As promised, the Porsche Design experience continues… today beginning with a recount of the glitzy Porsche Design ‘Cocktail Party’ at the store in Hyde Park Corner last Thursday evening. With an inviting welcome from the courteous staff and refreshments on arrival, any reservations or daunting feelings of intimidation were instantly eradicated, and putting myself (and the seven other blog finalists I would imagine) at ease, was the incredibly humble and approachable owner – Michael Griffin – who introduced us to the brand with a guided tour of the store and an effortless history/info session on the brand (and store) as an all round design house, a forerunner in its field.
Beginning with the exterior of the store, from the window displays and design to seasonal considerations, and covering every inch of the interior, from the décor and finishes (the same as other countries around the world, including Europe) to the various types of merchandise, whether technological or fashionable, Michael took us through each aspect where we got to touch and feel and truly experience the brand and merchandise as a whole. With a background in telecommunications, this entrepreneur’s business savvy; passion and humility are partly the reason for him bringing the forty year old brand to South Africa, and only add to the success of the company.
It is said that Ferdinand Alexander Porsche had a ‘philosophy of good design’ which is evident in every product in store, be it the desk lamp; sunglasses or even kitchen knives, this is the place for the ultimate connoisseur who not only pays attention to detail but appreciates it too. Porsche Design is a complete design house which is involved in the design of numerous items, including yachts; buildings; furniture and even baby strollers to name a few, with its apparel and accessories merely paving the way for fashion enthusiasts.
In my previous post I didn’t give any detail as to the actual merchandise that’s in the beautiful store, so today I thought I’d share some of my personal experience of select items. I’m a Personal Stylist and also just a girl who loves clothes so I was immediately drawn to the green leather jacket you’ll see below (AND it’s my colour!). I have a thing for leather jackets and this one looked too good not to try on.
The Porsche Design store itself is a no-corners-cut story Michael Griffin CEO of Porsche Design South Africa tells us as he walks us through. His passion is unbridled and completely authentic. It’s been a while since I’ve seen anyone this excited, honest and unstoppably passionate about anything. Refreshing is an understatement.
Everything visible to the eye including the cladding on the walls, wooden floors, shelving and even the light bulbs were put on a plane and shipped here from Germany at some 22 tons. The display in the window is the exact same in all 100+ stores around the world right now. I spot a humidifier in the corner of the store – for the wooden floors we’re told. Everything has been thought through, planned and executed meticulously.
When you first enter the newly opened Porsche Design store in Hyde Park all the reasons that prevented you from setting foot inside sooner quickly fade away. The sales assistants are friendly as can be and completely unintimidating (as we wish they all were!) - ready to tend to you but in an unimposing manner.
Porsche Design is one of Europe’s premier design houses. The Porsche Design Studio is in Austria and is characterised by producing objects of desire that are understated in their design, timeless, functional and at the very cutting edge of technology. And the merchandise! The merchandise is just a sight to behold and if you can imagine, even more beautiful to the touch.
Porsche_ that's 'Por-sha', and not 'Porsh'.
Oh yes, it does matter.
It matters for the sake of origin(ality);
It matters for the sake of detail;
It matters for purism;
All integral ingredients to what is the brand's bespoke brilliance.
I have always been a Porsche kinda girl. For me, the car, has always represented and eluded to a sense of success and sophistication. It was an aspiration.
My Favourite? - totes the 911!
As I developed and matured as a designer, I was able to appreciate the finer details of the design that made it such a desire.
I had scoped out and swooned over the Porsche Design collection long before this competition began, but once submerged in it, I did further research.
My ultimate discovery? Good ol' Ferninand Porsche who designed the 911, started the booming design house that is Porsche Design.
That was it. I had found my design soul mate - the Porsche Design brand speaks of its design philosophies and concepts in a manner that flutters my heart. It's all about purism, elegance, sophistication, but MOST wonderfully for me, intricate attention detail.
It's savvy, and sexy, and techno-super-smart. It's everything that makes me fall in love with a product.
We were lucky enough as finalists of this competition to have met the brainchild behind Porshe Design South Africa, Michael Griffin, who pretty much sealed the deal for me.
His passion and belief in his product is difficult to resist. Absorbing all his energy and enthusiasm, and coupled with what I saw in front of me has made me realize one thing- I don't need to 'sell' Porsche Design to any of you. I don't need to convince you of its creativity and success. Because you WILL understand if you just experience it.
