Dutch footwear brand Omoda opened a flagship store in Amsterdam last week, with interiors designed by the internationally renowned Piet Boon studio. Visitors are lured in by the bright window displays, which feature tall light columns to better showcase the shoes. Once inside, they have to pick a side, as men’s and women’s shoes are separated by a big wall. If interested in one of the pairs of shoes displayed on the concrete platforms spread all over the shop, they can make use of the several walk-in closets available.
FashionUnited visited the new retail space and spoke to Piet Boon to learn more about the store’s concept. Read the interview after the pictures.
How did the idea for this store come about?
Omoda gave us a lot of freedom to create, but we wanted to stay true to the brand’s DNA. Omoda's other stores in the Netherlands all have an industrial feel, so we wanted this one to have it too. We also took the building and its surroundings into consideration: the store is located right beside Stedelijk (the Amsterdam museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art) and surrounded by luxury shops. Therefore, our goal was to do something that would match both of these elements. That’s why the store is very calm and quiet, almost like a museum. However, we made sure it would still look accessible and inviting, we didn’t want it to be one of those shops where people don’t dare coming inside.
Which of the studio's trademarks can be found in this store?
We always strive to create balance, and it wasn't different in this shop. Even though the space is huge [the store spans over 500 square meters, or 5382 square feet], we still wanted to convey a sense of intimacy and accessibility. We’ve achieved this effect by featuring lines all over the store: they lead the customer all the way to the back. We also invite them to look up by using concrete platforms in different heights, as well as lamps facing backwards. To help customers try the shoes on, we created a series of walk-in closets with custom-made wardrobes and a very comfortable bean bag in the middle.
Last but not least, the shop has to be a comfortable space for those who work in it. Some shops almost feel like a maze, so we made sure the sales clerks would be able to walk around without disturbing the customers.
Visitors will also recognize our signature style in the furniture used around the shop, which is from our own collection. The use of rich natural materials, such as the big tables made of natural stone, is another thing our studio is known for.
Would you like to design other fashion stores in the future?
Absolutely. It was great challenge to collaborate with Omoda. At the end of the day, the most important thing in every assignment is to make the client happy. I would definitely work again with Omoda in the future.
What interior tips would you give to smaller retailers who do not have enough funds at their disposal to hire a design studio?
Look at what others are doing: what are they doing right, and what are they doing wrong? In addition, make sure to pay attention to your target group's wishes and needs. The shop should reflect the brand. A high-end brand shouldn’t have a cheap looking store, and vice-versa. Stay true to your brand’s identity. Choose a road and stick to it, don’t change just because others are doing it.
This article was originally published in Dutch at FashionUnited Holland. Translated and edited by Marjorie van Elven.
Photos: Blanca Heise for FashionUnited