New York City – Leong Leong brings the radical transparency of new-school apparel retailer Everlane to the design of the brand’s first-ever physical store on Prince Street. The interior is white, almost overexposed – skylights flood the space with daylight from above. Fitted with symmetrical, semi-transparent dividers between sections of merchandise, the largely linear layout opens Everlane Prince through the 280-sq-m depth of space from its glass storefront.
Direct-to-consumer retailer Everlane famously takes its company model from the software development industry: its products are continuously optimized iterations of simple yet high-end everyday basics. Founder Michael Preysman told the New Yorker that ‘you do not get laid in Everlane’ – meaning there are no sexy slits, frills or fuss, just practical pieces that will hopefully become customers’ go-to items.
Working in close collaboration with Everlane, Leong Leong adopts this simplicity with natural wood and perforated metal in a clean and minimal palette along white walls and floors. The deliberate avoidance of accessories or ornament underlines the brand’s mission of radical transparency, where every production cost associated with each item of clothing is disclosed, from labour to transportation and mark-up.
The online origins of the retailer are integrated into the store by reimagining the payment counter as a concierge desk that allows customers to access their online accounts and purchasing history to shop cashless and cardless. The new bricks-and-mortar store marks a critical point for Everlane, not just because customers can now touch and try the clothes. The fitting-room area features a large common space with a four-metre mirror to promote a social shopping atmosphere, and Everlane intends the flagship store to play host to community events and education panels.