London-based multidisciplinary artist and designer Yinka Ilori announces details of his first pop-up store in Shoreditch, East London. Drawing inspiration from West African architecture, Ilori will create a unique retail environment which features his recent collection of products alongside new launches.
Ilori who is best known for his colourful and narrative-led public interventions launched his debut homeware collection in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Tableware and textiles in bold colours and patterns referenced his British-Nigerian heritage and upbringing as well as local London scenery. Ilori’s collection reworked unexpected, functional household items as artworks to inject joy and optimism into our living environments. He has since launched a range of products that span homeware and lifestyle and encourage a sense of playfulness.
With this pop-up, which opens ahead of Christmas, Ilori addresses the current creative state of retail as the sector continues to face challenges. He aims to explore how stores can encourage consumers to connect, experience and discover in a continuation of design work that is inspired by his heritage and storytelling. Recalling the houses and mosques found in Burkina Faso, he has created a new typology and design language, translating vernacular architectural forms into colourful display units. The store will be dominated by blues, greens, pinks and violets used to create a sense of hope and optimism.
From stationery and games to homeware, the new collection launching in store will focus on memory-making, togetherness and play. Each piece has its own backstory and has been designed in his trademark colourful patterns and prints.
Products being launched include: Ayo Game (£275), a strategy game popular among the Yoruba people which Ilori has reimagined as a collectible object, paying respect to its origins; new editions of the Chairman t-shirt (£55), which pays homage to Ilori’s early career upcycling chairs as well as references the Nigerian slang term used by his friends; umbrellas (£65) and water bottles (£35); and a range of lifestyle and interior design objects.
Yinka Ilori, said: “The high street plays such an important role in our communities but in recent years we have experienced a steep decline, with many independent businesses struggling. With this pop-up I wanted to bring retail back and design a fun, engaging space that tells a story. I want to start a conversation about the future of our stores, how we curate these spaces and what experiences we can create to forge deeper, more meaningful connections.”
The ideas of belonging and community are central to Yinka Ilori’s work, who grew up on a council estate in North London. As the cost of living crisis continues to intensify, this Christmas will be one of the toughest for many families. With this in mind, Ilori will be donating a percentage of profits from the pop-up to Shelter, a charity dedicated to supporting those who struggle with housing or homelessness.
Yinka Ilori’s pop-up retail space will be located at 9 Club Row, London E1 6JX from 30 November 2022 until 3 January 2023.