Designing a boutique for a group of high-end retail brands is a bit like raising quintuplets – somehow, you have to set things up so that each one feels special.
The Hong Kong office of Brandimage – Desgrippes & Laga, a Schawk Inc. design firm, took on this balancing act to create a 1300-square-foot luxury boutique for Elegant Watch & Jewellery in Hong Kong’s International Financial Centre mall.
The retailer carries 13 brands, including Cartier, Piaget, Bulgari and Bovet, and caters to shoppers who expect limited-edition, hand-selected luxury offerings. The store’s design speaks to this demographic with rich, warm colors and materials, including rust-colored upholstery and dark bamboo flooring, accented by clean, white walls and rugs. At the front of the long, narrow space, a subdued, black façade of hairline stainless steel and granite lends a gracefully aged quality.
Inside the long, narrow space, Craig Briggs, Brandimage Asia’s managing director, says the boutique’s hallmark is a row of avant-garde, Italian light fixtures, each of which “guides the customers through the brands, deep into the boutique and creates a sense of direction and, in a subtle way, a sense of discovery.”
Products are displayed in wooden fixtures reminiscent of wine barrels along a central aisle, while to the left and right, individual brand zones house merchandise in glass cases.
To stand out in Hong Kong’s luxury landscape, Elegant Watch & Jewellery offers two VIP areas with comfortable, modern furniture and lush carpeting. Away from the traffic flow, an airy, window-filled room was made into a private lounge with frosted glass, bespoke white carpet and veil-like curtains.
The second VIP area is more intimate, with privacy afforded by a curved glass wall composed of bronze fabric sandwiched between crystal glass. Deep browns and oranges create a sense of luxury, while a floor-to-ceiling, lit, cylindrical, glass fixture showcases the store’s newest item, beckoning shoppers to pause, if only for a moment.
Brother & Sister, Kowloon, Hong Kong: Siblings Gilbert and Cindy Yeung fused a trendy bar-café with a fashion boutique in the basement of the Emperor Jewelry store in the Canton Road shopping area.
Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry, Menlo Park, Calif.: Transforming a 10-by-11-foot coat closet into a high-end jewelry store gets even more complicated when lighting and site restrictions start to create a tangled mess.
Retailer: Elegant Watch & Jewellery, Hong Kong
Design: Hengdelei Group, Hong Kong; Brandimage – Desgrippes & Laga, Hong Kong; Laurence Laneau and Claus Boman, designers
Construction and General Contractor: Builldea, Hong Kong
Project Management: Destination, Hong Kong
Flooring: Infinity Finishes Ltd., Hong Kong
Lighting: Optiled Lighting Intl. Ltd., Hong Kong
Props and decoratives: Fabric Nation, Hong Kong; Tai Ping Carpets, Hong Kong
Photography: Ching Kong Wong, CKvision, Chai Wan District, Hong Kong