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ISSEY MIYAKE’S Revamped Madison Ave Store

( via frame magazine )

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> Gordon Kipping’s renovation of Issey Miyake’s Manhattan outlet is all about the bare essentials.

Having always acutely ministered the pulse of time, The Pet Shop Boys knew what to pick when searching for the ultimate fashion icon in their song Flamboyant: ‘There you are / at another preview / in a pose […] / collectors wear black clothes / by Issey Miyake.’ Between his debut in 1971 and today, the Japanese fashion designer has been hailed as a paragon of contemporary fashion design more than once. Miyake’s innovative designs prompted Canadian Gordon Kipping Architects to an eye-catching renovation of the company’s Madison Ave branch in Manhattan. By and large, Kipping chose to let the near-Spartan look of the 793m² shop speak for itself without intervening prominently. He did so not only by leaving the building’s original I-steel columns and their occasional misalignments intact, but also by combining white walls that end in a mirrored wall with a plain grey floor; by evenly fanning out mannequins across the space; and by neatly aligning the product that it all started with – the clothes – on one side. If these elements might run the risk of providing slightly too unostentatious a setting, then Kipping counters the danger with a simple but inventive eye-catcher: a checkerboard ceiling pattern of black and white light boxes. Its frisky dark-and-light motif is bound to catch attention from passers by, gleaming through the flush clear glass facade which creates a seamless barrier between the hubbub of Madison Ave and the serene-but-playful atmosphere of the shop’s interior.

Words: Ellen Rutten
Photos: Mikiko Kikuyama

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Filed under: architecture, design, fashion, space/place

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