Stepping off the retail grid, this Melbourne trainer ‘gallery’ merges online shopping with the traditional try-on facilities of a bricks-and-mortar store. ‘We wanted to create a multibrand with a new luxury movement at its core,’ says creative director Chris Kyvetos. To shop, Sneakerboy customers first register online for a special ID. In store, there are no tills or products to take home. All purchases must be made through an iPhone or the in-house iPads, fixed to custom spun-steel chairs.

The showroom carries a full-size range of each style (there are more than 1,500), while orders are shipped direct to customers from a Hong Kong warehouse. The design by local firm March Studio begins with a large circular steel portal at the entrance, which directs visitors to the ‘viewing chamber’, where, inspired by the same retro futurism of an Underground station, illuminated glass shelves display each style. In the live-wire server room, scrolling LED tickers credit each shoe’s designer, and when customers scan purchases with the Sneakerboy app, the pricing and sizing options pop up, along with responsive comments like ‘sold out’.

TAGS: RETAIL DIRECTORY