london: warehouse store renewal

© checkland kindleysides

british women's fashion label warehouse has redefined its retail format to match its rebranding and conquering of foreign markets, and the first boutique to have been transformed is on london's argyll street. the store occupies 251 sqm. [2,702 sq.ft.] set over two floors, and features a collab interior design by its brand consultant alasdhair willis and creative agency checkland kindleysides. the aesthetic is inspired by warehouse's brand mission entitled warehouse curates the city, and presents an understated, layered, and last but not least, eclectic palette of materials, including concrete, steel and glass. the result looks as an extrapolation of the street environment as a whole, and its energy and buzz in particular, providing a perfect urban backdrop for the new warehouse collections.

lighting also plays a pivotal role in the design, notably captured by chunky lightboxes that mimic the blue skies outdoors, and form a mosaic strewn across the ceiling, guiding shoppers further into the store. another striking feature is the single run cast concrete staircase that connects the two floors. in a very contemporary way, the new warehouse retail concept goes hand in hand with a strong digital presence, this is evident by specially created digital content showcased on screens located at the entrance and back of the store. the new warehouse retail concept will be rolled out next across the u.k and abroad. location: 19-21 argyll street [carnaby street].

© checkland kindleysides

amsterdam: whole

© freudenthal/verhagen

dutch creatives carmen freudenthal and elle verhagen met at amsterdam's rietveld academie in the early 1980s. while freudenthal studied photography, verhagen took fashion design classes, and it wasn't until 1989 that they started collaborating under the moniker freudenthal/verhagen behind the camera. and quite successfully so, having bagged assignments by a string of leading publications, fashion brands and companies. celebrating their 25th anniversary, a special 256-page monograph dedicated to their work will drop in select stores across the planet early next month. entitled whole, the book will appear in both a soft cover edition and in a limited edition hard cover, featuring a selection of 150 of their most iconic works from these past years, including editorial shots for i-d, dazed & confused, bernhard willhelm, and ad campaigns.

interestingly, all of these shots have been detached from their chronology and context, and have instead been arranged by colour to create an arresting new and coherent visual dynamic. the visuals are accompanied by introductions from kesselskramers frontman erik kessels, the dean of the london college of fashion, josé teunissen, fashion designer bernhard willhelm, and last but not least, fashion editor and rietveld academie professor mo veld. the book will be officially presented at x bank's gallery space in amsterdam on wed – sep 21 [5pm-8pm], and which as it happens, will also be hosting an entire freudenthal/verhagen retrospective. location: x bank, spuistraat 172 [centrum].

© freudenthal/verhagen

paris: les magasins généraux opening

© betc / photography: hervé abbadie

in a city as sprawling and dynamic as paris, good things can pop up in unexpected places, and in this case, it's a stone's throw outside the perennially congested périphérique ringway. the industrial surrounds of suburban pantin is where french ad agency betc has raised the bar beyond its usual realm of celebrated media campaigns, and create a contemporary hub of creativity and lifestyle  one with its head office firmly embedded at the very core. the company picked les magasins généraux, a former 1930s flour and grain warehouse right on canal de l'ourcq. although at 20,000 sqm. [215,278 sq.ft.] of full of potential, and at the same time architecturally imposing, the building had become awash with graffiti over the years.

fast forward to mid-september 2016, and the multi-storey complex looks pristine, as good as new even, thanks to a collab effort of french architect frédéric jung, quite an expert in transforming historical structures into modern and functional places, and design practice t&p work unit. the two entities rightfully put emphasis on the cultural legacy that the building represents, honouring the most significant of its original architectural features, most notably the passageways across the east and west wings and the towering pillars. the newly created settings, infused with timber and other natural materials, evoke a sense of modernity and a new way of living and working that comes with it.

need more details? two indoor patio wells, filled with lush ferns, provide ample natural light, but obviously the extensive redevelopment also strongly signals its new purpose. much of the building’s uncommon interior design spawns from its many original yet atypical spaces that include the covered courtyard under the building’s tower, a nap room under vaulted roofs on the top floor, garden area beneath a concrete pergola and mezzanines on the east and west sides. the transformation is particularly evident by betc's new head office, which as it happens, also seems to reflect today's confluence of the media industry's many, and also new, disciplines.

