Redefining retail

In the era of death of retail, two women found a way to bring joy into shopping again. Meet Johanna Silver and Jenny Karlsson, founders of Mouche Collective, on their mission to put some magic back into everyday life. We’re happy to present OH MY EYES in The Apartment.

Tucked away on Götabergsgatan in Gothenburg’s Vasastan district is a grand apartment with high ceilings, beautiful stucco, original fishbone flooring and several tiled stoves. You can hear the piano music from a distant room, smell the newly baked bread from the kitchen and see beautiful art on the walls.

You’d be forgiven for mistaking this as a cool friend’s enviable apartment. In fact, this is The Apartment part of Mouche Collective.

“It’s a space where you are able to buy everything you see from the unique pieces in the wardrobe to the furniture you sit on, the lighting that shimmers above your head, the floor under your feet and the art on the wall”, says Johanna Silver, co-founder and ceo of Mouche.

The Apartment can also be a photo studio for the day, a place for important meetings or decadent parties. In other words, it is a constantly evolving space, with few limitations. In a time when retail is dubbed as doomed, Silver saw a way to bring life and joy into shopping again.

“The retail outlets need to be more than just a shop, they need to become an experience, something worth visiting. In a time when most purchases are made from a sofa the urge to go shopping has decreased. The consumer is comfortable and spoiled but yet with an urge to be impressed. This puts a lot of pressure on the retail landscape and shops are working harder to become a destination.”

With the current development however, Jenny Karlsson, co-founder and business manager, points out, the social aspect of shopping is gone. “You lose the texture and sensation of the product. A retailer has to attract customers with an added value, an experience. Here at The Apartment we get a completely different atmosphere, and we spend a lot of time with our customers.”

Instead of walking into traditional shops, the Mouche customer prefer shopping products that have been put in a context, according to Karlsson.

“I think that the shopping behaviour has changed from buying simple pieces to buying the whole experience. For instance, the consumer is now looking for the perfect dinner with friends and family, not just a table and crockery. The sofa has become a Friday night in with the children and the setting and ambience helps the consumer to envision this dream. The search for the perfect evening needs a setting of the perfect evening. A sofa needs to be accompanied by a pillow, a throw, a table, a candle light to inspire the ambience of your own home.”

As a result, Silver and Karlsson carefully curate what’s on offer in The Apartment together with their team. They travel the world to collect exquisite design pieces such as handcrafted rugs from Marrakech, Italian marble, French vintage and carefully selected Scandinavian designs. “We are so much more than a shop, a showroom and a destination. We create inspiring concepts and environments, we put brands and product into context and we love to work when there are no boundaries for creativity,” Karlsson says.

At the Apartment people will find pieces where every detail has been thought through by the people behind it, exclusive vintage pieces and high-end art. Sometimes the Apartment acts as a gallery, sometimes a fashion show or a setting for an intimate dinner…

“Fashion has become interior and interior fashion. Boundaries are blurred. Today it is not what you wear that defines you, but how you think, eat and live. There are so many more layers to a person,” Silver says. “The trend where people constantly showcase their perfect lives on social media has started to budge. Things are getting more genuine: it’s okay for life to be a bit torn and rough around the edges. That’s the essence of Mouche. We love to work with design in all forms and shapes that have a strong story linked to them, and so much more to tell. In the Apartment we get the opportunity to make these stories come to life.”