Secret FAO Schwarz Kong Kong store opens

New York toy retailer FAO Schwarz has opened a private, invitation-only store in Hong Kong, designed by Studio X.

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The 1150sqft FAO Schwarz Hong Kong store which quietly opened last month is a prototype retail concept for Asia where the company can test design elements and store features before it opens public stores in Mainland China and beyond.

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FAO Schwarz is the oldest toy store brand in the US and a New York City icon frequently referenced in popular culture with scenes in movies such as ‘Big’ in which Tom Hanks famously danced across the store’s giant floor piano. That store closed in July 2015, its turnover no longer sufficient to meet the high rentals of Manhattan, but the legend has lived on.

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Parent ThreeSixty has opened a new store in New York this year and early this month said it planned aBeijing store. The prototype FAO Schwarz Hong Kong store is located inside the newly opened ThreeSixty Group Hong Kong office, which was also designed by Studio X.

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A spokesperson for Studio X said the design is centred around the toy brand’s philosophy “Return to Wonder”, offering “a sense of theatre and occasion that the original New York store was renowned for”. Key design features include many of the original store’s memorable elements such as the giant floor piano and clock tower.

Studio X oversaw the whole design, including visual merchandising, custom graphics and the shopfront. The company will work with FAO Schwarz to develop further flagship stores across the world next year.

Studio X was founded in 2016 by Rufus Turnbull and Sam Bradley with a vision to offer a fresh approach to commercial design. Its clients include Ikea, Swire Properties, K11 and Aromatherapy Associates.

 

  • Photo credit: Studio X / JEB

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