Stolen Girlfriends Club Wellington Flagship Store
With an art-meets-rock and roll design, Stolen Girlfriends Club’s Wellington flagship delivers a one-of-a-kind retail experience in Aotearoa.
|Stolen Girlfriends Club
|Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington
|Alt Group (Stolen Girlfriends Club’s brand partner)
Hiding in plain sight
Located in the heart of Wellington city's premier fashion quarter, Stolen Girlfriends Club's new flagship store challenges the conventions of retail design with an 'anti-retail' stance that reflects the brand's rebellious, rock and roll spirit. Resembling a blacked-out club, the new store hides in plain sight.
Capturing the brand’s independent spirit and energy in built form, the boutique adds to the label's two Auckland stores and is also designed as a destination for the brand's fast-growing international clientele, redefining the concept of luxury with a singular design inspired by contemporary art.
An inverted disco ball, pumping with light
Providing a sense of mystique and intrigue from the street, slot apertures cut into a 20m-long, 1m-deep, blackened wall, providing minimal glimpses into the store interior, making seasonal store renewal and replenishment a curatorial act. Store access is purposefully slowed down, and anticipation conversely ramps up as visitors traverse a 20m-long walkway to enter a dramatic, amorphous silver-lined space.
Described by Stolen Girlfriends Club Creative Director and Co-Founder Marc Moore as an “inverted disco ball, purposefully pumping with light in the centre to draw in customers,” from the interior, the perimeter wall ripples with textural silver foil to generate a white noise and visual static stage that heightens the presence of products on display.
Stolen Girlfriends Club’s collection release parties, which over time have achieved mythological status, were also a key driver for the design concept. “Tickets to these fashion shows are coveted,” says Jasmax Principal Jun Tsujimoto. “They are very performative. There’s always an element of surprise. A tactical build-up of anticipation. This retail concept is also about amplifying anticipation into surprise while also, perhaps paradoxically, trying to slow down the shopping, viewing and fitting experience to provide a visceral and social experience.”
A retail experience that redefines modern luxury
The bespoke display design features knife-like shelves of stainless steel that slice into the walls like the blades of a Stanley knife, while a sinuous ceiling-mounted garment rail arcs through the space, transforming garments into artworks in their own right. Jewellery also takes centre stage, with an intimate salon located behind the store’s laneway window, inviting customers to sit in comfort to try on the bespoke pieces.
A visit to the store’s fitting rooms reveals the final gesture in the gradual unveiling of the design story, which Tsujimoto describes as like a “secret song at the end of an album”. Ample spaces, lined in a bubble-gum pink, provide a visceral counterpoint to the glittering, spaceship-like black and silver interior, designed for a memorable and luxurious fitting experience.
“Silverfoil-coated insulation foam is repurposed as a lining material throughout, creating a fantastic texture and subtle mirroring effect inside the store. The pink foam backing to the foil provided the inspiration for the shade selected for the changing rooms. This industrial product, which is rarely, if ever, applied as an interior lining, captures the spirit of Stolen Girlfriends Club’s rebellious and creative identity,” says Jasmax Principal and Head of Interiors, Anna Hill.
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|NZIA Local Awards - Interior Architecture
|Best Awards - Spatial - Retail Environments - Gold
|Red Awards - Excellence in Innovation - Winner
|Red Awards - Fashion & Accessories - Merit