17 Jul 2019 • Lauren Grace Morris
How to tread new retail design terrain? Venture beyond Earth for inspiration
There’s a bit of irony in Her, a new womenswear-boutique-cum-café in downtown Hong Kong, if the old adage that women are from Venus and men are from Mars is true. A project from popular local stylist Hilary Tsui, the shop is meant to capitalise on ‘femininity, purity and strength’, but its interior design concept was inspired by Mars, not Venus.
Situated in popular shopping district Causeway Bay, Her’s exterior façade has wide arched windows that give passersby a reason to be curious about entering the tawny environment. Conceived by Valencia-based Clap Studio, the store’s interiors are host to a union of materials and geometric shapes that reference the sinuous Martian landscape.
‘[Our] aim with the store is to transport the user to a new planet, so we designed an entire experience around it,’ Clap co-founder Angela Montagud explained.
Space explorers must find their way around terracotta-tiled ‘mountains’ dotted with circular white ‘lotus leaves’ – or, in this planet’s terms, merchandising tables – to discover product from independent designers such as Anaïs Jourden, Pushbutton and Chance. Mirrored column surfaces, wavy coat racks and archways are other main features. After shopping, visitors can sit and relax among the reddish platforms, or put themselves at ease in the café area.
And, of course, the final touch: purchases are vacuum-packed for one’s convenience, as they descend back to Earth.