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Miami Art Basel is synonymous with Miami’s Design District.  Art and Fashion pour out onto the streets for an amazing array of collaborations and distinct collections.

No better way to merge art and fashion then Christian Louboutin.

The actual Louboutin store is cleverly configured into a quartered box wrapped completely in one way mirror, then delicately placed within an art gallery; the shopper turns performance artist and the gallery go-er turns voyeuristic spectator.  The gallery space becomes a vestibule to the store and reverberates the very breath of anticipation every woman feels in buying a pair of Louboutin shoes.  In the gallery, two mirrored walls reflect the quarter cube, making it appear as one box within another.  Opposite walls are lined with coded wood tiles that visually break the normal “white box” exhibition space and instead plays with a wall that whispers the absence of art.

The one way mirror allows people to peer in to the store – looking in from the backs of the niches, thru frames and cabinets, in abrupt ways of passing a full length mirror and realizing that someone is trying on shoes.

Christian and I were trying to showcase his efforts of artist and fashion designer; playing with blurring those lines of programming – having it vibrate between two worlds and the symbols and codes almost distilling it in a transition space.

The wood tile gallery wall also holds some functional details.  Cross hooks embedded into the intersection of wood tile near the ceiling transform the idea of a typical picture rail to hold art work planned to be exhibited on and off throughout the year.  Between exhibitions, the hooks will also hold a collection of orchid shows that embellish / help to reinforce the orchid façade.   Removable metal shelves that hold shoe displays also slip into the reveals between tile to form small displays shelves.

Inside the store, recycled tin panels adorn the ceiling, niche walls, acrylic displays, a new signature shelf design on a back drop of encoded ceramic white on white tiles, make up all of the details that you would expect from the luxurious store.  But just remember as you pick up the beautiful shoe in the niche display – the back is lined with mirror – one way mirror – and somebody just might be peering through the other side watching you looking at your reflection...shopping. 

At the rear of the store – two intimate rooms allow for extended shopping – under the glow of the Barisol ceiling another one way mirror extends the view of the patron.

The entire facade is coated with living orchids.  The awning that swoops and cantilevers over the sidewalk mimics the underside sole of the shoe – complete with the red signature of Christian. 

We wanted a delicate facade that had life, color and vibrancy – something natural that would be equally as beautiful as Christian’s shoes; the climate and lifestyle of Miami definitely supports that desire of beauty.

If you have ever watched a customer shop for a Louboutin shoe, it is quite an exquisite experience – the small gasps of surprises about details and sheer beauty that adorn the shoes really comes across in people’s expressions – the love of seeing a piece of artwork that the shoe is  – this was the core of the idea that generated placing that on display for people to consider as an exhibition in itself – the patron, the act of shopping becomes an exhibit or a constantly changing art performance in a gallery.  The beautiful thing is that one person is not assigned to a specific role – meaning when you walk in, you are technically a gallery go-er and then the voyeur turns object of view.