Concept: Finding itself at the Westfield World Trade Center shopping complex, San Francisco-based Banana Republic embraced a New York-centric, club-like feel for its menswear section. (View the article in VMSD's digital edition here.)
1.) MAN CAVE
Menswear and women’s wear are separate in this location, which is unusual for the dual-gender brand. “What you see on the ground floor are more masculine finishes: the wood paneling, concrete floor tile, the black steel,” says Christopher Barriscale, formerly senior director, global store design, Banana Republic. “The idea was to make the ground floor feel like a men’s club with references to lower Manhattan’s industrial past.”
2.) INDUSTRIAL ICONOGRAPHY
Above a steel-grated catwalk, a sculpture derived from industrial trinkets and miscellaneous parts enhances the space’s aesthetic. Meant to be “[Marc] Mendelson-like,” the piece adds a visual enticement to the mostly bare wall.
3.) IF THE SHOE FITS
The way clothes and accessories are merchandised has also changed with the design, in order to provide customers an easier-to-navigate, open space. Gone is the residential-style layout, in which guests shopped room to room. “Customers’ needs have evolved, living a more integrated lifestyle and not shopping according to the past traditional segmentations of work, style and weekend,” says Barriscale.
4.) ONE STEP AT A TIME
Built into the space through a knock-out slab, this staircase appears as if it were original. “There’s a 25-ft. rise between the ground and second floor,” says Barriscale, about making the trek aesthetically interesting for shoppers. “By making the stair a visually arresting sculptural element, we are seeking to entice customers to engage and explore the store in an unexpected way.”
5.) MINIMALIST MERCHANDISING
Étagère-style shelving was selected to put focus on the product. In the men’s section, finishes are raw and industrial, with the fixtures in blackened steel, while in the women’s section upstairs (not shown), fixtures are presented in a patina bronze finish, surrounded by the space’s airy motif.
Retailer and Design
Banana Republic, San Francisco
Bishop Fixture and Millwork, Belsam Lake, Wis.
Concrete Collaborative, San Clemente, Calif.
Syracuse Flooring, Syracuse, New York
Fusion Specialties, Lafayette, Colo.
Lighting Design Consultant
Studio 321, San Francisco
LERA, New York
McCall Design Group, San Francisco
Chipman Design Architecture, Chicago
Schimenti Construction, New York
Photography: Cesar Rubio, San Francisco