How Dream Team Adrien Kent And Jenn Low Made Their Store Design Vision Happen In Record Time
Collaborations, a.k.a. creative jamming, almost never fails to inspire brands and people behind them onward to greater things. Towards the end of last year, Wanderlust+Co launched its #WCOpopupshop in Bangsar Village, a beautiful nook that hosted a series of parties by founder Jenn Low. Needless to say, the store stole the show, as trendy guests commemorated the pink and gold-hued venue with #WCOgirlgang snapshots. Matching the sparkling Wanderlust+Co gems was a boutique with a decor narrative. So we asked - and we received - an exclusive story of how Jenn and Adrien Kent, award-winning interior designer and winner of The Apartment Season 7 Luxury Edition, embarked on a partnership that made the Instagrammable store a reality in just three weeks.
Well done on the latest #WCOpopupshop. What was it like to collaborate in a short frame of time?
Adrien: I was thrilled to have been approached for this project. I’ve never worked with Jenn before, so it was exhilarating to be able to work with a new client, especially one as vivacious as her.
Jenn: The pop-up was an unexpected project for us. Adrien Kent immediately came to mind as I’m familiar with the work he’s done for Common Ground and understand he is very creative. I dropped him a message, and we caught up over coffee and started the renovations 5 days after that first conversation.
What was the project brief?
Adrien: The brief had 2 parts. First, to reuse most of the fixtures in the space, since it’s a pop-up store. Second, to elevate the brand identity and convey that in the best possible way for customer experience. I got excited figuring out inexpensive ideas that look luxe: less-is-more is my thing.
Jenn: One of the key things I wanted to have was to pull out design elements from our jewellery pieces and translate them for the the store decor. The motifs and the prints on our window are taken from our jewellery pieces and the quote, ‘Trust the flow of the universe’, is taken from one of our bestselling Mantra necklaces. The selfie mirror in the store was also a key thing. I knew I wanted a big mirror that would reflect and help us maximise how the space looks and feels. The quote that is centred within the mirror, ‘See the world through your eyes’, is a play on words as you gaze into the mirror but at the same time, it’s also a quote from our Mantra collection.
From the get-go, what was the concept in your minds?
Adrien: The concept was definitely very feminine, and a harmonious marriage between luxe minimalism and organic textures.
Jenn: One thing I shared with Adrien was to completely open up the windows and celebrate natural lighting. Nothing beats the vibe natural lighting gives to a space. I wanted to keep things relatively minimal to focus on the jewellery pieces, and create lots of Instagrammable spots for the #WCOgirlgang to style themselves.
Adrien, what were the design challenges and how did you overcome them?
We were working with an extremely tight budget and timeline. So we worked with what we’ve got within the space, and used inexpensive materials such as laminate and epoxy flooring. The right shade of dusty pink made all the difference.
Jenn, how did Adrien and you work on making the ideas a reality?
We work really well together. There’s a lot of trust involved when you work with another creative person. You share a general idea of what you’re going for and you have to trust that they are able to translate that into the textures, materials that would best reflect the brand ethos and the brand image. We went from an idea, through to materials and a quote quite quickly, and immediately started executing.
What are the standout store features?
Adrien: I'm a huge fan of the selfie mirror with foliage. It created a different dimension and focal point, especially against the clean lines of the rest of the fittings.
Jenn: The planter box with the pampas was a really last minute decision. We originally wanted to have a pampas showpiece at the curved wall entrance, but due to a shortage of pampas supply, we came up with the idea of the planter box in front of the selfie mirror.
And what of the store elements you’re most proud of?
Adrien: The pink laminate that we introduced, which also continues to the curved wall, with the brand ethos. Such simplicity that changed the entire flow and vibe of the space.
Jenn: Definitely the window decal on the exterior of the store. Seeing it translate from 2D to life scale and having the text, ‘Hello Bangsar, come say hi,’ was magical. The Bangsar community has embraced us and we’ve had so many return customers as well as new customers travelling from other states.
Adrien, how has this collaboration diversified your portfolio?
My portfolio mainly consists of co-working spaces and a handful of retail and F&B outlets. This collaboration strengthened the retail part of my portfolio, and also made me realise how much I actually do love designing for retail.
Jenn, describe how the final outcome resonates with your expectations?
The final outcome really overwhelmed us in a positive way. Goes to show that you can plan it all on a mood board, but nothing beats seeing all these things come to life. As my team and I typically spend so much time in our brand’s digital world, it’s been a really cool experience to see the space and our pieces in an offline setting — interacting with our customers and receiving real life feedback has been priceless.
Adrien, what’s next after The Apartment?
I’m still waiting for my cash prize. But my end goal is to have a reality TV show of my own.