New concept & stores worldwide

In 2002 Chloé asked us to come up with a concept for their stores. The brand has attitude. Chloé’s image is pretty but also spirited and unpredictable. My aim was to show the contradictions inherent in the Chloé character and to give the shops an edginess which is missing in many luxury designer shops.

We drew our inspiration from things as disparate as Trojan gold, Rodin’s Gates of Hell and a trailor-trash girl at a ballgame.

The first store that we built was in Sloane Street, London. We made the space as airy and expansive as possible, and laid out the furniture in a casual way. There are no formal separations; light diffusing glass screens and rails of clothes loosely divide the space to create fluid ‘rooms’ through which the customers can wander. Only mirrors lean against the walls.

We created understated furniture using materials traditionally thought of as flashy or even vulgar (gold plate, pink marble) and worked with them in a high tech way (such as cutting the marble wafer thin to give table-tops the effect of unnatural slimness). Then, to create tension, we panelled the walls in untreated plywood.

The plywood became a signature of the over 100 Chloé stores worldwide which were consequently constructed in the rolling out of the shop concept over the next five years. This included flagship stores in Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and New York. We designed each of the stores worldwide along the lines of our original concept, remaining always faithful to the brand spirit while incorporating design modifications to suit best the various international markets and cultural differences. We also designed various special architectural elements for certain shops, such as a spiral staircase in raw cast concrete with a refined curved glass balustrade. The staircase reinforced the edgy yet elegant style of Chloé.

Our collaboration with Chloé coincided with the brand’s remarkable and alluring success under the creative direction of Phoebe Philo, with whom we worked closely both on the initial concept development as well as its evolution in 2007. The evolved store concept, an all-white approach, was embraced by Chloé who took it on themselves and with which they have since continued to develop their stores.

Projects featured in numerous magazines worldwide and in the following books:

  • Flagship Stores, Loft Publishers, 2008
  • Fashion Retail 2, Wiley Publishing House, 2007
  • World New Architecture, DUTP, 2006
  • Fashion Retail, Wiley Publishing House, 2004