Christian Louboutin Sao Paulo
Eric Clough, the principal of 212box – who is known for his work developing codes and ciphers – took literally Christian Louboutin’s desire to create a “new language” for this store; the goal was to counteract the sense of placelessness that shopping malls usually conjure by tapping into our relationship with language and our innate ability to assign meaning to symbols and letters. Clough covered the façade with more than 9,000 non-repeating wood tiles that engage the viewer; on these tiles are letters from more than 28 world languages with an infill of 400 symbols, drawn by Clough’s twelve-year-old nephew.
These letters and symbols were then laser cut into 2 ¾-inch sandblasted wood tiles. Together the tiles create an intriguing collage. As Clough explains, “one could easily spend hours trying to decipher some meaning from the symbols. We wanted the façade’s design to help establish a sense of place and authenticity.”
Puncturing the store’s exterior are large glass windows that frame acrylic shoe displays and provide select views into the brightly lit interior. Inside, the store is a layering of iconic Christian Louboutin boutique trademarks like the arched display niches and individual wall vitrines that showcase shoes like works of art. One room is anchored by a cash wrap clad in hammered tin panels, while another has floor to ceiling mirrors and is inset with display vitrines surrounded by antique frames. A secret VIP room, entered from behind a sliding mirror has a wall of custom made ceramic tiles, embossed with letters of the alphabet, and another wall lined with mirrors showing hidden glimpses of the main retail space.