Off-White Flagship Store by OMA
Location: Paris, France
Off-White’s new flagship store in Paris has opened, introducing a design in which the high-end and the casual meet. Two blocks away from Place Vendôme, Off-White Paris extends over three floors in a 19th century corner building, at the intersection of Rue de Castiglione and Rue du Mont Thabor, gradually revealing to the visitor a repertoire of contrasting ambiences. Under the arches of Rue de Castiglione is the store’s main entrance, a semi-circular vestibule of corrugated glass, which leads to the ground floor’s centerpiece: a reinterpretation of the typical Parisian courtyard. Sober and refined, the courtyard induces a calm and slow shopping experience but can also accommodate dynamic events such as fashion shows. The entrance on Rue du Mont Thabor leads to what feels like a completely different store.
Light blue walls and a black terrazzo floor, filled with AMO-designed freestanding furniture, showcase Off-White’s brand partnerships. The store’s multifaceted identity is further reinforced by the design of the upper floors. In the intimate atmosphere of the mezzanine, with its low ceiling and small windows, a space inspired by the aesthetics of the gift shop hosts the kids’ and homeware collections, as well as an exhibition wall. On the second floor, the high ceiling and large windows facing the city create a luminous, clear space, which can be easily reconfigured for concerts, art shows and parties.
A foldable box finished with Sottsass – red veneer conceals the bar and the back of house. The floor accommodates freestanding display elements designed by AMO – metallic clothing racks, wooden tables and white travertine shelving systems – echoing the Parisian flea market. Contrasting combinations of textures and colors emphasize the store’s repertoire of ambiences, creating an abstract reinterpretation of Paris. The design, led by Ellen van Loon, together with Samir Bantal and Giulio Margheri, explores new ways in which architecture facilitates the interaction between fashion collections and the public. Reinterpreting iconic architectural elements such as the Parisian courtyard and flea market, the city becomes present inside the store. Ellen van Loon and Samir Bantal: “Where does streetwear end and high fashion begin? Over twenty years ago, Sarah Andelman’s Colette was the predecessor of modern experiential retail, one of the first concept stores where street style met luxury. Fast forward to 2021, a couple of blocks away from where Colette sat, the new Off-White store in Paris represents the brand’s multifaceted identity as a cultural channel broadcasting style, media and fashion, humbly saluting Colette and drawing from its irreplaceable legacy.”
Virgil Abloh, Founder and Creative Director Off-White: “Working with AMO is a synergistic process. The way we ideate is similar – nothing is off limits – and the outcome at Off-White Paris is greater than I could have ever imagined.” The store continues the collaboration between AMO and Virgil Abloh, which started in 2018 with the design of the fashion designer’s first solo exhibition Figures of Speech. Off-White Paris is the second store designed for the brand after the Miami flagship.