The Powershop books, dedicated to collecting the best in retail design, is one of our bestsellers at Frame Publishers. The sixth version of the series is out now, but much has changed in the retail landscape since we first launched our compendiums. So, while putting together this book, we asked ourselves: What is a store today?
Through the 100 case studies we selected for the book, as well as insider interviews with Alberto Caiola, Alex Mok, Briar Hickling, Georg Thiersch and Johannes Torpe, we arrived at a conclusion: retail spaces today can be divided into four categories – community forums, a mirror of the brand, a storytelling device and a gallery.
Here are some highlights from the many project selections available in Powershop 6.
THE RETAIL SPACE AS A COMMUNITY FORUM
Zalando Beauty Station – Batek Architekten
Out of a dark space cluttered with old shop fixtures, shelves and a low ceiling, local studio Batek Architekten excavated a luminous, convertible space that can become many things to many people: a backdrop for beauty services and product presentations, video shoots and pop-up events. It is an Insta-worthy and easily customizable 130-sq-m space.
THE RETAIL SPACE AS A MIRROR OF THE BRAND
Moncler – Curiosity
With its first boutique in the Middle East, located in Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue extension, Moncler was keen to stand out amongst its glamorous neighbours. Tokyo-based studio Curiosity decided that the best way for the Italian outerwear brand to distinguish itself was to go back to its roots and the origin of its brand name – an abbreviation of Monestier de Clermont, an Alpine town in France. So, the snow and ice that dominate the winters there inspired the design concept of ‘an iceberg in the desert.’
Pattern Studio – The Daily Edited
What’s the best way to translate a successful e-commerce brand into the realm of bricks and mortar? Australian design firm Pattern Studio decided the best course of action for The Daily Edited, a purveyor of customisable luxury fashion accessories, would be to pay tribute to its online roots while offering a sensual retail experience that makes the most of its physical presence. The outcome is a feminine but futuristic flagship store that immerses visitors in the brand’s personality.
THE RETAIL SPACE AS A STORYTELLING DEVICE
Oyane Saikatoki – Do.Do.
Located in Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture, the town is famous for its pottery production, and Oyane specializes in one form of the local ceramics craft: Sakai porcelain. Japanese design studio Do.Do. turned these roots into the heart and soul of the brand’s new shop and gallery. In order to channel ‘the spirits of the artists,’ every part of the interior and exterior space is related to the local pottery tradition.
Medly Pharmacy – Sergio Mannino Studio
New York City
Local patrons of Medly Pharmacy order online or from a smartphone app and get delivery to their homes within hours. Building on this digital reputation, Sergio Mannino Studio gave the brand’s first physical location an unusually elegant look and feel: clean but not clinical, industrial but smooth, been-there-forever and brand new at the same time. The goal was to turn this young business into a sell-through-every-channel retail platform where web and cash till sales work in tandem.
THE RETAIL SPACE AS A GALLERY
Isamu Katayama Backlash – Ito Masaru Design Project
‘Life and death, demise and vigour,’ said Ito Masaru, describing the interior of his Chinese flagship for Isamu Katamaya Backlash. It is a spot-on description of this unusual boutique, a space in which ‘ruins and paradise co-exist.’ Backlash eschews the mass market, handcrafting leather garments and accessories using experimental techniques. By juxtaposing the rough, old and austere with the new and unblemished, Masaru imagined a space that radiates strength and renewal.
Powershop 6 is available for purchase here