AF Vandevorst’s bricks-and-mortar dream becomes a reality in the heart of Antwerp
AF Vandevorst designers An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx are no strangers to retail, with four guerrilla stores to their name (each riffing on an ’army hospital’ aesthetic) unfolding years before a flagship location was even a twinkle in Arickx’s eye. The summer of 2014 saw the dream of a permanent bricks-and-mortar boutique become a reality in the heart of Antwerp, with a multi-level shop front that showcases their women’s ready-to-wear collections beneath high ceilings, back-dropped by a stark spiral staircase.
Softening the otherwise clinical atmosphere, architect Thomas Van Looij transformed the 130 sq m space with the help of acclaimed museum scenographer Bob Verhelst, whose finishing touches include a Cubist linoleum floor and a matching patchwork wall of blush-coloured leather - the same used in the brand’s iconic red cross-marked boots. In an exclusive personalisation service, devotees can opt for that cross (or their initials) to be marked out in a pavé of diamonds on white gold.