Contract - Orla Kiely

design - features - retail design



Orla Kiely

12 November, 2012

-By Murrye Bernard


Even the fashion-challenged among us will recognize Orla Kiely’s signature stem pattern, comprised of cheerfully upturned leaves, which graces hats, journals, pillows, and tops. Proclaimed by The Guardian as the “Queen of Prints,” Kiely is Irish-born and London-based, and with three retail locations to her name in the United Kingdom, she has recently hopped the pond.

The Kiely brand encompasses a range of products from handbags to housewares, perfume, stationery, and clothing that is at once lady-like and playfully girlish; Kiely puts a modern spin on vintage patterns and silhouettes. Her entire line is on display in her new flagship store in New York, which “is really a lifestyle store,” explains Paula Flynn, president of Orla Kiely USA. The Kiely team leased a 2,300-square-foot storefront on Mercer Street in fashionable SoHo. To translate the brand into a three-dimensional experience, it engaged Dublin-based firm Architecture Republic, led by Maxim Laroussi, who designed Kiely’s family home in South London. New York firm Ogawa Depardon Architects served as executive architect.

A discovery of the brand
Orla Kiely is a brand with a UK following—both loyal and royal: Kate Middleton was photographed wearing a Kiely bird-print coat, sparking a frenzy that temporarily threatened to paralyze the brand’s website. Now, Americans who’ve been carrying stem-patterned bags for years will finally get to know the full Kiely brand. According to Flynn, “this store is intended to introduce Orla’s world to America—her complete line and lifestyle.”

Maintaining the space’s quintessential SoHo, New York features, including ornate cast-iron columns, exposed brick, and high ceilings with a pitched skylight in back, was a priority. “The idea was to not touch the fabric at all and just tidy up a little bit,” explains Laroussi. Since the building is landmarked, the designers couldn’t drastically alter the storefront, anyway.

Enticing customers to move from the front to back of a store is every retail designer’s primary objective. As Laroussi notes, “people enter a shop and make it 15 or 20 feet in, and then they think they know what it’s all about, so they leave.” Kiely’s space is narrow and deep at 25 by 100 feet, making the layout process that much more challenging. Laroussi’s solution was to divide the space into two distinct linear zones: an open volume flanked by a series of partially interconnected, intimate rooms that encourages customers to explore deeper and become familiar with the whole Kiely brand.

The main volume features movable displays that can be reconfigured as merchandise evolves and easily pushed aside to turn the stained oak strip floors into a catwalk. Aside from hosting fashion shows on the fly, the space also doubles as a long dining area for press lunches with a stage for DJs, and the store’s staff has plans to host a movie night. Laroussi describes the main volume as an “interior street” and, continuing that metaphor, it is faced by a series of more intimate rooms, revealed like the cross-section of a dollhouse. Several of Kiely’s wallpaper designs line these rooms, which display her stationery sets, housewares, and clothing. Shopping in high-end New York boutiques can often feel more like visiting a museum, but Kiely’s customers are welcome to touch the merchandise, or even rest on a sofa.

Custom furnishings mixed with vintage
A mix of furniture includes midcentury vintage pieces and new ones designed by Kiely and the architects. The movable pieces within the main space were made by one of Ireland’s top joiners, Oikos. London-based workshop Oval fabricated the bentwood rails from which clothing hangs along the long south wall. Orla Kiely will soon launch a new furniture line, which will be available for purchase in the store.

Laroussi’s design drops the ceilings to just below eight feet in the series of side vignette rooms, establishing a more domestic scale on par with a living room, kitchen, or walk-in closet. The proportions of the millwork correspond to seat and desk height. Other domestic details in the rooms include vintage light fixtures, a giant reproduction of an old television, baseboards, and textured-vinyl tile flooring.

“Your body understands those kinds of dimensions. They give comfort and a sense of being at home,” explains Laroussi. That home-like feel will welcome New York shoppers as they get to know the Orla Kiely brand.


