Supreme, an internationally recognized brand of skateboard gear and clothing, is known for its fusion of art, design and culture and has created a cult-like following among legions of skateboard enthusiasts.
So when it came time to open on the West Coast, owner James Jebbia wanted a store that was as much about Los Angeles as it was about the Supreme brand.
"Jebbia wanted to stick to the formula," says Harry Allen, president, Harry Allen & Associates (New York), which designed the 2800-square-foot store on Fairfax Avenue.
That meant not pandering to the brand's loyal customers, those much-sought-after teen and young adult shoppers. In fact, Allen attributes part of Jebbia's success to the fact that he doesn't talk down to this demographic. Rather, the owner incorporates artwork into his stores and relies on customers to get it.
In Los Angeles, Jebbia commissioned Simparch, an art collaborative, to build one of its skateable objects, a freestanding unit that becomes a focal point within the store and separates clothing and boards displayed in the front of the store from the changing rooms in the back.
The use of humble materials evokes a garage setting, while the finishes lend a sophisticated touch. For instance, finished plywood shelving lines the wall with merchandise and a polished cement flooring offers a raw, historic feel. Recycled plastic decking was refinished to create benches, and galvanized metal creates a staircase leading to the bowl where skaters can take a spin.
Giving definition to the exposed ceiling, designers created two rectangular halos of light – a fluorescent one hanging above the bowl and track lighting above the sales floor.
"It's that play of finished and unfinished," says Allen.
The result is a slightly more polished store for L.A., where skating is still supreme.
Client: Supreme, Los Angeles
James Jebbia, co-owner
Eddie Cruz, co-owner
Design: Harry Allen & Associates, New York
Harry Allen, president
W. Jason Spangler, designer
Architect: Rachel Allen, Los Angeles
General Contractor: A&B Construction, Venice, Calif.
Audio/Visual: Edwards Technologies Inc., El Segundo, Calif.
Fixtures and Signage/Graphics: A&B Construction, Venice, Calif.
Furniture: TREX, Winchester, Va.
Lighting: Lightolier, Fall River, Mass.
Skateable Object: Simparch, Chicago
Photography: Hage, New York