Alberta Ferretti Los Angeles
With the new shop concept for fashion house Alberta Ferretti, the architect has developed a language of lightness and transparency, grounded by a sophisticated yet simple palette to form the perfect backdrop to this collection. The principle design features of the new 400 sq mt flagship store in Los Angeles are the flexibility of the bespoke magnetic display system, the disciplined continuity of the materials and the skillful use of lighting to create an atmosphere that is as sensual, airy and ethereal as the clothes themselves. But the process by which the concept was developed and constructed was the key to delivering value to the client, ensuring that the project was realised as envisioned and that budgets were met without compromising quality. Flexibility is achieved by a completely unique system of magnetic hangers and shelving which can be freely placed against lacquered steel panels. Composed of gloss lacquered fibreglass, these elegant full-bust hangers bring the clothes to life, displaying them in their natural and volumetric form rather than limply two-dimensional. The freestanding elliptical rails are made from a new 'black' stainless steel, a technique developed especially for this project. The 'V' profile of the rail disguises the hanger fixings and forms a crown under which the clothes appear to float freely. Scattered throughout the shop are Perspex screens inlaid with stainless steel to which more magnetic hangers can be fixed. Lacquered petals and mannequins appear to grow naturally out of the floor in elegant compositions, offering additional display flexibility. The choice of materials is restrained and deliberate. Quality is allowed to speak for itself and finishes repeat throughout, creating a harmonious backdrop of simplicity and continuity against which the luxury of the clothes can stand out. Lighting is an integral element of the design. The Perspex screens are both transparent and reflective, casting intriguing shadows, permitting the flow of light, and creating a mood at once surreal and understated, an effect enhanced by the reflectivity of the surface finishes. Integral LED lights in the steel rails direct attention to the hanging garments, accentuating texture, and literally highlighting the beauty and sensuality of Alberta Ferretti’s clothes. The architect's process for delivering retail projects enables full control from concept to completion. The site is reduced as close to a blank slate as possible and then every detail from wall panels to mannequins to door handles are designed in house. From the initial concept through to manufacture, delivery and installation, the smallest detail of the design can be supervised. This prefabrication enables all the components to be installed on site very quickly, reducing costly site time and improving quality control. Feedback since the shop opened last autumn has been extremely positive and reinforces our belief and philosophy that innovative and functional design does not mean sacrificing beauty. Audrey Kim, General Manager of Alberta Ferretti Los Angeles: "The store architecture is incredible and the magnetic walls and removable fixtures genius!...We are able to complete floor moves quickly and efficiently due to the set up of covered holes for either petals or mannequins. One day we will have shelves of a shoe area and within minutes change it to a sleek area of evening wear...The architects have successfully married both aesthetics and practicality in a selling environment...To myself and the staff it allows a creative outlet and inspires us to continually think of new ways we can create a new experience for the customer...the staff and I and many many clients believe and say this is the best store in Los Angeles."


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