quality of their collections.
The Shopkeepers: Launched by retail designer Paula Flynn, The Shopkeepers is an online platform showcasing the best independent shopkeepers, for locals and tourists alike. Their vision for a store is to bring famous shopping neighbourhoods to different cities around the world.
Omsom: Championing diasporic Asian communities through food, Omsom is the sauce and recipe company founded by sisters Kim and Vanessa Pham and a vibrant celebration of Asian-American food.
Maude is a modern intimacy company that was launched in April 2018 by Éva Goicochea after a successful career in healthcare legislation and brand strategy. As a sixth-generation New Mexican, her passion for sexual health came from the disparity she had seen first-hand – her home state is 48th worst in the US for condom usage and struggles with access to healthcare. As of December 2019, Éva has raised $3 million for Maude through VC, becoming one of only 60 Latinx women to have raised over $1m.
Maude exists to eradicate the taboo surrounding sexual wellness, instead positioning it as a healthy, everyday part of life. To reflect this, they will bring ‘The Maudern Apartment’ to life in their space. Part retail store, part studio, the space will create a sense of comfort and calm for their community, featuring organic materials, inclusive colour palettes and natural light. The home-like store will also become a venue to host a variety of experiences and events around their sexual health products, keeping them as destigmatized and accessible as possible.
The Los Angeles Finalists
Wonder Valley: Wonder Valley is an online lifestyle store and an olive oil shop founded by husband and wife duo Alison and Jay. All products are made locally in North California, inspired by the simplicity of desert life.
St Agni: Founded by husband and wife team Lara and Matt Fells, St Agni is a clothing brand that champions handmade products in Byron Bay, sourcing directly from producers in Australia, Indonesia, India, China, Portugal and Japan.
Leimert Park Threads: Founder, Ashley Walker, started his fashion label with the aim to bring awareness to the struggles and experiences of black communities - his debut collection was worn by Beyonce and sold out globally.
Fusion: Fusing the world of feminine health and technology, Fusion is the first-ever patented technology that creates custom support for every woman’s body. Behind this movement are founder Claire Chabaud and 3D printing expert Bre Pattis.
Paper London: Kelly Townsend and Philippa Thackeray started the label six years ago after they experienced the profound ecological decline of a Mexican beach. A fashion brand created to combat ecological decline, Paper London works with multiple ecological charities and organisations, as well as making all of their swimwear from plastic.
Founder Ashley Walker was born in Los Angeles and studied fashion marketing at Central St Martins, but knew that his calling was back at home in the States. In 2017, he started LEIMERT PARK THREADS with the aim to bring awareness to the struggles of black communities, as well as inspire these communities to define their own futures. Working with original pieces as well as repurposing vintage clothing, his collections have fast become a global movement for a community passionate about embracing their identity, recently counting Beyonce as a fan.
Truly a homegrown brand, the store will find its home in the eponymous Leimert Park or the surrounding LA area. Not just a nod to its roots, the founder wants to have the store in an up-and-coming urban area to inspire its community. The space will function as a celebration of people of colour where customers can educate themselves on their history, feel inspired by their achievements and browse his iconic COLORED collection. Ashley also plans to create a programme of local artists and businesses to shine a light on LA’s homegrown talent.
The Space for Change Finalists
UN Women: UN Women is an initiative from the United Nations and the only global organisation working at every level for gender equality. The space will be based on the concept of ‘Equiterra’: a fictional country where gender equality is real.
CanO Water: Founded by three friends after a holiday to Thailand’s beaches laid the truth about plastic pollution bare. CanO Water offers a recyclable alternative to the plastic bottle. The store will be a vision of 2050, when plastic has taken over our oceans.
Sisterhood: A grassroots organisation that addresses the disparities between women and men in the world of design. Sisterhood holds summer schools for girls to develop vital professional skills, as well as classes in confidence.
Kind of Blau: Garments created with a significantly lower water floor print. Founder Amira Jehia also works directly with communities affected by the pollution of the fast fashion industry.
Janet’s List: A unique marketplace to discover and support brands owned by black women and women of colour, founded by former barrister Janet Oganah. Embodying the phrase ‘put your money where your mouth is’, Janet’s List’s store will allow the opportunity for conscious consumers to support black women-owned businesses.
10T: When James Marshall collected 300 abandoned tents from local festivals, 10T’s first clothing collection was born. With the mantra ‘The Future Is Rubbish’, the outdoor brand crafts all its products from waste collected at the source.
Sisterhood was started while classmates Racita and Rebecca were still studying at Central St Martins - in an effort to address the disparities between women studying design and women actually holding design jobs. They found that girls across the industry were suffering from low self-esteem, and this directly impacted their ability to pursue a career in the industry they loved. With the belief that design can be used as a vehicle to address societal issues, they developed the Sisterhood School for girls aged 13-17. Through a 12-15 week programme, the girls are given guidance in everything from careers to self-confidence.
The concept of the store will be the ‘Bookstore of The Future’. For Sisterhood’s two-week programme, they will be focusing on women’s stories and how they can be heard. For the first week, the store will serve as the meeting place for sisterhood, who will be writing stories on the powers of being a girl. The space will then become part book-store part community space, as the programme culminates in a book launch for the girls’ stories. Sisterhood will also host workshops open to the public on the bookmaking process, including bookbinding, screen printing and story writing sessions.
Nursem directly tackles an issue that has never been more relevant. Paediatric nurse Antonia founded Nursem with her partner Jonny after the ravaging effects of constantly washing her hands forced her to take two weeks off work. Together, they developed an award-winning formula with a mission to improve hand care for healthcare professionals. They’ve even committed to providing a month’s worth of Nursem to an NHS worker with every product sold. They’ve helped to heal 20,000 pairs of hands since 2019.
In their store, local nurses and midwives will enjoy hand massages and free ward packs, which can be gifted to their colleagues back at work. The space will also function as Nursem’s first-ever retail store with an open layout, bright brand colour and custom installations from illustrators. The Nursem store will be about more than driving a profit, it will be a place where a community can find solace in a difficult time.
Our London, Paris, New York and LA winners will be working with Barrows Global to bring their ideas to life. And our Space for Change winner will be working with Marble London to create their store vision. Stay tuned to find out where they’ll be opening their doors.