Amidst the current retail frenzy, the house of Hermès has also raised its profile, relocating its boutique in the swanky neighbourhood of Belgravia a few blocks down the road to premises almost double the size. It’s set across two floors of a listed 1950s building, and the interior design by Paris-based architecture practice Rdai is predictably lavish and elegant.
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Windows featured chrome finish ‘UFO’ pods, surrounded by jewel-tone cabochon lights. Footwear and accessories are displayed atop a red rocket trail, whilst an illuminated shard extends from a heap of glittering moon rock. Galactic star-filled backdrops feature Louboutin’s take on a glamorous astronaut, the new collection floating in zero-gravity nearby.
The interior store layout is a metaphor for the breaking waves that inspired the angled layout of the fixtures. Fixtures are clustered in stories – much like campfires around which customers gather along the shoreline. A signature deep aqua resin concrete flooring defines the area for the sandbar and customer service.
Following the opening of its first store at Cidade Jardim mall in São Paulo four years ago, revived Italian fashion house Valentino has opened a second boutique at Jk Iguatemi, a rivalling luxury mall situated only a stone’s throw away across the Pinheiros river.
Taking inspiration from the studio spaces of high-end fashion designers, Formroom looked to combine materials swatches and hardware samples with bespoke cabinetry a in a combination of marble, mirror and gold tones. Large digital screens and iPads in store also allow customers to custom build their bags online from within the store.
The walnut wood, the marquina black marble and the metallic elements result in furniture that stands out for the richness of its details. The flexible exhibition system used in the walls allows to display all types of garments and accessories. The sculptural counter plays with the intersection of marble volumes and a side glass display case for small products.
The challenge, however, was not simply applying these new experiential elements to one store, but rather, translating them across a wide variety of global points of sale, including Athens, London, Beijing and New York etc. From large flagship stores, to standalone boutiques, to shop-in-shop retail spaces, E23 was tasked with creating a flexible yet coherent design approach.
The interior setting, once again created by local practice Akin Creative, is modern and follows clean lines inspired by 1950s modernism. Captured by a simple palette of timber and concrete, and paired with custom-made light fixtures and curated photographic artworks, it’s a welcoming open space that fuses the dynamics of retail with those a meeting place for likeminded spirits.