December saw more etailers branch into bricks-and-mortar, and high-concept flagships drawing diverse inspiration from the NYC subway to Nordic myth. Take a look at our pick…
YME Universe – Oslo
Launched in September 2014 by Central Saint Martins graduate Nicolai Schaanning Lartsen, YME Universe is Oslo’s answer to Colette or Dover Street Market – “a curated universe of fashion, art, interiors and design”. Housed in a preserved mid-19th century building, the store has three main floors each with a unique interior representing part of a mythic Scandinavian tale of ice, fire, blackened emptiness and rebirth. This is definitely worth a look if you are visiting the Scandinavian city, especially once the landscaped roof terrace overlooking central Oslo opens to the public in summer 2015.
BirchBox Man – New York
The brand opened their first brick-and-mortar store earlier this year, and have followed this up with a Christmas pop-up just for men. We had the pleasure of visiting the store during one of our visits to New York recently, and browsed shelves filled with a stylish mix of lifestyle items such as duffle bags and whisky glasses, alongside the main beauty offer of building your own men’s Birchbox or buying individual beauty items.
NN.07 – Copenhagen
The previously online-only retailer NN.07 recently opened its first 2,500sqft concept store in the heart of Copenhagen, featuring a spacious 6m high ceiling. The store is meant to bring to life the brand identity and core values – dedication to detail, burning desire and blazing new trails. The handcrafted interior balances designed objects and customised furniture to create a warm, streamlined ambience. The carefully selected materials consist of brass, marble, concrete and oiled wood, such as ash and smoked oak.
Asics – New York
Asics recently opened a 4,000sqft store on Times Square, approaching the retail design with a localisation in mind. Store elements include a shoe wall referencing the New York street grid, a restored ‘subway car 8394? and a MTA Subway car from 1961 that houses the brands heritage collection. Ceiling-hung fixtures, mounted on rails, are easily moved to open-up the sales floor for morning stretching, yoga classes and evening product presentations, alongside a branded locker area for runners to use when trying out Asics products in the nearby Central Park.
Comme des Garçons – Hong Kong
Luxury retailer I.T has opened a store dedicated to Rei Kawakubo’s diffusion line, Comme des Garçons. The small, neutral store, measuring 1,168sqft, has playful touches such as the brand’s iconic polka-dot pattern transferred onto glass shelving, and display units dipped in a soft pink hue.