31 Jul 2018 • Retail
Why Miami’s luxury retail market is dressing down
Alchemist’s fourth boutique is located just around the corner from its first. How is curated luxury in demand in Miami Beach? Consider Alchemist, the luxury retailer known for its inventory of brands such as Balenciaga, Vetements and Fear of God, all part of the current antifashion ethos that is taking over the market. The ability to afford a sense of humour, IKEA bags and all, is the new luxury when it comes to targeting high-end consumers.
While the sector is undergoing this landmark shift, the spatial design of luxury retail is having to respond to an unconventional demand. And Miami, a city known for its Art Deco colour palette and maximalist approach, is designing retail spaces for the new dressed-down luxury in its own unique way – case in point, the new Alchemist boutique.
Conceived by local studio Rene Gonzalez Architects, the space references both the lavish aesthetic of Miami as well as the gallery-like white walls usually associated with Vetements purveyors. To pay tribute to the city’s brightly saturated landscape, the studio teamed up with industrial designer Germans Ermičs to create a gradient of orange and blue for its cash desk. The structure, made in mirrored glass, is wrapped in panels of a material the duo have tagged Ethereal Glow. The gradient acts as a center of attention within the otherwise clean design of raw concrete flooring and customised steel clothing racks and shelves.
And all in all, the space doesn’t take itself as seriously as the previous locations that were also designed by Gonzalez. The design adopts the luxury-anti-luxury trend and adapts it for a clientele that craves the city’s own brand of lush optimism.