United Designers makes an entrance for Armani

United Designers has created a new flagship store for Georgio Armani’s A/X Armani Exchange chain in New York. The new-look store will open on the city’s Fifth Avenue later this month, and its design will be used as a prototype for future outlets.

The 930m2 store covers basement, ground and first floors, with a glazed lift tower cutting through the middle. The 12m, electronically controlled steel door had to be made by the firm which services space agency NASA.

United Designers partner Keith Hobbs explains the choice of door: “It is the biggest entrance to any store on Fifth Avenue. We wanted to create a dramatic entrance as the store is located at the foot of Olympic Towers, a huge skyscraper, ” he says.

The store’s design was inspired by Italy’s open-air markets, Hobbs adds. “The environment is full of warm light, interesting textures and clear hues which are consistent with the A/X collection.”

The floor is covered with sandstone bricks, with terrazzo infill, reminiscent of Italy’s cobblestone streets. A/X specialises in jeans and casualwear. The chain operates 40 stores worldwide.

UK fashion designer Vivienne Westwood is to open a flagship store in New York, designed by David Collins. The 460m2 outlet will open next spring.

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