Fran Hickman Designs for Huishan Zhang Mayfair London


A Flagship Store for a Rising Star of Haute Couture

Huishan Zhang’s collections offer romance and sophistication: feminine details, strong lines and directional design. His signature style consciously brings together Western influence and Eastern heritage; and our interior for his flagship London store closely reflects this brand philosophy.

An interconnected pair of moon gates – common architectural features in the traditional Chinese garden – link the two rooms at the heart of the shop, grounding Zhang’s identity and highlighting the dualism at play in his work. At the same time as obscuring a structurally-significant beam, they echo the shape of the number eight – a potent and auspicious number in Chinese numerology.

Zhang’s own approach is utterly timeless. So evoking a landscape shaped by 3,000 years of tradition felt entirely appropriate. His decorative femininity is reflected in the delicate, hand-painted, floral borders; the permanence of rock and solidity of wood in the granite and cedar storage blocks; and – in what is often considered the most important aspect of Chinese garden tradition – the concept of jiè jìng (borrowing) is reflected in the hidden dressing rooms, where floors, ceilings and walls are carpeted in pink – to create the illusion of unexpected space.



A Restaurant and Bar for the Experimental Group

The creation of a brand new Mayfair members’ club – inspired by the surreal game play of Duane Michals and Man Ray – was always going to be demanding. Phase one of the project: to open up and re-imagine three floors of a six-storey townhouse unoccupied for last ten years. Handled from start to finish by our in-house architects, the six-month construction process began with planning and building control. We designed and built the ground floor restaurant, the first floor bar and the lower ground cloakrooms and installed new industrial kitchens. 

In the public spaces, colours and compositions were influenced by the masterful combination of organic and geometric shape found in antique Japanese prints. Our inspirations were wide-scattered – from Carlo Mollino’s butterflies to Renzo Mongiardino’s faux marquetry; from the artwork of Charles Baskerville through Jean Royère’s metalwork and David Hicks’ pop colours to Yves St Laurent’s personal furnishings. The objective: to create a unique space which feels rooted and workable yet celebratory and refined.

Winner of Best Leisure Interior UK, at the UK Property Awards 2017. 



A Retail Interior for Emilia Wickstead

Arranged over two floors, in an enviable corner building on Sloane Street, this 2,000 sq ft split space is designed to tell both sides of the Emilia Wickstead story.

The ground floor is architecturally focused. Our chic, sophisticated use of materials, inspired by Emilia’s feminine, strictly tailored approach, reflects the spirit of Le Corbusier’s modernist Villa Savoye: carefully considered, sweeping cuts of terrazzo combine with sharp, clean lines and soft, curved forms.

The lower ground imitates a private dressing room. Upholstered wall panels, bathed in Emilia’s signature pink, hide an atelier, a larger fitting room, wardrobes and a guest WC. The furnishing and fabrics all take their cue from the floral playfulness of Dorothy Draper.

Winner of Best Retail Interior UK, at the UK Property Awards 2017.


TOWNHOUSE, Belsize Park

A Residential Interior for a Private London Client
This 4,500 sq ft townhouse – home to a senior director of modern British art at a leading London auction house – showcases the skills of Britain’s finest craft makers whilst comfortably honouring modernist sensibilities. An eight-bedroom family home which celebrates unadorned simplicity, stays honest to quality materials and still contains timeless, elegant works handmade with heart by Marthe Armitage, Soane, Pinch and Marianna Kennedy.


A Retail Interior for Moda Operandi

Just off Hyde Park Corner, inside a Grade II listed former stable block, we created the interiors and project managed the build for an exclusive, luxury fashion salon.

Personal, private spaces were constructed from ribbon-lined, made-to-measure dressing screens. Moda’s palette of creams, cool greys and dusty peaches was allowed to build to a dramatic Art Deco pink in the dressing rooms. Bespoke lighting, furniture and accessories were all tailored to fit the space.

This design is being developed for salons in Miami and Hong Kong.



A Residential Conversion for a Property Developer

In a former NCP car park, just off Carnaby Street, in the heart of Soho, we were asked by the Vinyl Factory to design and construct three loft apartments. This substantial remodelling (8,500 sq ft) required a design to anticipate the needs of future residents.

Sympathetically modernised spaces, suitable for work, reflection and play, now retain their original architectural features. Meanwhile the building’s fabric is echoed in an idiosyncratic mix of furnishings found anywhere and everywhere – from flea markets to high-end suppliers of modern, classic design.



A Residential Interior for a Private Client

Bought by a well-travelled musician as a private London base, this 2,500 sq ft penthouse apartment, just off Bond St, was upgraded with rooms designed for writing and relaxing between busy touring schedules.

A style conscious bachelor, with a leaning towards fashions from the Left Bank, we tailored the environment with a mix of custom designed furniture and pieces by Rick Owens, Sebastian Brajkovic, Herve van der Straeten and Charlotte Perriand.



A Gallery Remodelling

Occupying a light, airy space inside a former postal sorting office in Victoria, our work here extended the gallery wall space, improved the furniture in the exhibition area and upgraded the lighting. The gallery was also re-designed to provide better storage and more privacy for the office.



Projects in development currently include: retail spaces on Mount St, Motcomb St and Sloane St, an international project for Farfetch, a co-working space in the Arabian desert, a townhouse in North London and a modernist beach house in East Hampton, US.