The last place you’d expect to find a skatepark is in London’s famous department store, Selfridges.
However deep within the 105-year-old institution, buried below floors of Dolce and Gabbana threads and Mulberry handbags, the abandoned Old Selfridges Hotel was transformed for four weeks only into a rad pop-up skatepark.
First impressions of the skatepark
From the outside, it seems like an unlikely location for a skatepark – right in the heart of Oxford Street behind throngs of businessmen and jostling tourists. As I descended the industrial staircase entrance, I was wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The sound of screeching wheels and a hubbub of chatter echoed off the concrete walls below.
As I stepped inside, I was pleasantly surprised to find it packed. Dozens of girls were tearing up and down ramps, dropping stair sets, practicing their ollies on the flat – and there was a queue of newbies lining up to hire boards.
Over 10,000 skaters have come through the doors since it opened four weeks ago
It was the second Cooler Magazine Girls Skate Night and the turnout was impressive. Over 60 girls of all ages and abilities rocked up to try out the park - from those who’d never stepped on a board before alongside the legendary Lucy Adams and ripper Josie Millard (who was intent on putting down a kickflip on both stair sets – and stomped it). You can check out the highlights from the first night below!
The space was huge – a warren of interconnected rooms with riders hitting the vertical Selfridges-themed features including an iconic yellow Selfridges bag and pair of sunglasses and dropping off the giant magazine cover.
Even Olympic bronze medallist Jenny Jones showed up to show her support!
Even bronze medallist Jenny Jones turned up to give the girls some encouragement, setting everyone challenges to complete and cheering them on.
Where did the idea come from?
The idea behind the project came from creative agency Prime & Fire who joined forces with HTC One and Selfridges to combine street fashion with skateboarding culture. Outside, the Selfridges shop windows are hung with limited edition skatedecks designed by Stella McCartney and Jimmy Choo.
Phil Young, creative director of Prime & Fire, helped bring the skatepark to life. “Skateboarding carries with it a lifestyle that is equally at home in a purpose built West End skatepark as it is in the urban back streets of the world’s greatest city,” he said.
Clearly London’s skaters agree. The project has proved hugely popular with over 10,000 skaters coming through the doors since it opened on 27 March.
How do I check it out for myself?
With only four days left until this rad creation is demolished, you’d better get down there fast!
It’s open until Friday from 12pm to 9pm plus this Saturday from 10am to 9pm with free skate lessons from 10am to 12pm.
Whet your appetite by checking out all the edits from the past few weeks below!