Carnaby Street’s Christmas butterfly kaleidoscope installation reflects on impact of Covid-19

By Becky Bargh 29-Sep-2021

Featuring decorative neon butterflies, the street’s design for 2021 evokes the world’s emergence from the global pandemic

Carnaby Street, arguably one of London’s most famous shopping streets, and home to some of beauty’s biggest names, has announced the theme of its annual Christmas decorations.

For 2021, the street’s organisers will immerse shoppers in a kaleidoscope of neon coloured butterflies – 600 to be exact.

Each of the 3D and 2D ornamental butterflies, opening on 4 November, have been hand-decorated with reflective wings and bright neon patterns.

The Carnaby Street arch will also be illuminated in bright pink shimmer disks with more butterflies perched above to welcome visitors onto the street.

Beauty brands set to benefit from the Christmas attraction include Too Faced, Pixi, Benefit Cosmetics, War Paint for Men and salon brand Duck & Dry.

For this year’s collaboration, Shaftesbury, the investment company behind Carnaby Street, has teamed up with Choose Love, a store that sells items for refugees and displaced communities.

As part of the partnership, Choose Love will open a pop-up on the street in an effort to raise funds for refugees around the world, with an additional fund raising stream set up for people displaced from Afghanistan.

A star-studded guest list, including Laura Whitmore, Dermot O’Leary, Annie Mac and Carey Mulligan, are expected to make appearances at the space.

“We are proud to welcome back Choose Love as our charity partner this year and help highlight all the fantastic work they do, and with their pop-up experience returning everyone has a chance to get involved in supporting this wonderful charity,” said Simon Quayle, Shaftesbury’s Director.

“This year’s butterfly theme represents a time of change and emergence, something we’ve all gone through during recent times, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to Carnaby to experience this beautiful and unique installation.”

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Meanwhile, Josie Naughton, the founder of Choose Love, added: “We are deeply honoured to be supported by our wonderful friends at Shaftesbury again this year through both the incredible light installation and a shop space where we will be popping up for November and December on the iconic Carnaby Street.”