In the morning, the SoHo sun slips over sheets of plywood and mirrored boxes and filters through skeleton walls made of four-by-twos in a filigreed geometry. Neither construction site nor art gallery, Feit is a 54-m2 footwear flagship across from New York City’s Sanaa-designed New Museum, which is reflected in the rear walls of the store. Jordana Maisie (with Feit founder Tull Price of Rag & Bone and Royal Elastics fame) built Feit largely from matte-polyurethaned birch plywood shorn into clean angles and planes. Price calls Feit a 'luxury modern-day cobbler', because it uses age-old shoemaking techniques to produce a contemporary product. Maisie expressed hand-making by opting for one-off furnishings built by two carpenters on site – and by pushing the materials. 'The geometries of the displays,' she says, 'ask things of the materials and the fabrication processes that are not typically demanded from them.' The cash desk is, let’s just say, multidirectionally polygonal. A triangular glass vitrine in its face slides like a drawer but looks like a crystalline art object. Vertically mounted fluorescent fixtures distinguish display from service areas, like shoe repair and mirror-clad fitting rooms. The striated lighting reinforces the varying pace at which passers-by cross the façade and, reflected in the mirror, confounds the shop’s dimensions. What is unexpected – apart from realizing that you’re not sure where the door is once you’ve tried to exit through a mirror – is the great clarity with which the shoes stand out on their blank plywood perches.
Photos Ben Pogue
This project is featured in Frame #104, the latest issue just unveiled during Milan Design Week 2015. Find our pop-up shops at Designjunction (Via Pietro Mascagni 6), the Moooi Showroom (Via Savona 56) and Salone del Mobile (Fiera Milano, Strada Statale 33 del Sempione 28, Hall 6, Stand 12).