Bigger, more extravagant and luxurious â€“ these attributes do not seem to describe the standard anymore for the interior design of American fashion stores. Instead of chasing superlatives, designers are increasingly getting back to basics. In fashion outlets from California to Canada, reduction is at the forefront of interior designs, giving the collections room to shine on their own.
With its diverse fashion scene, North America is a favourite travel destination for fashion enthusiasts from all over the world. Events like New York Fashion Week set international trends, making them central meeting points of the industry. The many flagship stores and boutiques of both internationally renowned couture labels and independent designers in New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver also make the hearts of style-conscious world travellers skip a beat.
What is displayed on the runways of New York and other cities is reflected in the design aesthetic dominating American fashion outlets. After all, fashion labels need to have their own personality, and are expected to offer their customers a certain added value during the shopping experience. Nevertheless, the days of extravagant staging seem to be over. Today, instead of luxury and opulence, fashion labels rely more on restraint and understatement. A decidedly minimalist approach is thus integral to the trends currently dominant in retail decor.
The most recent example of this development is the interior of the new Givenchy flagship store in New York: Head designer Riccardo Tisci is sending a clear message with his design for the return of this high-fashion label to the fashion capital. On a total of 400 square metres, the reduced ambience in black and white invites shoppers to see and be seen. Mirrored and varnished surfaces make for distinctive accents within an otherwise understated design, while conveying a picture of discreet luxury.
The tried-and-tested materials of minimalist design and architecture are also being shown new appreciation as the current trend takes hold: Exposed concrete walls in the new Seattle shop of streetwear brand Likelihood underscore the labelâ€™s rustic style. Neon lights and wall panelling made of wooden slats likewise evoke a feeling of authenticity. By contrast, the Valentino flagship store in New York, designed by famed British architect David Chipperfield, is dominated by grey terrazzo. Its polished surfaces lend the shop on Fifth Avenue, otherwise furnished only with the current collections, a strikingly sophisticated atmosphere.
In the fast-paced world of fashion, with its constantly shifting trends, more restrained shop concepts offer a feeling of timelessness, including those of so-called pop-up shops, which only remain open for a limited period of time. In the pop-up shop currently open in Los Angeles of Scandinavian H&M subsidiary COS, the new inclination to the notion that â€śless is moreâ€ť is apparent, among other design features, in the reduced colour spectrum. The entire shop bears the mark of the collectionâ€™s reserved, pastel hues. Steel sheets with garment-shaped cutaways serve both as room dividers and eye-catching sculptural displays in the otherwise purist interior. With this concept, the creative minds of New York studio â€śSnarkitectureâ€ť succeeded in translating the clean lines of COS fashion into an interior which is as clean as it is stylish.