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Paddle against the flow.

TCO London Blog featuring our latest news across Huck magazine and Little White Lies magazine, as well as our branded content campaigns for the likes of Nike, Google, Finlandia Vodka, Vans Skateboarding, Facebook, Adidas and Accenture.

Mighty Mighty, TCO’s brand activations agency, builds the UK’s only permanent free skate bowl in Selfridges, London.

Reimagining luxury retail

This month Selfridges launches a new breakthrough retail concept dedicated to menswear but welcoming of female shoppers who like to buy men’s fashion. The Designer Street Room is anchored by a custom-built Land Rover Defender and a new London landmark of fashion retail in the UK’s only free wooden skate bowl.

The concept is fuelling the department store’s connection to youth culture and exemplifying the changing face of modern luxury. More than ever, customer behaviour and customer demand have been put at the centre of every aspect of the new destination – from brand mix and cross category shopping; versatile customer service adapted to respond to all customers regardless of gender; to the floor design layout and architecture; the product replenishment driven by just-in-time fashion stock drops, not just seasonality and all customer animation within the space.

Built to form a cultural and social hub within the space, The Bowl is a fully enclosed skate bowl, conceptualised by The Mighty-Mighty and installed to sit in the window overlooking the corner of Oxford Street and Duke Street. Here skateboarding is used as a lens through which to view and celebrate the attitude of street culture and style. Creating a community and elevating an electric youth, the fusion of fashion and skateboarding manifests an appetite for authenticity. This unique space is not only visually striking, but more importantly maintains an honest, skateable simplicity and a nod to pool and bowl skate history through the construction of the timber structure. Shoppers can book skate slots online, while The Bowl will also house panel talks, music performances and other in-store events.

Bosse Myhr, Head of Menswear at Selfridges' said "we see our physical stores as social hubs, as much as we do retail spaces - it's something which has been part of our DNA since the the store opened in 1909. The introduction of a working skate bowl is a decision we arrived at early on."

Phil Young, founder of Mighty Mighty, said: “In a drastically changing retail landscape, only brave and visionary brands who are able to future-proof their position and expand their consumer base will excel. Selfridges is a great example of that. The relationship that skateboarding holds with art, culture and fashion is well-documented. To create a bowl, which in itself is sculpturally striking and where the art of skating can come alive, is testament to Selfridges' innate understanding of progressive culture.”

Forward-thinking bricks-and-mortar retailers appreciate that they need to make their square-footage work harder for them than ever before, creating moments, experiences and memories that surprise and delight shoppers and create a desire to spend time in store. Selfridges in particular understands the need to challenge the norm and spark conversation around the changing face of luxury retail, as demonstrated by their Radical Luxury series.

Helen Job, Head of Insight at TCO, said: “There is a new breed of luxury shopper that is questioning the tropes of traditional luxury, and valuing experience and authenticity over simply acquiring more products. The men’s premium streetwear market is a strong community, united by their genuine connection to skate culture. Selfridges understands the need to offer credible experience to these audiences, and are showing that they can achieve this through clever collaborations.”

It’s so nicely made that it looks like a cross between the bowl in Supreme LA and an artisan boat.

- The Bowl -

The visually striking timber Bowl forms a cultural hub within Selfridges’ new menswear space, launched October 29. Open to skaters of all ages, the bowl will also be used for live performances and unique events.

- The Mighty Mighty -

Mighty Mighty works through outdoor and lifestyle with energy and integrity, making daring, credible creative with real brand integration. With a strong history in street culture and a future that takes on more, we produce events, make films, build brands and have a good time.

- TCO -

Founded in 2006, TCO is a fiercely independent media company and publisher behind culture bible Huck and entertainment brand Little White Lies. TCO also creates premium content for global brands ranging from Nike and VANS to Google and Microsoft.