Kazuyo Sejima was one of Derek Lam’s very first customers, and when the NY fashion designer decided to go ahead and commission the design for his very first boutique in New York, Sejima and his partner, Ryue Nishizawa quickly came up first on the list for his architect of choice. The store opened to the public last week and is set to be, according to Lam, “a sure step towards solidifying the brand’s identity”. With the Sanaa duo’s masterful hand behind the design, the brand has found its perfect architectural match.
See more images of the new Derek Lam store in NY
The store is situated on the ground floor of a 19th century old manufacturing building in lower SoHo. The architects chose to completely strip down the existing space to its bare bones, in order to create their vision of the brand’s flagship; a clean space, which would be simple, yet elegant and refined, corresponding Lam’s fashion and designs.
Custom-made wood and aluminium furniture was fitted in the space, as were four clear acrylic “bubbles” in the store’s main hall. The transparent organic forms are spread across the display area, and create sub-spaces within the large store’s main room, showcasing the designer’s lines, in clothing and accessories; while one of them can be separated visually from the rest, closed off with bright golden-coloured fabric for extra privacy and special occasions.
For the walls, the architects kept the original building’s brick, but painted them white; combined with the transparent central forms and the light reflecting on the walls and the acrylic, they make a subtle contrast to the store’s concrete grey floor.
Calm and minimal, and with attention to detail and carefully selected materials, the store is the ideal environment for the fashion designer’s creations, and is also Sanaa’s first New York realisation since their recent wallpaper* award-winning New Museum’s opening, about a year ago (w* 107).