08 Apr 2021 • Retail
Vans' new experiential Shanghai store taps into youth culture
The streetwear retailer worked with Coordination Asia to bring a 'creative hub' to the Chinese city.
A shopping centre geared toward youth culture, Shanghai’s TX Huaihai was the perfect fit for Vans’ first boutique store in Asia. The American brand – known for its skate shoes – opened its inaugural retail presence in Shanghai in 2008 and is extending its footprint in China with a multi-use ‘creative hub’. Going beyond retail to additionally serve as a spot for events, art shows and concerts, the 220-sq-m Coordination Asia-designed lifestyle space is poised to ‘actively engage’ consumers and encourage likeminded young creatives to come together.
Spatial references to skateboarding, music and street art are aplenty throughout the interior, immersing visitors in the brand culture. The shop’s two entrances nod to the ‘A’ and ‘B’ side of vinyl records. Constructed with concrete and CMU blocks, the street-level entry (complete with an outdoor seating area) gives an urban vibe, while the mall-side’s takes on a minimalistic plywood look. These materials are also used to define different feature areas in the open layout. Vans will display a changing rotation of curated content, including independent publications, skate-related art pieces and films, and Coordination Asia was inspired by the idea of sidewalk galleries. At the centre of the store is a triangular cash-wrap-cum-DJ-station made from black metal and grey marble.