it's here where t&p work unit specifically comes into the picture. collaborating with betc honcho rémi babinet and its art director aurélie scalabre, a series of eclectic settings have been created that fuse work and play, in order to achieve higher creative goals. boosting the design mix even further, they commissioned a string of up-and-coming designers to create bespoke artworks,  furniture pieces, and even entire working spaces. but it's not all spanking new stuff that mesmerizes both staff and visitors globally sourced vintage pieces from the 1950s and 1960s dot the office's many lounges.

adding up to the eclectic format are the company's in-house café and restaurant, in addition to an adjacent library, where staff can eat, chill, and brush up any expertise. the new betc headquarters are part of a bigger urban redevelopment scheme, and as such it has an interactive side that should benefit and also inspire the local community. the ground floor is completely open to the public, featuring a creative event space, an organic food hall, and a concert venue/restaurant. whoever said suburbia is boring, clearly hasn't been to pantin's revived new waterfront. location: 1 rue de l'ancien canal [pantin].

© betc / photography: hervé abbadie + philippe garcia

melbourne: jac+ jack store relocation

© jac+ jack / phtography: tom ferguson

eagerly anticipating further growth in leafy suburban melbourne, australian fashion brand jac+ jack has recently relocated its boutique from hawksburn to armadale, just a few blocks southeast. the new premises are also bigger, and co-owners jacqueline hunt and lisa dempsey seized the opportunity to work with architect and longtime collaborator george livissianis to raise the bar and come up with a subtly tweaked interior design that even better reflects jac+ jack's brand values than its previous boutiques. the design is understated and features clean lines, captured by a monochrome palette of materials. apparel pieces are showcased on wall-mounted rails on either side of the store, and right in between a row of sleek and stackable storage cabinets is situated. lighting plays a more pivotal role, enhancing the store's architectural features. elongated in shape, the far end of the retail space almost seamlessly extends in an intimate back garden. the new jac+ jack store carries the brand's full range of women's and men's collections of contemporary apparel and accessories. location: 1021 high street [armadale].

© jac+ jack / photography: tom ferguson

amsterdam: donald baechler – new works

© donald baechler + reflex gallery

american artist donald baechler [1956] is part of a generation with quite a few legendary contemporaries, but unlike most of them, he's still quite productive, creating works with a surprisingly youthful feel. the artist receive formal training at new york city's prestigious cooper union and the equally renowned städelschule in frankfurt. baechler is to have a solo exhibition at amsterdam's reflex gallery, opening at its canal district venue on fri – sep 16. the artist's ongoing exploration of characters and topics from his youth continues to contribute to the signature style he's developed, and that'll also be evident in the works on display. all new works, the range of colourful canvases – mind you, it'll be baechler's first ever show in the netherlands – depict a motley collection of seemingly random objects, ranging from skull and flowers, to globes and ice cream. considering himself a collector of visual impressions, baechler poured his vast archive into a vocabulary that's all his own. on the occasion of this exhibition, a special monograph will be presented at the opening, in attendance of the master himself. location: weteringschans 79a [centrum].

© donald baechler + reflex gallery

new york: icp museum opening

© skidmore, owings & merrill / photography: saul metnick

photo buffs from around the globe have been able to find the international center of photography's midtown premises blindfolded, but as of late they need to adjust their navigation. although still based there, the institute has relocated its gallery space to brand new premises in nolita. called the icp museum, it occupies the ground floor and basement of a residential building, featuring an interior design that's concocted by architecture practice skidmore, owings & merrill. the venue's design intentionally signals an openness that's obvious from afar by way of its large floor-to-ceiling windows framed by thick stainless steel that not only allow generous views of the ground floor, but also seemingly connect with the street and its hustle and bustle. up front the very visible maman café + bakery is situated which spills into icp museum's front gallery. a large rear gallery lies deeper inside the building, while a lower gallery in the basement is only accessible by elevator and stairway. the interior ooze an slight industrial vibe as ceilings and utility pipes are exposed, and offset support colums in concrete finish. key features allow the icp museum to exhibit work in many ways, and ceiling-mounted power grids in all galleries enable flexible and precise lighting. location: 250 bowery [nolita].

