things have considerably cooled down in the upper segment of moscow's retail market. once considered one of the planet's most dynamic shopping destinations, challenging circumstances have hampered the spending frenzy of the well-heeled, but also allowed a new generation of retailers to evolve. savvy and adapting to the new rules of the retail game, they focus on style instead of prestigious names, and offer their wares in appealing sleek digs that rival those of luxury monobrand flagships. enter porta 9, a newly opened concept store by aleko iliopulo, a young russian entrepreneur who has been inspired by new york city's flourishing concept store culture. for this venture, iliopulo teamed up with fashion buyer aleksandra savelyeva and stylist + blogger kate butko to tweak the retail formula into appealing perfection.
the trio cleverly started out by whipping up a buzz online and communicate with young shoppers by way of a blog and a handful of social media channels. interestingly, they allowed their following to have a say in the selection of merchandise. specifically aiming for a fashion-conscious demographic, porta 9 enlisted architect tamara muradova to come up with a store design that would translate its objectives in a contemporary way. the store is situated on one of the russian capital's bustling ring roads where it occupies a lofty ground floor unit of a former residential building from the 1950s. the interior design extrapolates on the spacious dimensions, incorporating many of the building's original elements, such as columns and moldings, while blending in a number of modern linear elements along the way.
a monochrome colour palette ties iin both styles, while subtle floral wall decorations add a sophisticated touch to the austerity. as said, porta 9 focuses on style rather than prestigious brands, and the edgy men's and women's collections bear witness to this specific focus. the current brand list features brands such as miista, anthony miles, emma go, barleycorn and piola, and most are exclusive to the store. next to an abundance of footwear, the store also stocks an edited range of bags, jewellery pieces and other lifestyle items. good service is another key element of this happening retail formula, providing its picky following of young shoppers with killer cups of coffee and the wifi – yes, it's complimentary – they just can't live without. location: ulitsa sadovaya triumfalnaya 4/10 [tverskaya].