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Revealing Space

All Blues’ Flagship Store

"Our approach to the whole design – the floor, the curtains, the mirror display – is an attempt to reveal the space rather than add to it.”

Founded in 2010 by school friends Jacob Skragge and Fredrik Nathorst, All Blues creates jewellery from recycled sterling silver and gold vermeil. A decade later, the pair secured the ideal location for their first flagship store: a 19th century building at the end of Stockholm’s Birger Jarlsgatan. “We’ve been dreaming about opening our own store for quite some time,” says Skragge. “This was the first space that made us feel we would not need to compromise on our vision.” The age of the building, which dates to 1893, was a key part of its appeal. “We were immediately drawn to the building’s history,” says Nathorst. “Retail spaces are often very new and flashy, but we wanted to find somewhere that already had a lot of character, which we could embrace in our design.”

Skragge and Nathorst enlisted another school friend of theirs, architect Jack Dalla Santa, to design the store with them, along with All Blues graphic designer Linnea Mesko. The walls are the focus of the space: an unobstructed swathe of patinated raw plaster. Rather than having a full plan from the outset, the team gradually uncovered the wall texture during the renovation. “When we started the project, the space had a mezzanine floor and lots of doors and cables running everywhere,” says Mesko. “We started by demolishing everything and stripping the walls back to the plaster, just before the brick. It was important for us to see something old and beautiful in the store.”

A polished terrazzo floor runs below the double height ceiling, and diaphanous white drapes conceal the bustle of the street behind the tall windows, filtering softened, tranquil light into the space. “We cast the floor in place with a two centimetre gap from the wall,” says Dalla Santa. “The separation makes the walls seem even more precious in a way.” Nathorst adds, “Everything in the store is separate from the walls. There’s no shelving, nothing leans against them. They have so many interesting imperfections and textures, it was important for us not to add any more personality to them. Our approach to the whole design – the floor, the curtains, the mirror display – is an attempt to reveal the space rather than add to it.”

The store’s interior is limited to three structures: a 1.3 tonne glass house, acting as a vast display cabinet; a steel bar where the team can interact with their clients, and a mirror column that creates a series of changing booths. “We wanted to choreograph the retail space and encourage a sense of movement,” says Nathorst. “The experience of buying jewellery in a store can be quite static and stale. Jewellery must be locked behind glass, so stores often have lots of small display cabinets. The customer enters, asks to see something, and the salesperson comes over with a key to open the cabinet; then this strange situation unfolds where the salesperson ends up hovering next to the customer while they look at the item. We wanted to inject some movement into that experience, creating a dynamic relationship between our team and the customer. People can walk around the glass house, browsing the designs inside; once they find one they’d like to look at, our team can go to the back of the store and bring the piece to the steel bar, where they can discuss it in more detail. There is a playfulness and flow to the whole experience.”

The flagship store, which opened its doors on 20 November 2020, allows All Blues to regularly engage face-to-face with their customers for the first time. “We’ve been doing direct e-commerce with our clients for many years, but we’ve never been able to put a face to them like this before,” says Skragge. “It’s lovely to have this platform to meet with them with an open mind; I think we will learn a lot in the coming months.” Nathorst says, “Our customers are very kind and thoughtful people. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that jewellery is often bought as a gift, whether for yourself or for someone else. We hear so many stories where our products have become a symbol for something we could never have imagined. One couple who came by the store were almost in tears as they told us the husband had gifted the wife a pair of All Blues Mother Earrings to celebrate the birth of their second child – one to symbolise each child. We love to receive these insights into people’s lives.”

“Even when buying jewellery for yourself, you expose yourself so much more than if you were buying a jacket,” says Skragge. “It’s a more naked way of shopping. Jewellery is connected to you – it lies against your skin. And it is functionless, which means it is entirely about expressing who you are as a person.” This understanding of the vulnerability around jewellery is partly what makes All Blues so approachable. “Many of our clients are buying jewellery for the first time,” says Mesko. “They often say they didn’t like jewellery until they found our brand and thought it could be something for them. That is such an amazing thing for us to hear. We hope everyone – all ages, gender identities, races – feels welcomed by us.”

Revealing Space
Revealing Space
Revealing Space
Revealing Space
Revealing Space

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