Vera Wang Boutique
New York, New York
The new Vera Wang boutique, in a historic cast-iron building in Manhattan's landmark Soho district, reflects and extends the designer's sensibility of elegant, performative luxury. The 2,000-square-foot, two-level environment is infused with light and based on the dynamic qualities of a white box theater, an infinitely changeable space that shapes a variety of narratives. The design comprises three main areas: the storefront area, considered as a proscenium stage, followed by the middle-stage main collection, and continuing with the backstage collection and changing areas.
Customers enter as performers on a stage, stepping onto the elevated, double-height proscenium at the front of the store. The spatial sequence unfolds down a full-width, white Corian grand stair, which transitions into the more intimate display and changing area at the rear of the space. With LED backlighting, the steps appear to float; they double as seating for special events or a display riser with translucent acrylic platforms.
The whimsical, acrobatic display concept relies on lightness and a graceful interplay of suspended, reconfigurable elements: simple shell-like hangbars and cascading, translucent shelving units that drape from the ceiling in groups of three. Diaphanous, translucent scrims form a backdrop to the hangbars, while veiling a layered procession of spaces and shaping a meandering path throughout the boutique area. Recessed LED lights ring the floor perimeter, imparting theatrical and ambient illumination and heightening the emotional quality of the space. The fitting rooms are conceived as glowing volumes, sensory spaces that punctuate the theatrical ambience of the retail environment.