Key Design Highlights
  • A mix of vintage midcentury modern furniture and new pieces by Oikos, Kiely, and the architects complement the retro-inspired patterns on Orla Kiely’s wares.
  • Stained oak strip floors establish a warm backdrop that doesn’t distract customers from the pattern-heavy merchandise.
  • To conceal a stairway, the design team created a faux pitched roof that complements the shop’s dollhouse-like aesthetic.
  • The curated retail environment encompasses Kiely’s women’s wear, accessories, handbags, wallpaper, and housewares.

Orla Kiely
Architect Architecture Republic
Executive Architect Ogawa Depardon Architects
Client Kiely Rowan PLC
Where New York
What 2,100 square feet on one floor
Cost/sf $120


SOURCES

Architect: Architecture Republic.
Architecture project team: Maxim Laroussi; Neil Carroll; Diarmud O’Sullivan.
New York executive architect: Ogawa Depardon Architects.
New York architecture project team: Gilles Depardon; Kathy Ogawa; Jason Tang.
New York project manager: Paula Flynn.
Orla Kiely London project team: Orla Kiely; Chikako Sasaki; Sabrina Atkinson.
Interior designer: Architecture Republic.
Contractor: JDM Contracting.
Consultants: CGM Engineering.
Lighting: Ultra Electric.
Engineering: CGM Engineering.
Kitchen: G-Plan.
Graphics: Orla Kiely.  

Wallcoverings: Wallpaper by Orla Kiely.
Paint: Dell Decorating.
Laminate: Oikos Furniture.
Walls: JDM Contracting (dry, masonry).
Flooring: Floor Depot (solid oak); Gerflor (carpet).
Ceiling: JDM Contracting.
Lighting: G-Plan (floor/table); Ultra electric (recessed, track, sconces).
Doors: D-Line (hardware).
Seating: Charles and Ray Eames (kitchen chairs); G-Plan (stools).
Upholstery: Orla Kiely.
Tables: G-Plan; Oikos Furniture; Oval Workshop.
Casegoods: Oval Workshop.
Storage systems: Oikos Furniture.
Architectural/custom woodworking: Oikos Furniture.




Orla Kiely

12 November, 2012


Geoff Searle

Even the fashion-challenged among us will recognize Orla Kiely’s signature stem pattern, comprised of cheerfully upturned leaves, which graces hats, journals, pillows, and tops. Proclaimed by The Guardian as the “Queen of Prints,” Kiely is Irish-born and London-based, and with three retail locations to her name in the United Kingdom, she has recently hopped the pond.

The Kiely brand encompasses a range of products from handbags to housewares, perfume, stationery, and clothing that is at once lady-like and playfully girlish; Kiely puts a modern spin on vintage patterns and silhouettes. Her entire line is on display in her new flagship store in New York, which “is really a lifestyle store,” explains Paula Flynn, president of Orla Kiely USA. The Kiely team leased a 2,300-square-foot storefront on Mercer Street in fashionable SoHo. To translate the brand into a three-dimensional experience, it engaged Dublin-based firm Architecture Republic, led by Maxim Laroussi, who designed Kiely’s family home in South London. New York firm Ogawa Depardon Architects served as executive architect.

A discovery of the brand
Orla Kiely is a brand with a UK following—both loyal and royal: Kate Middleton was photographed wearing a Kiely bird-print coat, sparking a frenzy that temporarily threatened to paralyze the brand’s website. Now, Americans who’ve been carrying stem-patterned bags for years will finally get to know the full Kiely brand. According to Flynn, “this store is intended to introduce Orla’s world to America—her complete line and lifestyle.”

Maintaining the space’s quintessential SoHo, New York features, including ornate cast-iron columns, exposed brick, and high ceilings with a pitched skylight in back, was a priority. “The idea was to not touch the fabric at all and just tidy up a little bit,” explains Laroussi. Since the building is landmarked, the designers couldn’t drastically alter the storefront, anyway.

