AEDS | Ammar Eloueini Digit-all Studio

AEDS | Ammar Eloueini Digit-all Studio

New Orleans, LA


Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake
Date: 15 February 2012
Client: Issey Miyake Europe
Project type: Retail
Photographer: Christian Richters

The Pleats Please store focuses on the similar practice interests of Issey Miyake and AEDS; both clothing designer and space designer have a full appreciation of the possibilities of materials and fabrication methods. We have matched this sentiment by using traditional and digital technologies to shape a common material in a new way and create a showcase environment to hold Miyake’s designs. The store simultaneously creates a neutral background to display Miyake's pieces and a space which contributes to the branding of the Pleats Please line. Similar to the fitting rooms in the Miyake me store and the cabanas, this project fits into AEDS's ongoing investigation of design elements at a scale between architecture and furniture.

As an iconic fashion designer, Issey Miyake values the potential of design innovation through materials and technology. Pleats Please is a Miyake clothing line characterized by a unique production process through which pleating simultaneously creates texture and form. The ease with which Pleats Please garments can be maintained and stored introduces an element of functionality which greatly increases their appeal within the fashion market. These qualities served as inspiration for the design of the Issey Miyake Pleats Please store in Paris.

A primary concern presented by the client was the need for ample storage within the sales area. Executed in an all white color palette, the featured element of this store is a large furniture piece which provides the essential storage space as well a unique backdrop to the Pleats Please retail space. The storage wall's drawers, shelves, and folding surfaces prioritize the potential for efficient use by the sales staff. Visually anchoring the space, its appearance is inspired by the subtle qualities of Miyake's pleated designs, which are at once organic and architectural, contemporary and timeless.

Paris' Printemps department store is the first location where this design was implemented. In this store, a simple shelving and rail system complements the storage wall. Steel tube frames are structured through their bent shape. The formed tube acts as a garment rail on its own, equipped for the addition of shelves through simple bolted connections. Flexibility is introduced with four variations of height and width combinations. As free-standing elements, they can be moved and stored with ease. Additional advantages of these pieces include the economic efficiency of mass production and the potential to be used in any number of Pleats Please retail stores. Their simple design and finish enhance the display of garments and accessories.

London's Harvey Nichols department store is the second location where this design was implemented, preceded by the Paris location. For the London location, the width of the storage wall is extended in response to the larger retail space, and two dressing rooms are concealed from the sales area behind this thickened wall. The London Pleats Please store is a practice in minimalism. Fixed clothing rails exist only along the walls. A low, central table provides display space and houses the sales equipment. All remaining retail space is an open, flexible plan into which temporary rails are introduced as needed.

In 2014, this project received a Divine Detail category Design Excellence Award (Award of Merit) from the AIA (American Institute of Architects) New Orleans Chapter.

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Status: Built
Location: Printemps Department Store, Paris, France and Harvey Nichols Department Store, London, UK