When shoppers walk into the My.Suit store in Lower Manhattan’s financial district, attention is meant to be drawn to a freestanding tower with a stack of four live video screens on each side.
Top to bottom, the four separate screens complete the image of a man who seems to be strolling toward them, as if on a fashion runway. The man is wearing a suit, but he’s also representing all the possibilities in this store where customers create their own suit styles from scratch.
The image appears to be a video but is actually a series of photographic stills, riffed quickly to produce the sense of motion. The trompe l’oeil effect is born from the marriage of high design and practicality. “It’s meant to be fun and retro,” says designer Ji Rook Kim of UnSPACE (New York).
And that’s what impressed the judges in this year’s A.R.E. competition. “I like the way the pillar occupies the room, filling it with a sense of importance and fun,” says judge Sherif Ayad, president of ID&Design (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). “Its design is not tightly constructed, but things hang at angles and don’t all fit together.”
The retailer can create the presentation it wants on the screens. “New images, with different fabrics, styles or patterns can be inserted,” Kim says. “Or the mannequin can be replaced with a promotional message for certain holidays or campaigns.”
The stylishly dressed man, in what Kim calls the “digital pod,” also brings color and motion to the otherwise mostly white store, the second in the retailer’s growing chain.
DIGITAL POD AND BENCH
My.Suit, Financial District, New York
Design/Project Management: UnSPACE, New York
Store Fixture: Grand + Benedicts, Portland, Ore.
Ippolita, multiple U.S. locations
Design: Jeffrey Hutchison and Associates, New York
Metalwork and Store Fixtures: Amuneal Manufacturing, Philadelphia
Sony Leap, Westfield Century City, Los Angeles
Architect of Record: Brand + Allen, San Francisco
Architect/Design: Klein Dytham architecture, Tokyo
Store Fixtures: Chandler Inc., Afton, Minn.
Store Fixtures: Reeve Store Equipment Co., Pico Rivera, Calif.
Store Fixtures: Stylmark, Minneapolis
Vineyard Vines, Short Hills Mall, Short Hills, N.J.
Design: 212 Design Inc., New York
Millwork and Store Fixtures: Mock Woodworking, Zanesville, Ohio
Store Fixtures: Pearson Marine Group, Warren, R.I.
SENSORIAL BAR AND PERIMETER FIXTURING
Fresh, Union Square, New York
Architect/Design: Mapos LLC, New York
Fixture Contractor/Metalwork/Millwork: Amuneal, Philadelphia
Technology: Materials & Methods, Dorchester, Mass.