Cole Haan

Ladies First
Posted November 29, 2004

What do you do with two floors? If you're Cole Haan and you've just opened a two-level store in the high-profile Shops at Columbus Circle in New York, you put the women's merchandise downstairs, front and center.

"Our women's merchandise - especially handbags and accessories - is playing an ever-more prominent role in Cole Haan's future," says Scott Fedje, the retailer's director of image design.

To get to the men's collection on the second floor, shoppers use a freestanding staircase that was placed near the front entrance. "We don't want men to have to navigate too much of the women's space before finding their way to their part of the store," he explains.

The 5400-square-foot space is another collaboration between Cole Haan's New York-based in-house design team and designers from Callison (The two firms also created the Cole Haan prototype at the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas that opened in 2003.) As was the case at the Las Vegas space, the new store is infused with a residential atmosphere inspired by Hollywood Regency and Palm Springs Modern desert homes of the 1950s and 60s.

"We feel such a warm and relaxing environment provides an inviting contrast to the surrounding mall," Fedje says.

In the women's salon, that strategy is reflected in the use of shell chandeliers, decorative antiques and an ivory lacquer-based color palette. "That pale backdrop helps create a soft, very feminine environment," he notes.

Upstairs, the men's salon sports a library-like feel, using such colors as celadon green and lacquer red, and materials like reconstituted teak wood and bronze metal. "We wanted to create a quiet men's club that provides our male shoppers with an oasis in the midst of what can be a fairly intense New York shopping environment," Fedje says.

In keeping with the store's Palm Springs aesthetic, its façade - which faces the mall's main interior entrance - utilizes large panes of glass that offer "great visibility in, as well as expansive views out," he notes. "The idea is to make the front of the store very open and inviting for shoppers and passersby."

Client: Cole Haan, New York
Gordon Thompson, creative director
Scott Fedje, director, image design
Meiling Leung, design director
Albert Gilkey, visual director
Michele Schnitzel, director, retail operations

Design/Architecture/Project Management: Callison Architecture, Seattle
Erie Stone, principal-in-charge
Cindi Kato, project manager
Joe Webber, project architect
Anneka O'Connell, project architect, fixture design
Erik Mueller-Ali, architectural designer

Outside Consultants: Hargis Engineers, Seattle, lighting design
Lilker Associate, New York, MEP
Eipel Engineering PC, New York, structural engineering
Jenkins & Huntington Inc., New York, elevator consultant
Jerome Gillman RA, New York, permit expeditor

General Contractor: Ibex Construction, New York

Carpet: Mohawk/Karastan, Atlanta

Cores and Locks: Security Source, Peabody, Mass.

Dressing Room Curtain: Seattle Curtain and Drapery, Seattle

Fixtures: Goebel Fixture Co., Hutchinson, Minn.

Furniture and Shell Chandelier: Downtown Inc., Los Angeles

Lighting: Standard Electric, Wilmington, Mass.
Gecko Lighting, London
Gallery Zero to Sixties, New York

Mannequins/Forms: DK Display, New York

POS System: CUI Networking, Lowell, Mass.

Props and Decoratives: Mark White, Portland, Maine

Safe Vendor: Rolland Safe Co., Dallas

Security Vendor: ADT Security Services Inc., Beaverton, Ore.

Sheetrock Ceilings at Sales Floor: Ibex Construction, New York

Shoe Stools: Design Within Reach, San Francisco

Signage and Graphics: Colite Intl. Ltd., West Columbia, S.C.

Sound/Music Vendor: DMX Inc., Northboro, Mass.

Stone: Innovative Marble & Tile Inc., Hauppaugue, N.Y.

Storage Shelving System: Pipp Mobile Storage, Walker, Mich.

Terrazzo Tile Floor: Wausau Tile Inc., Wausau, Wis.

Traffic Counting System Vendor: Prodco Technology Inc., Toronto

Wallcoverings, Men's Area: Donghia Inc., New York

Photography: Chris Eden, Seattle
Visko Hatfield, New York