Josefinas Portugal Nolita boutique in New York by Christian Lahoude Studio
Josefinas Portugal Nolita makes its brick-and-mortar premiere in a feminine space that pays tribute to Portuguese craftsmanship.
Emerging from an online-only existence, Josefinas Portugal (New York) broke into bricks and mortar in New Yorkâ€™s Nolita neighborhood with the goal of exposing more consumers to its brand in an environment that represents the humble beauty of its handcrafted ballet flat shoes.
The long, narrow architecture of the store â€“ typical of the locale â€“ was visually expanded with mirror-clad walls, and feminine touches such as mother of pearl wallpaper, plush furnishings and rose gold accents soften the spaceâ€™s original industrial-style shell. A custom rose gold tree and â€œbranch legâ€ fixtures, sculpted by a Portuguese artisan, tie into the retailerâ€™s heritage and act as subtle focal pieces.
â€œThe store speaks to the femininity of Josefinasâ€™ world, balancing it with a young, fresh feel, while incorporating the distinctive heritage of the brand through the use of exclusively handmade design elements that speak to Portuguese craftsmanship,â€ says Christian Lahoude, principal, Christian Lahoude Studio (New York).
The projectâ€™s hurdles primarily involved its limited budget, explains Lahoude. Some simple cost-savers included painting exposed ductwork and adding beams rather than rebuilding the ceiling.
VMSDâ€™s 2017 judges appreciated the interiorâ€™s simplicity: â€œEven though we could say this appears to be a fairly traditional retail space, their interpretation of the space and experience is pretty innovative,â€ said Bink Zengel, vp â€“ brand experience innovation, marketing, Luxottica (Milan).
Another competition judge, Matt Bosserman, associate vice president â€“ design, L Brands (Columbus, Ohio), added, â€œThey had a clear direction to make themselves look different from their competitors.â€
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