Gareth Pugh opened his first store this weekend, right in the center of Hong Kong. And in typical avant-garde fashion, things like textural contrasts and optical illusions were his main design priorities.
"Because it was my first store, I knew I had to do something that was very me. So I went back to my runway shows and thought, what could be more me than a black box? But instead of doing something very one dimension, I decided to play around with a lot optical illusions that will change the space according to reflections. Contrasting themes such as shiny and matte, black and white, hard and soft are also important part of my style. I wanted to take these ideas and create something that would make sense in a retail environment."
The shop is coated in jet-black rubber paint, and the dressing rooms are lined with padded leather, which is a smart move considering how easy it is to injure oneself shimmying into Pugh’s chained and buckled creations. The designer also decided to forgo window displays. Instead, he plans to use the boutique’s front windows to frame an LED wall that will showcase changing graphics and videos.
“I’ve been talking to Nick Knight who runs a lot of live streaming on Showstudio and I was thinking I can connect the screen to the Internet and perhaps, put a camera in my studio. Because the screen is part of the architecture of the store, we can essentially curate the wall. And when the shop is shut, it can still communicate to the audience outside.”
Pugh has no immediate plans to open more stores, but would eventually like to have his own boutique in London or Paris. And while he is expanding his brand, Pugh finally put those rumors that he’s heading to Thierry Mugler to rest by stating "There is no truth to them at all. Rumors are rumors. It’s not going to happen.”