You gotta (posh) up and head it into the Hyde Park boutique, and allow yourself to be weakened at your knees. I'm certain you will get it. Yeah, you may not be able to afford anything more than an (incredibly sexy) hard drive, but, I've decided that my new benchmark success product will be the Porsche lamp, because it's not about ostentisity or branding, it's about beautiful, functional design, and you will understand what I mean if you just interact with the collection.
Now, will you venture out and allow yourself to dream? Go on, I dare you :)
So I went to the Porsche Design store last Thursday evening…..quite an experience. Now - how to describe it….Well I’m currently reading ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern, it is wonderfully magical. However the key element in the book is that this magical circus only employs performers that are OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY-BRILLIANT. It only uses THE BEST equipment, and EVERY EXPERIENCE the patrons have is unique. A very simple example is demonstrated when a particular patron enters the circus and receives a business card, but it’s not just any business card, the card is printed on leather and it is embossed; the signage at the entrance is not static - it lights up like fireworks into the sky; the examples go on. The end take-out is that you are only experiencing the best of the best when you go to the circus.
My point about the above pre-amble is that it suddenly dawned on me last night (during my bedtime reading session) that this is exactly how I would describe a shopping experience at the Porsche Design store. Every single element in the store is unique, and consists of only the best of the best, from the actual merchandise, to the lighting in the store, to the way one gets to try on a watch!
Setting foot in a Porsche Design store is a holistic experience which will entice even the most indiscriminate of consumers, with its minimalistic design, layout and finishes, to the most alluring scent which almost entirely consumes and captivates one into a sense of chimera. Housing everything from sport wear and luggage to home wear and boys toys, Porsche Design thrives on its key factors of form and functionality, second to which are only attention to detail and understated elegance - the unmistakable characteristics of its founder - Ferdinand Alex Porsche.
The exquisite merchandise further engulfs one into a frenzy of desire, and although there is a stronger focus on menswear and accessories, there is a stunning range of ladies fashion and accessories created from divine fabrics and clever concepts such as the Raw Tec Blazer which won the 2012 Red Dot "Best of the Best" Award, or the neon lining in a black shopper, making it easier for us fashionistas to locate our err, 'essentials'. The 'purist', 'functional' nature of the products are evident in various items, from technologically engineered running shoes and glass thermos flasks with a 'no burn' feature, to tech savvy timepieces and 'one second pens', Porsche Design is not just a design house, not just a brand, but a lifestyle.
For more on this iconic lifestyle brand, stay tuned for a fun filled Porsche Design adventure.
I know that by now everyone has probably seen this wonderful print advert of Muhammed Ali with his grandson, 3-year-old Curtis Muhammad Conway Jnr. I just cannot get over the genius that is this ad and would have loved to have been the photographer (Annie Leibowitz) who captured this wonderful moment. I cannot afford to buy Louis Vuitton products, it is an aspirational brand for me at this point, I always think of the millions of things I could with my R18 000 than to spend it on a handbag, it’s just doesn’t seem practical but one day when I have R18 000 to spare, I will make a trip to their store in Sandton City proudly to make my purchase. In the meantime I can only admire their products & adverts and this specific one speaks to me.
For me this advert says that Louis Vuitton associates itself with “the greatest” as Ali is fondly dubbed along with his confidence & passion for being the best and boxing. The brand is classic, good quality and has longevity as its product can be passed on from generation to generation. Now I know Ali was meant to be the star of the ad but I believe that Curtis stole that title in this instance due to his cuteness, his confident stance in the picture and those boxing gloves which I would like to believe that at 3 years old, he already idolizes his grandfather.
Porsche Design is a luxury brand with particular focus on technically inspired products. The brand was founded in 1972 by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, and since then its products have stood for functional, timeless and purist design.
Who would've thought that the swanky looking store in the affluent Hyde Park Shopping Centre would have a product that I would be interested in buying and can actually afford? Often we make this presumption. We'll like what we see in a store window and gaze warily inside. There seems to be an almost magnetic force that repels us from entering because instinct is telling us we won't be able to afford anything in the store, so why bother?
I have to admit that before last week Thursday, I hadn't set foot in the Porsche Design store despite frequenting Hyde Park on an almost weekly basis. I would think to myself, "if I can't afford the car, what makes me think I would be able to afford anything in the store?"
Boy, was I wrong.