New York-based design firm SO–IL released the first images of the showroom it recently completed for Italian fashion house, Versace. An extension of Versace’s New York offices, which overlook Central Park, the 5,000 sf showroom is designed to display the brand’s numerous fashion lines and accommodate its wholesale operations. The space was envisioned as a highly flexible environment that could be easily reconfigured to highlight the label’s many styles, tones, and material languages.
To realize this vision, SO–IL created a series of three dimensional movable display objects that break the space into smaller realms and pockets. The flexibility of the design scheme serves the creative process, allowing Versace leadership to merchandize its lines freely and to host meetings and collaborative work groups of varying scales. The display structures are guided by flush brass floor tracks, gliding and rotating through the space, and continuously redefining the surroundings and experience. Their movement creates a diversity of spatial relationships that offer a variety of environmental qualities from the intimate, for private meetings, to open, for major shows and events.The movable display objects are custom designed and fabricated from CNC milled and folded HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) panels—a durable translucent plastic typically found in industrial applications. The plastic is assembled with thousands of brass screws, giving it both a structure and finish. The plastic’s subtle translucency is amplified by the changing daylight from three walls of windows, altering the overall appearance of the space throughout the day and revealing the objects’ skeletal structure and assembly. The design for Versace follows SO – IL’s work for the New York flagship store for Benetton (2012) and for Derek Lam Atelier (2009). The firm’s approach to these spaces emphasizes nimbleness, light, and movement, creating environments that fuel creativity and inspire unexpected connections and relationships. For Versace, each of one of the display objects has a unique sculptural form that belies its use, making the showroom both functional and artful.SO–IL partner, Ilias Papageorgiou commented: “We thought of the movable elements as ‘Characters’ in space, each one having a unique form and language of movement. Their dialogue creates a range of spatial relationships that trigger new ways of display and meeting.”A highly reflective PVC stretch ceiling and mirror columns intensify the sense of movement and constant change in the space. The showroom is further accentuated with images of street life and Central Park, while the recessed, reflective window frames dematerialize the boundaries of the space.“ The experience is a kaleidoscope of multiplying views, colors, and movement. Although the space is located on the 20th floor of an office building, it creates a strong awareness of the street life and park below,” Papageorgiou said.