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Stores we love – October 2015

Cool minimalism ruled this month at the latest Apple and Acne openings, while two of our favourite activewear brands launched multi-use clubhouse concepts. Take a look at our pick…

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© Photography by Jeroen Verrecht

Apple Store – Brussels

Apple has revealed its first store interior since British designer Jonathan Ive took over as Chief Design Officer, coinciding with the launch of the Apple watch in Belgium earlier this month. The new look remains respectful to earlier clean store palettes, using light-toned walls, chunky sequoia wood tables and benches, and a large glass facade. The evolved concept brings added softness with two rows of trees in the centre of the space, and a dedicated area for talks against the backdrop of a large screen that spans the back wall.  

What we love:

Ive has designed secret motion sensor charging outlets for iPhones, watches and iPads to keep the interior as elegant as possible. The outlets are revealed once visitors swipe their hand under a compartment, like they would “slide to unlock,” the gesture is registered and the compartment rotates. Genius!

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© Photography by Annabel Elston
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© Photography by Annabel Elston

Acne – Seoul

Acne has opened its third outpost in South Korea, using its signature minimal and industrial aesthetic seen in recent openings in Downtown LA and Pelham Street, London. The 230sqm two-storey standalone building, located at the heart of the Cheongdam-dong district, evokes a ghostly atmosphere cladded with polycarbonate panels that softly diffuse light from the store within. Meanwhile the interior utilises a simple palette of concrete imprinted with the pattern of rough timber, glass and reflective metal.  

What we love:

Once inside, visitors realise the ghostly shell is completely separate from the concrete interior, supported by four pairs of concrete pillars that cause it to behave like an elegant display case.

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© Photography by kenta hasegawa

Descente Blanc – Tokyo

Tokyo certainly isn’t short of new store openings with Descente Blanc being the latest to catch our eye in the Daikanyama district. The sportswear brand has opened a two-floor store that redesigns the service routine of staff fetching products from the stockroom. A main feature of the store, the hanging clothes rails is situated on the ground floor and can be raised or lowered for extra sizes or colours, ultimately keeping staff on the shop floor. 

What we love:

The store evokes a cold, even barren, industrial feel through the use of existing structural steel painted in anti-corrosive paint, and the exposed concrete walls and floor. We love how this has been balanced with the continuation of wood into the store from the pedestrianised decking outside, and the down mountaineering jackets that hang enticingly above shoppers’ heads.

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© BDA London

Kit & Ace – London

Son and wife to Lululemon Founder, Chip Wilson, have created Kit & Ace, a brand specialising in luxury “technical” cashmere (machine washable). The retailer opened a permanent residency in Shoreditch’s Redchurch Street in September, after trialling a pop-up in the city during the summer. It’s the first Kit & Ace outlet in Europe, marking the start of the retailer’s international expansion with the aim of opening multiple stores across UK and Australia within the next year.

What we love:

We think the store is in a prime position, nestled alongside Sweaty Betty and Frame’s workout studio, with Shoreditch House conveniently round the corner. The store hosts Sorry Coffee Co. serving artisan coffees and it regularly rotates artists’ work on the walls.

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© Coordination Asia
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© Coordination Asia

Nike Studio – Beijing

This isn’t a new store opening for Nike, but a continuation of the brand’s immersive story-doing journey. This 1,200-sqm studio gym in Beijing continues on from the female 45 Grand gym that opened in New York earlier this year, offering visitors access to two “high-impact, high energy” workout areas, the lounge and product exhibition spaces across its two floors.

What we love:

The space is inherently Nike with its bold training philosophy: “Don’t dream of it. Train for it” emblazoned on the entrance doors, alongside training spaces purposely darkened, except from neon lighting reminiscent of Tron, to focus training visitors to stay “in the zone”. We particularly love how Nike has heroed its latest products using creative gallery installations, a tactic used by many of the high-end fashion houses for example, Hermès Wanderland and Louis Vuitton Series 3.


5-8 Hardwick Street London EC1R 4RG - UK

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