When uber-cool, humorous and lighthearted London designer Anya Hindmarch contacted us to design her first grotto, we felt Christmas had come early. The chance to work with this iconic designer on a project, even with a very short lead-in time, was too good to miss. Anya’s cluster of retail outlets in Pont Street, Chelsea, have included a designer handbag outlet, a greengrocery with a difference, and a popular tea shop.
Although the space was not huge, we were determined to work with Anya to bring her creative vision to life. We designed an interactive journey to delight the young at heart of all ages. We wanted to create something magical rather than commercial, to establish a growing excitement as the children drew near to Santa’s cottage.
From the moment of stepping through the sparkling doorway and into a world of higgledy-piggeldy books, there was a vintage feel to the experience. A snow filled forest was skillfully lit, to create a surreal atmosphere and draw the children into another “world” of fairytales that really do come true.
Santa’s Elves led the little ones through the magical story world to an unassuming front door where they entered to find a traditional, smiling Santa but in a homely domestic setting, to put them at their ease.
With plenty of opportunity for photographic moments, word of the experience spread like wildfire and many days were sold out in advance.
We felt that the grotto experience fulfilled Anya’s USP that her work presents “ultimate gifts that last forever and bring a smile.” Santa may be moving on in the New Year, but the experience will last with so many of those starry-eyed children and their parents for many years to come, if not forever.
Creative concept & design, build, production
South West London
Logistics & operations