The trend has only picked up steam since, spurred on by the advent of the Internet and the consequential call for physical retail to lay out a snazzy visual feast to entice shoppers off their couches.
Here are some examples of when art went shopping.
• In 2013, Italian jewellery house Bulgari opened an exhibition of late-20th-century pieces in its Bond St. store in London. In addition to earrings, necklaces and bangles, the display featured original jewellery design sketches.
• On January 30, 2015, avant-garde designer Rick Owens celebrated the 20th anniversary of his label by installing a dramatic 25-foot white replica of his torso above the entrance to Selfridges in London. He called the sculpture “The World of Rick Owens.”
• Last October, The Room at Hudson’s Bay’s in downtown Toronto presented “Fashion Blows,” an exhibit that celebrated the extravagant life and wardrobe of stylist and fashion editor Isabella Blow. Visitors were invited to take photos and get up-close views of the clothing.
• In partnership with the Royal Ontario Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Holt Renfrew is spotlighting Canadian artist Douglas Coupland and his new exhibit “Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything.” Holt’s is exhibiting “Gumhead,” a huge self-portrait of the artist at its 100 Bloor St. location in Toronto.
“Online shopping is on the rise,” digital strategist and New York-based Fashion Institute of Technology instructor Dalia Strum has pointed out about the movement to marry art and retail. “So brick-and-mortar locations need to provide a value-add for potential consumers.”