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As recessionary woes ease, businesses are turning to unique and cutting-edge store design to draw attention. Footwear News highlights seven recent retail debuts that use cultural inspirations, vivid colors and eco-friendly materials to revamp or create an entirely new buying experience.
The Vision: When United Nude made its U.S. debut last month, the retailer aimed to create a shop with a classic cinema-like feel by playing up the contrast between light and dark.
The Goods: United Nude’s full line of women’s shoes are available, as well as a selection of Stealth hats made specifically for the Bond Street location. Next March, the retailer will add a line of men’s shoes to the 1,800-sq.-ft. space.
The Design: With co-founder and Creative Director Rem D. Koolhaas behind the design, the space features a wall of light that contrasts with the dark feel of the shop, leaving only the product illuminated. The shoes sit in cubes on a shelving formation, which feature a computer-controlled lighting system in bright colors such as green, pink and blue. In the middle of the sales floor is a steel sculpture of a Lamborghini, giving the space a very modern and flashy feel.
The Vision: The Geox team set out to communicate the brand’s eco-friendly philosophy when the store opened in February in the Breathing Building. It also aimed to illustrate its two main product concepts: breathability and Italian fashion.
The Goods: Geox offers its full line of footwear and apparel for women, men and children.
The Design: Paolo Cermasi of Paolo Cermasi & Associates headed up the design team and focused on timely trends. At older locations, Geox worked with dark walls and black shelves, but for this project, it switched to a nature-driven vibe. To achieve this, the three-story, 9,000-sq.-ft. space presents product in a simple and sophisticated way, using mostly natural woods and fabrics in almost all white for a bright décor. On the outside of the building is a panel system that creates air ventilation designed to conserve electricity.
West Hollywood, Calif.
The Vision: The designer wanted to play up the Hollywood lifestyle, finding inspiration in classic films and artists.
The Goods: The space, open since September, houses all the Christian Louboutin signature footwear styles, as well as handbags and clutches.
The Design: At the entrance of the 1,800-sq.-ft. Robertson Boulevard shop is an iron gate embedded with the brand logo, similar to that of Paramount Studios. Created by New York-based design firm 212box, the shop features white ceramic tiles on one side in the first room, with encrypted numbers and symbols representing a “signature Louboutin language.” The middle room houses a tin-panel cash wrap that doubles as a bar. Hand-blown glass bubbles lead customers to the second floor, where the retail rooms and VIP lounge are located.