Created outlet

Pamela Buxton discovers four examples of retailers that are trying to break the minimal ‘white box’ mould

Presenting luxury garments and accessories beautifully used to be enough for upmarket fashion retailers. But many of the big names in fashion have set their sights on flexible spaces that do far more than sell clothes.

Take Armani, which, last year, opened a three-floor complex in Milan, including a café, restaurant, florist and Sony gallery, and this month, is opening a theatre space designed by Tadao Ando.

Prada’s eagerly-awaited new stores by Rem Koolhaas’s OMA are conceived as part boutique and part performance space and Mandarina Duck, which used experimental design group Droog Design for its Paris store, is also planning to incorporate exhibitions and installations into the new design for its London outlet, its designer is yet to be appointed.

Issey Miyake, meanwhile, is incorporating multimedia display space for artists into his new store in New York’s TriBeCa designed by Frank Gehry and Gordon Kipping. This store will also demonstrate a more exuberant approach to the design of interior that is already evident in Future System’s store design for Marni and Christophe Carpente’s new retail concept for Christian Lacroix.

Even those like Furla and Dunhill have turned their brand values around with new concepts and bold colours. It is clear that the beautiful, but minimal white box that has dominated high-end fashion interiors, may have had its day.

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