Luxury retailing demands its own standards.
Even in the 21st century, when technology is overwhelming the tactile customer experience, shoppers for high-end apparel demand the service, fitting, tailoring and pampering of an elegant visit to an elegant store in an elegant luxury mall.
That was what drove the concept for Wolf Boutique, a new installation in Miami’s upscale Brickell City Center, designed by Guillermo de Yavorsky, Founder of Miami-based Atelier de Yavorsky.
Yavorsky chose the materials and colors. His sister, Alexandra de Yavorsky, the firm’s Head of Graphic Design, created a new logo, with the “o” in the store name treated as the raffish, winking eye of the wolf. But the architect says he didn’t want to overdo the wolf references – although he says, “the strategic line work creates a geometric space that is in line with the sharp angles of the wolf’s face and body” – or, for that matter, Miami references.
“This is a colorful place, but we didn’t want to do a typical multi-color Miami look,” says Yavorsky. “Nature drove our choice of colors, like the soft blues and deep navy of the sky and the ocean, with gold lines throughout the store, the color of the sun.”
It also determined the choices of materials. “It was important to have natural materials – real wood, real stone, real glass. This is a high-fashion men’s store with very high-end garments, and we wanted to keep it simple, so the attention is drawn to the merchandise.” Yavorsky selected coral stone on the floor; white Italian limestone with a herringbone pattern on the walls. The metal is brass. “Simple materials, but warm.”
Which is not to say there’s no artistic treatment to the interior of the 1300-square-foot store with 14-foot ceilings. To bring the ceiling height down, Yavorsky created a decorative hanging element comprised of wooden hangers, for a double entendre. “It’s the high-quality wooden hangers of fine men’s apparel,” said the architect, “but seen as you first enter the store, it looks like a casual swarm of seagulls.”
There are also electrified, Italian-made glass shelves with interior lighting; graceful brass and wood display pedestals in the middle of the floor and a 12-foot-long oak bench, designed by Yavorsky, with chairs artfully embedded in the bench.
But Yavorsky didn’t ignore 21st century technology altogether. In what he calls a “seeming lack of a cashier,” an oak jewelry and accessories case with a glass top has a drawer with an iPad inside.
“Associates walk around the store with devices in their hands to send purchases to the iPad, which produces a receipt, and the customer is on his way.”
He notes that it’s par for the course in luxury retail. “There are people on the floor anyway,” he says. “This is a very high level-of-service business."