When major brands open a new flagship store, there is a lot on the line. The sheer energy that goes into opening a store set in a major city means that the press will be buzzing and shoppers will be lining up around the corner. A flagship store needs to encompass what a brand is all about. For a company like Ikea, it means ergonomic, simplistic, and utilitarian. For Godiva, it means luxurious, delicious, indulgence. The architecture has to be as impeccable. Here are five flagship stores that got it absolutely right in recent times.
1. Puma House by Nendo – Tokyo, Japan
Puma is an athletic brand that is identifiable the world over. Their flagship store opened in Tokyo, Japan. It features a strong yet sleek design that mirrors the company’s logo. The interior resembles a warehouse, yet there is nothing harsh or bleak about its design. By combining hard concrete with right angles and the perfect lighting, visitors can focus on what the brand has to offer.
2. Fendi by Peter Marino – Beverly Hills, USA
This flagship store really stands out for two reasons. Number one, it has been expertly designed in a way that absolutely screams ‘Fendi.’ And second, the store itself is juxtaposed perfectly between existing iconic yet understated stores that line the streets of Beverly Hills. As location is everything, this Fendi flagship store has been designed to capture the attention – and hearts – of consumers before they come inside the glass double-doors.
3. Alexander McQueen by Pentagram – Los Angeles, USA
McQueen is a brand known for its avant-garde designs set against starkly simplistic backgrounds. The architect who designed the Alexander McQueen flagship store in Los Angeles did an excellent job of matching the brand’s aesthetic with the layout and design of the building. Chicago engineers work with architects from all over the world to oversee the building process, which can be quite different in each city. Though building requirements may vary from Chicago to Los Angeles, their experience of the building process in Chicago is second to none.
4. Christian Dior by SANAA – Tokyo, Japan
When you hear the name Christian Dior, you know that you are going to experience effortless elegance. This luxury brand may be high end but instead of seeming ostentatiousness, this flagship store is the epitome of etherealness. The building itself in part fades into the background thanks to the glass windows that take up the entire top floor. Built in one of the most progressive cities in the world, shoppers are delighted when they drop in to marvel at the building design as well as the fashionable clothes inside.
5. Prada Epicenter by OMA – New York, USA
Architecture firm OMA had a lot to prove when it was tapped to design the Prada Epicenter in New York, New York. That is because natives of the Big Apple are not easily impressed. Thankfully, OMA settled on a minimalist design that featured muted, paisley wallpaper and natural wood floors. The design is understated yet it is perfectly representative of the luxury brand.
After a new flagship store is unveiled, it can take the public a while to take everything in. The most important element in designing flagship stores is that it still must turn heads years after it has been opened. These flagship stores and their designers have certainly made a mark in the world of architecture.