Fashion brands are increasingly turning to architects to shape their identities for the future. Whether it's Camper enlisting Shigeru Ban to create its pavilion in Miami, or G-Star Raw calling on OMA to design its new HQ in Amsterdam, these collaborations are growing in scope and ambition - as documented in our September issue.
And if there's one practice that never falls out of fashion it's OMA. The Rotterdam-based group - known for its ongoing partnership with Prada - has now been signed up by American leather brand Coach, which has challenged the team to design a revolutionary retail display prototype for its New York and Tokyo stores.
'We wanted [to create] a system that could tell the story of any of Coach's wide repertoire of products, whilst projecting the legibility of its original stores,' says OMA partner and project leader Shohei Shigematsu. To this end, the practice has devised a new concept that restores Coach's original, library-like organisational display systems, diluted in recent years, with a modular translucent grid, which can be adjusted to any interior. 'These units can also enclose spaces for program or curation and, by creating enclosures, they can also act as façade,' the architect explains.
Coach's creative director Reed Krakoff, whose own Manhattan atelier is a veritable gallery filled with inspirational design (see W*156), commissioned the 'logical system', to debut at Coach's concession at the newly renovated Macy's at Herald Square in September. Next Spring he will take it to Coach's new multi-level flagship in Tokyo's Omotesando, designed by - who else? - OMA.