© Spacemen / Photography: Min Chen Xuan

Despite all the convenience, nothing beats a brick and mortar shopping experience. At least, when it’s done well, and that’s exactly what Chinese online retailer By has achieved with its first standalone store in Shanghai‘s fashionable Xintiandi shopping area. Occupying a spacious 820 sqm. (8,826 sq.ft.) unit at Soho Fuxing Plaza, a large upscale shopping mall, the owner tapped local architecture practice Spacemen to create an interior design that not only match the expectations of By‘s youthful and highly discerning clientele, but obviously also inspire them to splurge on the high-end merchandise on offer. The interior design is playful and eclectic, and anticipates the fickle sensibilities of By’s target demographic. As such, the store is divided into different sections, featuring a variety of settings.

The chosen design codes embrace the location’s concrete shell, embedding segments of bare concrete and steel in finished settings. Upon entering the store, shoppers encounter a series of sizeable mirror-clad volumes that wrap around exposed columns and create alcoves, and their unapologetic reflections put a dynamic visual twist on the shopping experience. Flooring predominantly comprises of grey epoxy, offering a stark contrast with triangular sections made up of six different kinds of stone. An exposed ceiling shows a myriad of utility pipes, but is also adorned by a barrisol screen that follows the contours of a triangular multi-stone floor section below. A pristine white corridor funnels shoppers to the back of the By boutique where the aesthetic changes to off-white terrazzo flooring with brass inserts, an open ceiling with a linear aluminium grid, walls coated with textured grey plaster, and matching curtains.

To up the ante regarding customer interaction, the By store also boasts a multifunctional event space, using over 600 recycled shipping pallets which can be turned into a multi-tiered seating and display area. The pallets can be moved and re-stacked again according to the requirements of each event. Fitting rooms are situated in brass boxes, and each box is fitted out with a signature fluorescent light installation that enables shoppers to take a social media-worthy selfies in the store’s trophy outfits. By carries similar leading brands as its online equivalent, including Off-White, Rick Owens, Supreme, Maison Margiela and Neil Barrett. Location: Soho Fuxing Plaza, 388 Madang Lu, Block C, Shop B1-03 (Xintiandi).

© Spacemen / Photography: Min Chen Xuan