I popped down to the LAPADA fair in Berkeley Square yesterday to visit our clients Philip Mould, Grima, Ellison Fine Art and Butchoff and see the fair in action. Most of our time at fairs is spent in the set up and it’s important to see how the stands and salons are working with a flow of visitors.
Here are four thoughts I’d like to share from my visit. And do go and see for yourself – its open until Sunday.
1. The importance of the anchor stands
Particularly in a fair like LAPADA where there is no foyer area to set the mood – you simply plunge into the fair – the stands at the entrance are key. Fair organisers need to select exhibitors with a wow factor and in this case the view is dominated by Lucas Rarities’ dazzling back-lit graphics.
2. Back in black
Black really is the colour of choice for brands that want to say ‘luxury’. Everything at LAPADA is black – the facings, the stand build, the tent. It provides a strong backdrop for doing something stunning. Not sure if the grey world of Frieze Masters couldn’t take note here.
3. Simple can work brilliantly
I was impressed by 21st Century Jewels’ use of silver string, zig-zaging behind their showcases – Nicholas Silver’s most successful stand design yet. This year the dark colour really sets off the jewellery and the metallic wires add interest to the stand without detracting from the objects on display.
I would love to see some of the pieces picked out in individual displays to draw clients onto the stand.
4. Integrating the digital and retail
The consumer thinks ‘omnichannel’ – they expect to see an integrated brand where ever they look. And if you have made a design decision that your silver looks best against dark on your stand – why put it against white on your website? I’m not going to name names, but you know who you are …