New York, NY
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN VIETNAM
143 Dong Khoi Street
Ho Chi Minh City
Near Son Lam Square, the glossy red façade of Vietnam’s first Christian Louboutin boutique shines amidst luxury retail and the local bustle of Ho Chi Minh City.
212box worked with the constraints (and the potential) of a long and narrow space, consulting renowned feng shui master Zoe Foo. 212box principals Eric Clough and Eun Sun Chun used mirrors to create infinite angles, and mirrored walls behind tinted acrylic displays that appear to be entrances to other chambers. The space is a linear journey from the front mezzanine, which features a full wall of Louboutin’s signature niches, vibrant patch-work furniture and a hand-blown glass chandelier, to three chambers — one of wooden tiles, one of glass tears, and one of glittering brass.
Clough, who is known for his work developing codes and ciphers – took literally Christian Louboutin’s desire to create a “new language” for his stores by tapping into our relationship with language and our innate ability to assign meaning to symbols and letters. In the first room beyond the mezzanine, the walls are covered floor to ceiling in 4,500 laser-etched tiles in 433 symbols spanning 32 languages, drawn by Clough’s twelve-year-old nephew. Together the tiles create an intriguing collage. As Clough explains, “one could easily spend hours trying to decipher some meaning from the symbols." And with enough attention, viewers will begin to note poetry hidden therein; in particular, “Sorrowful,” by Vietnamese poet Huy Cận.
The glass tear room, undulating curved walls accentuate the direct center of the space, hand-blown glass that flows in a landscape above the black-mirrored niches.
The metallic room is covered in dramatically backlit, hand-folded brass tiles etched with a poem by Xuan Dieu, Vietnamese romantic poet of the 1800s in handwritten script in three languages — French, English, and Vietnamese. The wall features fan-shaped tiers, subtly perforated with the Louboutin logo, as well as flourishes from the Eiffel Tower. This new display extends our work on developing the Louboutin language as well as designing specifically for the treasures that can be found in Viet Nam.
212box has been designing CL stores around the world since 2004. Their collaborations with Louboutin in Nagoya, Shanghai, Seoul, Copenhagen, and a second store in Las Vegas are all set to open in the coming month.
Alexandra Marvar, firstname.lastname@example.org