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Linda and Esther Chang, daughters of Forever 21’s founders, conceived a new standalone beauty brand to offer digitally native millennial and Gen Z consumers an immersive and social media influenced brand and retail experience. One that was both revolutionary and whimsical. Trend-setting and serious in its mission. Because capturing and keeping the attention of their young consumers would require a change in their shopping behavior: taking them from online to in-store and back again.
With over 30 years of experience, locations around the globe and billions in revenue, this fast fashion icon partnered with FutureBrand to create new revenue streams by attracting Millennial beauty aficionados through the creation of a standalone brand: Riley Rose. Staying true to the fast, fluid nature of their business, we needed to deliver the entire project—from brand creation to opening day ribbon cutting—in just six months.
The sisters’ vision for this new brand was centered around the idea that consumers must touch and play with their products to understand their true benefit. As their partner, we created a brand that stood for inclusiveness, playfulness and discovery. Then brought the new-to-world brand to life by designing an immersive, connected experience, chock-full of OMG moments that must be seen and touched to be believed.
Like Forever 21’s fashion trends, these stores are ever changing and constantly refreshed. Each store functions as a lifestyle beauty playground, every item designed to be touched and shared—from selfie stations, open-display concepts and kitchen island centerpieces to point-of-sale and “impulse” areas that encourage spur of the moment purchases. This interactive strategy and journey plays a dual role: inspiring in-store shoppers while enticing new ones to experience the brand for themselves.
Much like their parents before them with Forever 21, the Chang sisters have global aspirations for the Riley Rose brand. But to start, they wanted its visual essence to feel authentic to its L.A. roots. That started with a memorable logo, candy-like color palette and imagery style that reflected back to the consumer the best, most authentic version of themselves.
We created two logo versions that flex depending on application and mood: the first wordmark’s script is more loopy and playful, designed to attract customers into the store. The primary logo feels more angular, conveying an elegant, yet laidback West Coast vibe. In accompanying packaging work, the script ‘R’ is paired with the traditional wordmark and also displays well in avatar or app form, particularly important for this immersive, social media-driven brand.
With the brand’s foundation now in place, we set out to bring all the pieces together to create lifestyle and beauty playground of discovery through the in-store experience.
Like Forever 21’s fashion trends, or an Instagram news feed, these stores are ever changing and constantly refreshed. Each store functions as this lifestyle beauty playground, with items designed to be touched and shared. Their approach emphasized curated beauty and lifestyle content, shareable and exploratory in-store experiences.
Store materials were curated to communicate both light and warmth, from soft marbles with subtle pink hues to rose gold metal accents and wood flooring.
A layered, exploration-based zoning strategy creates a store-wide playground of shoppable, shareable, modern lifestyle and beauty trends. The front of the store showcases the newest brands and bestsellers, while the back offers interaction and inspiration for the trendiest products.
On September 30, 2017—less than six months after project kickoff—Riley Rose opened its first brick and mortar retail store in LA’s Glendale Galleria mall. Eight additional locations, as well as an ecommerce site built to recreate the in-store experience, opened and were online in the months to follow. The brand’s launch has been a huge success with over 31,000 newInstagram followers in under two months, high-profile influencer endorsements and positive press coverage in The New Yorker, WWD magazine and Wallpaper*, to name a few.