SHANGHAI – With a name like Comme Moi and a location in the French Concession area of Shanghai, Neri&Hu’s recent retail offering sounds conspicuously European. In reality, though, it’s the brainchild of Lu Yan, one of China’s first-generation supermodels.

Yan (34) called on the local design studio to produce a premier flagship worthy of its young clientele – fans of fashion-forward logo-free garments. In a similar vein to Comme Moi clothing, the space relies on subtle branding.

Neri&Hu’s signature raw-meets-refined aesthetic shines in the Art Deco Donghu Hotel. The site has seen multiple renovations and changes of use since its construction in 1925. Negotiating the traces of a building’s motley past may challenge some, but it’s what Neri&Hu does best. The designers liken their addition of new design elements to the historical interior to 'surgical implants that embody the Comme Moi brand'.

Teamed with oak in certain areas, terrazzo flooring that moves up to form sales counter and seating also extends beyond the interior to confront passers-by. Once inside, shoppers are guided by a continuous rail. Snaking around corners and threading through the store’s four rooms, it also provides structural support for Neri&Hu’s custom-designed cabinetry.

Photos Dirk Weiblen

This article debuted in Frame #109 alongside many other inspirational interviews and projects. Find your copy in the online Frame store.