Retail Rebirth, Part V

Using a mixture of natural elements and gritty, industrial motifs in its design, Innisfree debuts its first U.S. store
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Posted September 25, 2019

Retail Renovation Competition, First Place
Conversion – Specialty Store, Sales Area Under 10,000 SQ. FT.
Innisfree NYC Concept, New York
Submitted by: Mapos Architects DPC, New York

Beauty brand Innisfree (Seoul, South Korea) has a brand ethos firmly rooted in the earth. Each of its products are made with ingredients sourced from Jeju Island, a small volcanic island off the coast of South Korea – known to locals as the “Hawaii of South Korea” – that’s home to endemic species and lush foliage. Mapos Architects DPC (New York) conceptualized an environment to tell this heritage story and demonstrate Innisfree’s uniqueness as the only beauty brand that can claim its specific ingredient origin to new shoppers in its first U.S. store.

The 1600-square-foot space underwent a complete gut renovation, touching everything but the storefront. The interior concept juxtaposes a natural, light feel with visual elements of New York, including grit, glamour, bright lights and scaffolding. Combining both influences, they forged a common theme of “The Island,” representing both Manhattan and Jeju, as conveyed in an 18-foot-long freeform island in the center of the store.

“We took the idea of scaffolding … and turned it on its ear by asking the question: ‘Rather than being an obstacle to beauty, how can [it] be the catalyst for it?’ ” said Caleb Mulvena, Partner, Mapos Architects DPC. Scaffolding became a defining element of the store design, used in fixtures, a double-height, high-resolution LED content wall, and to hold more than 450 individual live plants, lighting and glass panels.

“The transformation … using the whole façade as a glass façade, using the whole space, adding the green … [It’s the] first time the brand has a presence in the U.S., in New York, and it’s just beautiful,” said VMSD competition judge Claudia Cerchiara, Client Leader – Retail at Cincinnati-based BHDP Architecture.

For more winners from VMSD's 2019 Retail Renovation Competition, be sure to check vmsd.com throughout the month of September.

For Retail Rebirth, Part I, click here.
For Retail Rebirth, Part II, click here.
For Retail Rebirth, Part III, click here.
For Retail Rebirth, Part IV, click here.