Following the opening of high-profile retail spaces in China‘s most fashion-forward cities Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai, high-end women’s fashion retailer LOOKNOW returns to the latter hub, the country’s undisputed epicentre of fashion and style, to inaugurate a second store. The company secured a 240 sqm. (2,583 sq.ft.) unit with large floor-to-ceiling windows and two entrances on the ground floor of Xintiandi Fashion II, a newly built shopping centre and residential complex which forms an extension of the upscale Xintiandi shopping district in the heart of the city. The ground floor and overhead office space are framed in a soft yellow hue, making the premises stand, hinting the interior design concept by local architecture practice Sò Studio, but also signalling the store’s ambition as a custodian of cool fashion. The store is divided into three distinct sections: a window exhibition area, a display area, and an accessories area.
Upon entering the premises, shoppers find themselves in the exhibition area which is demarcated by a sizeable yellow framework which also serves as a connector of all of the store’s sections, making it ideal to also use it to present LOOKNOW‘s rotation of pop-up stores, installations and other events. The adjacent accessories section, set in an intimate corner, is lined with shelving in a matching soft yellow hue, and is furnished with curated pieces and items, including a glass cabinet, an oval display, a sizeable standing lamp and one of the custom-made carpets which can be found throughout the premises. Tucked in between the shelving is a small corridor which leads to a fitting room. Directly opposite, beyond a reception desk seemingly crafted from bright yellow cubes, a spacious lounge can be found.
Situated in the middle, below a large suspended screen, a cabin covered in fabric serves as a fitting room, flanked by seating, shelving and displays, all crafted from and set against a backdrop of a highly eclectic mix of both old and repurposed materials. The adjacent space is home to a smaller lounge with tiled flooring and walls with recessed shelving, three striking glass cabinets, in addition to seating and yet another fitting room. At the far end, a window installation can be found which once again underscores the strong recycling element of the store design. This corner is clad in luxurious marble, but also sees exposed concrete, and features a display grid for handbags made from repurposed pipes. As said, LOOKNOW stocks forward womenswear, and currently stocks collections by a wide but tightly curated range of brands from home and abroad, including Calvin Luo, Sunnei, LE17 SEPTEMBRE, Nanushka, Finders Keepers, Alexa Chung and Lvir.