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Carly Hagedon

Rustic Rivets: Levi’s melds old and new in SoHo




Levi Strauss & Co. (New York) has been around about as long as the building its new SoHo store is nestled in. The company worked with MBH Architects (Alameda, Calif.) to preserve elements of the building’s bones, with nods to Levi’s industrial, outdoorsy character.  

To that end, light fixtures made from bundles of twisting rope are suspended over a denim displays set on a natural wood table featuring rough-sawn logs. Dressing rooms, inspired by Yosemite National Park, are packed with “tents” instead of stalls.

Ashish Chawla, associate, project manager of MBH Architects worked with Levi’s internal design team to preserve the character of the original building.

“Right inside the space are some beautiful ornate steel columns, which we immediately decided to retain in their original form,” he says. “Even at the storefront, we minimized additional elements in order to maintain the original architecture of the building.”

The space itself is more narrow than it is wide, spanning roughly 45 feet with a depth of approximately 190 feet. The main sales floor is enveloped in neutral colors: creamy floors paired with an array of medium-dark and light woods used throughout fixtures and displays.

Red, neon signage in the shape of Levi’s iconic logo above the cashwrap draws wandering eyes to a focal point; and creates a warm, intriguing glow that bounces off the darkly painted ceilings and down to merchandise below.


Project Source List

Levi Strauss and Co., New York

Design Firm & Architect
MBH Architects, Alameda, Calif.
Levi Strauss and Co., New York

ISC Contracting, St. Louis

Vaswani, Edison, N.J.

Rockerz Inc., Warrendale, Penn.


Capitol Lighting, Boca Raton, Fla.

Signage and Graphics
Colite International, Columbia, S.C.
Brite Lite Neon, N. Hollywood, Calif.

Wallcoverings and Materials
Pipp Mobile Storage, Walker, Mich.
Bose Professional, Framingham, Mass.

Photography: Rico Schwartzberg, New York



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