Window shopping: a virtual tour of the world’s standout boutiques
There’s zero option of a spending spree in a standout bricks-and-mortar boutique, but that doesn’t mean you can’t engage in a little window shopping instead
From Dolce & Gabbana’s mosaic-clad boutique in Puerto Banús, Spain, to Loewe’s first art-filled and tapestry-lined space in New York, we invite you to settle back and zoom into the standout details in these global stores. Retail design has never offered more respite.
Dolce & Gabbana, Puerto Banús, Spain
An ode to modernist Catalan architecture, the label’s Puerto Banús boutique, in Nueva Andalucía, also offers up a tribute to the ocean. Rustic blue ceramic walls, soft furnishings created from natural rope and a floor created using trencadís – a broken mosaic technique formed from shards of glass, all evoke maritime escape, while floor to ceiling windows reveal a resplendent real time harbour view. On the first floor, a terrace houses Dolce and Gabbana’s Martini Bar – a space synonymous with the brand’s retail vision. Imagine shopping the label’s latest Siciliy-inspired wonders, before taking in the Spanish sunset upstairs, sipping on something served with a twist.
Loewe, Soho, New York
Picture settling into this cornflower blue Cassina 637 Utrecht armchair and surveying the art that populates Loewe’s first Manhattan space on Greene Street. In a nod to its other gallery-inspired outposts in cities including London and Tokyo, the oak, Campaspero limestone and concrete-clad space boasts a roster of pieces from the Madrid house’s covetable collection. These include three tapestries depicting photo realist scenes, created by Limoges-based master weavers in France, and conceived originally for the set design of Loewe’s S/S 2020 show, and a figurative hand-painted screen by South African artist Lisa Brice. Top marks for spotting a tea bowl by the Japanese ceramicist Takuro Kuwata and 2018 Loewe Foundation Craft Prize finalist, who creative director Jonathan Anderson collaborated with for the brand’s recent A/W 2020 womenswear show, on a series of sea anemone-like bag adornments and knobbly breastplates.
For his 17th store design for Issey Miyake, Tokyo-based designer Tokujin Yoshioka was inspired by the concept of monozukuri no gemba, or ‘making things.’ The raw concrete walls of the 225sq m space house not just the label’s prismatic Homme Plissé and limited-edition COLOR collections, but also a functional pleating machine. This nods the history of Miyake’s renowned and shrouded in secrecy pleating technology. Here, two Issey Miyake engineers pleat garments – originally cut 1.5 times larger than their final size – live. The Minami-Aoyamal-located street the space is housed on is a Miyake mecca – also playing host to its Issey Miyake mainline, Pleats Please and HaaT to Reality Lab Issey Miyake stores.
Peek through the white vertical blades that are clustered over Prada’s Miami boutique’s large windows, and you’ll find a sleek, chequer mosaic-clad treasure trove, dedicated to mid-century Brazilian design. The space – spanning two floors and 650 sq m – is populated with furniture pieces by Joaquim Tenreiro, Carlo Hauner and Martin Eisler, Jorge Zalszupin, José Zanine Caldas and Sérgio Rodrigues. Take a highly-coveted seat and take in the eye-catching walls of the space, which are clad in sea green bas-relief panels, featuring various 3D floral designs from the brand’s ready-to-wear collections.
We were such fans of the brand’s 70s-centric Dimore Studio-designed Mayfair outpost, that we awarded its seductive VIP room our ‘Best Personal Space’ gong in 2018’s Wallpaper Design Awards. The retro revivalist space nods to the designs of Paul Evans, Pierre Paulin and Gae Aulenti, and pairs contemporary with vintage furniture classics, like armchairs from the 1800s and an ‘Artona’ series dining table by Afra and Tobia Scarpa. We’ve also got a real soft spot for the boutique’s staircase, which is lined with snuggly double height mohair and velvet walls.
Bottega Veneta, Miami Design District, US
Imagine ascending the central dusty pink plaster spiral staircase inside the first boutique designed by creative director Daniel Lee. The calm-inducing light-filled space revels in the interplay of materials, including brass, plywood, leather, resin and reclaimed wood (Lee also favours mixed media in his accessory designs too). Fixtures in bright pops of colour, in blue, orange and green and terrazzo flooring in an array of Verde Guatemala, Bianco di Carrara, Verde Alpi and Nero Marquina marble tones bring bold juxtaposition to stark white shelving and fixtures.
The Row, Mayfair, London
Less retail space, more serene gallery haven, the Annabelle Selldorf-designed boutique in Mayfair’s Carlos Place is brimming with art and design treasures. Wonder at ‘Jai Signh’s Sky’, a James Turrell light piece at the entrance of the store, descend the brand’s majestic arts and crafts wooden staircase and take in pieces by John Chamberlain and Isamu Noguchi across the brand’s two floors. The boutique reflects The Row’s other calm-inducing boutiques in LA and New York, and is populated with furniture pieces sourced from Galerie Jacques Lacoste, Galerie Patrick Seguin, Galerie 54 and Oscar Graf, which, like its men’s and womenswear, are also available to buy.