© skidmore, owings & merrill / photography: saul metnick

online: dior – tales of the wild

© dior

this month dior is launching an expanded dior sauvage men's grooming line. at the very core is the renowned fragrance, which is now also available in a larger 200 ml size. the launch is an evocative one as it's accompanied by tales of the wild, a series narrated by none other than the face of dior sauvage, actor johnny depp. the footage depict the extraordinary journeys of four men from different corners of the planet who embody the philosophy of the sauvage fragrance. filmed on location in 16mm anamorphic in extreme conditions, directors clément bauvais and arthur de kersauson captured the authenticity of each man's character in these four visually stunning documentary shorts. and that's not all. dior counters across stateside will feature a sauvage shazam map that allows customers to watch each video on their smart phone by scanning the icon for each video. 

amsterdam: hermès shop-in-shop reopening

© hermès / photography: barbara kieboom

these past few years, de bijenkorf has been on a roll. an accelerated roll, to be precise. it has been a fixture in amsterdam's retail landscape for many decades, but it took new foreign ownership to reinvent itself and transform into a department store as iconic as the usual suspects in the retail arenas of london, paris, new york and tokyo. de bijenkorf's new cloak is one of unprecedented luxe, and in such a way it's likely educating a few seasoned dutch shoppers. situated in the heart of town smack on dam square, the ground floor obviously is its main showcase. infused with slabs of white marble, it's here where a select number of luxury brands have been granted a shop-in-shop, and not surprisingly, hermès made the cut. the french house had been present with a boutique on the premises ever since the department store traded up, but has relaunched its presence now that the ground floor refurbishment nears completion.

the marble façade obviously comes with the territory, but the interior is a another concoction of paris-based architecture practice and longtime hermès collaborator rdai. a large open entrance and similar floor-to-ceiling window lend the space a light and airy feel that's further enhanced by an uncluttered configuration. the store's furnishings are obviously custom-made, comprising of polished timber cabinets, shelving and paneling, paired with flooring of a lighter wood and signature mosaic pattern. the reopened hermès shop-in-shop carries the brand's full product range, including men's and women's apparel, accessories and shoes, in addition to jewellery and watches, equestrian gear, and even china. location: de bijenkorf, dam 1, ground floor [centrum].

© hermès / photography: barbara kieboom

são paulo: home gilda midani collection

© gilda midani

a true jack of all trades, gilda midani has dipped her toe in many a creative pool across the planet, before embarking on a trajectory as a fashion designer. with a penchant for lanky, loose-fitting silhouettes and quirky fabrics, the brazilian quickly carved a name for herself in forward fashion circles with both women's and men's collections .and now, decade after establishing the gilda midani label, the designer boldly extrapolates her vision into the realm of lifestyle with a home collection. called the home gilda midani collection, it's officially launched today [3pm-8pm] at the gilda midani boutique in são paulo. given midani's avid interest in fabrics, it's not surprising that each item reflects not only a meticulous research in both textiles and dyes, but also an artisanal allure. 

the collection comprises of bed linens, made from premium cotton, available in both a motif of moody spots and in a more frivolous polychrome version, inaddition to double-sided quilts and pillows, and to top it off a matching robe is thrown in as well. there's also a beautiful range of table cloths with matching placemats and napkins, all made from blends of organic cotton, linen, and flax. and that's still not all. as the kitchen is the heart of every home and home cooking a fave pastime of many, the home gilda midani collection indulges in that department as well, featuring handpainted porcelain trays, bowls. cups and spoons. store location: rua oscar freire 236 [jardim paulista].

© gilda midani

singapore: off-white store opening

© off-white

there's no stopping off-white's push in the far east as yet another outpost opened in singapore. the cult fashion brand of creative multi-tasker virgil abloh has struck a sensitive chord with the region's demographic of streetstyle aficionados, and clearly builds on the momentum, and it's just two months since the brand made a much-publicized entrance in tokyo's highly competitive retail arena. interestingly, off-white avoids generic retail concepts, and as a consequence the store, officially named off-white 'windows', looks intriguingly different from previously opened outposts. abloh once again enlisted architects oana stanescu and dong-ping wong of new york city-based practice family to create a fitting retail setting, and if you ask us, they succeeded with flying colours.

the boutique is situated at 268 orchard road, at a newly opened shopping mall of the same name. occupying a 140 sqm. [1,507 sq.ft.] ground floor unit, the store lives up to its official name – and concept for that matter – as it's fully walled with cut-outs in the outer shell on streetside that allow a glimpse of its austere, concrete-infused interior. inside, shoppers first come across an empty corridor that doubles as an event and exhibition space, before entering a similarly constructed inner sanctum that's lined with off-whiite's latest pieces showcased on matching clothing racks of shimmering galvanized steel. a small chamber is situated on one side of the retail space, and presents even more apparel pieces, in addition to the brand's equallly coveted shoes and accessories range. location: 268 orchard road, shop 01-01 [orchard east].

© off-white