Off-White’s Miami Flagship Flexes to Expand Function
US fashion designer Virgil Abloh has redesigned the Miami Design District flagship of his streetwear brand Off-White so it can flex into a multipurpose events venue and fulfilment centre when not in ‘regular’ retail mode. The design navigates the challenges of reimaging the physical brand space as the popularity of e-commerce (accelerated by the pandemic) grows.
Echoing ideas previously charted in Beta Blends: Dexterous Store Design, part of our Liquid Retail Trend Series, Abloh (also the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear) designed the space alongside Samir Bantal, the director of global research at Dutch architectural design think-tank AMO.
On the ground floor is an opaque polycarbonate wall that can be pushed back from the street, opening the front of the store to the outside – a mechanism that will allow the brand to host events while still being able to ship stock from the store.
Inside, floors are rendered in concrete; walls are made from corrugated metal. Mesh ceiling panels and strip lighting complete the hyper-industrial aesthetic, while block colouring in the form of cobalt blue stairs, a blush pink brick till and red fabric benches add a more irreverent note. At the top of the stairs, on the first floor, is a more intimate space which Abloh suggests will be used for dinner parties.
Stainless-steel shelving and white Carrara marble rails display Off-White product while all furniture is on wheels, for easy movement.
According to Abloh, “it’ll be what the environment needs it to be,” instead of dedicating all the “square footage […] for retail 24/7”. The brand is keenly aware of its prime position in Miami – the city is host to a growing number of next-gen flagships (see LeBron James Opens Concept Store in Miami’s Arts District) in addition to the boom in brand concepts associated with its Art Weeks. See Miami Art Week Brand Concepts, 2019 for more.