The legendary hosiery brand Wolford recently approached Studio Modijefsky to produce a brand-new luxurious retail concept for their shops worldwide. After opening their recent flagship store in Amsterdam, this luxury bodywear company, specialising in tights, bodysuits and underwear, chose Paris for the location of its two latest shops. In the renowned Le Marais, Studio Modijefsky once again brings together Wolford’s exquisite craftsmanship and outstanding attention to body and skin to produce a unique and luxurious interior design experience.
First of the Paris stores, located on Rue Vieille du Temple no. 36, immediately draws you inside with its unusual, glossy window display of bespoke rails wrapped around a terrazzo staircase. The small-scale, low-ceiling interior of this shop creates an unusual, cosy backdrop for Wolford’s world-famous hosiery. The second store is situated only few doors down, on Rue Vieille du Temple no. 76. With footprint as small as no. 36, but almost twice as high ceiling, the interior tests the versatility of the new concept to its limits.
Despite their boutique sizes, both stores are playful and intimate; full of unexpected textures and hidden messages celebrating their unique Parisian locations. A subtle palette of muted white hues graduates from pure white metal, through creamy travertine and textured wood to fleshy, more feminine shades of purple and orange. In no. 36 a street art phrase scribbled on a nearby building: ‘Si la nuit est noire c’est pour y briller’ is repeated inside the shop, carved into a plastered wall. In no. 76 a chic, hand drawn fashion illustration of a woman’s leg is embroidered on a sheer curtain placed in the window.
Inspired by Wolford’s industrial heritage and craftsmanship, interiors of both stores are elegant and rough at the same time. Colour and material palettes replicate the dreamy feel of the brand’s Austrian factory, where heavy machinery is always covered with soft fine netting to prevent the snagging of tights. Rails and spool-like lights bear a strong resemblance to the knitting machines, with ubiquitous powder coated steel finishes taken straight from the factory floor. The walls are raw or covered with unexpected building materials, such as acoustic wood or combed plaster with linear texture, which contrasts sharply with the refined and delicate garments on display.
Perhaps the most recognisable elements of the new stores are the bespoke lights. In no. 76 continuous LED lines with L-shaped metal covers drop down into low arches, their curves softening the otherwise industrial interior. In both stores, hand-made blown glass spools replicate the design and shape of the original factory thread spools and act as a reference to the skill, innovation and craft that is all part of Wolford’s heritage. The lights attach to vertical and horizontal rails, emitting a warm inviting glow that draws the visitor to explore further.
Spatial concept of Wolford’s new stores was influenced by the brand’s most natural habitat: stage, where their products are worn by celebrities and performers worldwide. Eye catching fitting rooms with integrated vertical lights create a luxurious atmosphere designed to celebrate and empower customers. A tall metal structure surrounding each cabin is interlaced with soft contemporary fabric, once again combining industrial edge with tactility. Samples of fabric, typically hidden and only presented to clients on request, are this time proudly displayed in a totemic structure. Customers are encouraged to find their own shade of nude, experiment and feel the fabric against their skin. The shape of the fixture is then repeated in the design of the cash desk. This minimal, high-end travertine element has a special inlay for wrapping paper, turning the transactional moment of payment into a special ritual connecting customers with the brand.
Since both tights and lingerie are closest to one’s skin, a deeper layer of ‘human touch’ was added to the design. Traditional presentation of legs has been replaced by floor-to-ceiling leg boxes – a feature which is more of an art installation than a typical product display, proudly showcasing Wolford’s tights. Lightboxes, editorial pictures and screens with mesh panels softening the images, present a multitude of products on real models, rather than artificial skin shades and textures. Poufs resembling cropped feminine thighs hide in fitting rooms. Both stores are full of playful references to the human interaction, allowing customers to experience the brand on many levels.
In the historic surroundings of Paris’ Le Marais, Studio Modijefsky has created two soothing, monochromatic interiors, allowing Wolford’s outstanding products to take centre stage. Their modern, distinct concept will be instantly recognisable in many stores to come.