Fashion shoe brand Dune London has made is debut in the US by opening its first store on Broadway in the heart of New York’s SoHo district. The store has been designed by London and Edinburgh based, retail design consultancy, Four-by-Two. The move into the US follows an identified gap in the affordable luxury market between those shoe brands at the lower and higher end of the price spectrum. The Broadway store will soon be accompanied by a second located at NYC’s historic World Trade Centre site. Dune recognised that to successfully continue their expansion into the US, they needed to reach out and tap into a broad, fashion-focused customer base. And to attract these new customers, the retailer wanted to develop a strong, unisex and open store that would have the power to stop people in their tracks and draw them inside. Four-by-Two had investigated a fashion focused ‘catwalk’ concept that would showcase the retailers seasonally changing and on trend products. They’d explored inverting a catwalk to a bright and impactful ceiling feature, where the simple logic of displaying shoes above your head, held in place by magnets on a crisply spray-painted metal runway feature, provides an irreverent yet appealing display. Fun and impactful, one hundred shoes literally strutting up and out of the store.
Karen Maxwell, design director at Four-by-Two said: ‘we asked ourselves the question ‘by exploring the gap between art installation, visual merchandising and store design, could the appeal of the shoe as ‘heroine’ bridge the gap and provide a universal appeal: wowing females, yet attracting males too’?” The answer seems to be ‘yes’, soon after opening its doors earlier this month Dune’s Broadway store was voted by New York’s Timeout’s ‘store of the week’. The Broadway store proved an exciting challenge for its designers. Cited in an historic building and heavily guarded by NYC’s Landmarks Preservation Committee (LPC), Four-by-Two worked sympathetically to reinstate and preserve the period fascia, whilst marrying this with a contemporary open glass shop-front that allows customers an uninterrupted view straight into the heart of the store. Inside, punches of colour feature on seating and promotional graphics. Walls and ceilings are deliberately left dark, keeping the focus on the product illuminated on long, linear shelving. Warmth is brought in through contrasting timber floors, highlighting the catwalk feature above. Movie screen walls both near the entrance to draw people in and towards the back to keep them engaged, add to the dynamic catwalk fashion environment.
John Mooney, Head of VM and Store Development at Dune London said “We are all very excited about opening our first US store and delighted that response has been exceptionally positive to both product and store design.” Dune’s ‘catwalk’ store concept first appeared in the UK in 2013. According to figures from Dune London, locations carrying the catwalk concept design have seen significant like-for-like sales uplift.
Design by four-by-two