Enticing customers to move from the front to back of a store is every retail designer’s primary objective. As Laroussi notes, “people enter a shop and make it 15 or 20 feet in, and then they think they know what it’s all about, so they leave.” Kiely’s space is narrow and deep at 25 by 100 feet, making the layout process that much more challenging. Laroussi’s solution was to divide the space into two distinct linear zones: an open volume flanked by a series of partially interconnected, intimate rooms that encourages customers to explore deeper and become familiar with the whole Kiely brand.

The main volume features movable displays that can be reconfigured as merchandise evolves and easily pushed aside to turn the stained oak strip floors into a catwalk. Aside from hosting fashion shows on the fly, the space also doubles as a long dining area for press lunches with a stage for DJs, and the store’s staff has plans to host a movie night. Laroussi describes the main volume as an “interior street” and, continuing that metaphor, it is faced by a series of more intimate rooms, revealed like the cross-section of a dollhouse. Several of Kiely’s wallpaper designs line these rooms, which display her stationery sets, housewares, and clothing. Shopping in high-end New York boutiques can often feel more like visiting a museum, but Kiely’s customers are welcome to touch the merchandise, or even rest on a sofa.

Custom furnishings mixed with vintage
A mix of furniture includes midcentury vintage pieces and new ones designed by Kiely and the architects. The movable pieces within the main space were made by one of Ireland’s top joiners, Oikos. London-based workshop Oval fabricated the bentwood rails from which clothing hangs along the long south wall. Orla Kiely will soon launch a new furniture line, which will be available for purchase in the store.

Laroussi’s design drops the ceilings to just below eight feet in the series of side vignette rooms, establishing a more domestic scale on par with a living room, kitchen, or walk-in closet. The proportions of the millwork correspond to seat and desk height. Other domestic details in the rooms include vintage light fixtures, a giant reproduction of an old television, baseboards, and textured-vinyl tile flooring.

“Your body understands those kinds of dimensions. They give comfort and a sense of being at home,” explains Laroussi. That home-like feel will welcome New York shoppers as they get to know the Orla Kiely brand.


Key Design Highlights
  • A mix of vintage midcentury modern furniture and new pieces by Oikos, Kiely, and the architects complement the retro-inspired patterns on Orla Kiely’s wares.
  • Stained oak strip floors establish a warm backdrop that doesn’t distract customers from the pattern-heavy merchandise.
  • To conceal a stairway, the design team created a faux pitched roof that complements the shop’s dollhouse-like aesthetic.
  • The curated retail environment encompasses Kiely’s women’s wear, accessories, handbags, wallpaper, and housewares.

Orla Kiely
Architect Architecture Republic
Executive Architect Ogawa Depardon Architects
Client Kiely Rowan PLC
Where New York
What 2,100 square feet on one floor
Cost/sf $120


SOURCES

Architect: Architecture Republic.
Architecture project team: Maxim Laroussi; Neil Carroll; Diarmud O’Sullivan.
New York executive architect: Ogawa Depardon Architects.
New York architecture project team: Gilles Depardon; Kathy Ogawa; Jason Tang.
New York project manager: Paula Flynn.
Orla Kiely London project team: Orla Kiely; Chikako Sasaki; Sabrina Atkinson.
Interior designer: Architecture Republic.
Contractor: JDM Contracting.
Consultants: CGM Engineering.
Lighting: Ultra Electric.
Engineering: CGM Engineering.
Kitchen: G-Plan.
Graphics: Orla Kiely.  

Wallcoverings: Wallpaper by Orla Kiely.
Paint: Dell Decorating.
Laminate: Oikos Furniture.
Walls: JDM Contracting (dry, masonry).
Flooring: Floor Depot (solid oak); Gerflor (carpet).
Ceiling: JDM Contracting.
Lighting: G-Plan (floor/table); Ultra electric (recessed, track, sconces).
Doors: D-Line (hardware).
Seating: Charles and Ray Eames (kitchen chairs); G-Plan (stools).
Upholstery: Orla Kiely.
Tables: G-Plan; Oikos Furniture; Oval Workshop.
Casegoods: Oval Workshop.
Storage systems: Oikos Furniture.
Architectural/custom woodworking: Oikos Furniture.

 


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