Located within Manhattan’s landmark SoHo district, the Vera Wang boutique reflects and extends the designer’s sensibility of elegant, performative luxury. Created to showcase the ready-to-wear and Lavender collections, the 2,000-square-foot environment is inspired by the dynamic qualities of a white box theater, an infinitely changeable space that shapes a variety of brand narratives and collection experiences.
The design comprises three main areas: the storefront entrance; the center-stage main collection; and the more intimate collection and changing backstage areas. Whimsical, acrobatic displays exhibit lightness through a graceful interplay of suspended elements while diaphanous, translucent scrims and sliding acrylic partitions veil a layered procession of spaces, shaping a meandering path throughout the boutique. A full-width, white Corian grand stair unfolds down the center of the store, transitioning into the more intimate display and changing area at the rear. LED backlighting behind the individual white steps makes them appear to float mid-air, while translucent acrylic platforms allow the stair to double as a display riser or seating for events.
The material palette incorporates complementary contrasts to reflect the juxtapositions characteristic of Vera Wang’s fashion design. While high-gloss, white epoxy flooring contrasts with diaphanous scrims, synthetic acrylic partitions feature hand-sculpted, curved edges and natural architectural plaster is polished to the point of abstraction. Lighting serves as the primary spatial element and is implemented through LED-infused molding, simulating a range of atmospheric states from daylight to moonlight and imparting ambient illumination to heighten the emotional quality of the space.
Much more than a store, the boutique serves as both a project space for designer Vera Wang’s continual evolution as well as an immersive experience for customers. Through harmonizing whimsical theatrics with refined modern luxury, Gabellini Sheppard successfully creates a stage to showcase the Vera Wang brand.