The newly opened Kenzo flagship store in Seoul, located in the active commercial area of Gangnam, features a face that speaks to the playfulness of the brand, while building a representation that stands out from the many neighboring stores.
Lime green, a colour favoured by the French brand, has been used liberally in the design of their classic tiger sweatshirt, and even was the hue of choice for Michelle Obama’s Kenzo gear on her first visit to Tokyo. Naturally, Cárdenas employed the vivid shade for the 862 conical shapes that represent the thread spools of fashion construction – identifying the tools of process essential to the trade. The design studio also chose to expose the powder-coated metal grid that behaves as the attachment system for the installation, as a way of interpreting the physicality of brick-and-mortar stores in a digital age.
The dynamic architectural feature creates a dimensional pattern that ultimately acts as a calling card. For the South Korean consumer, retail spaces have to provide more than goods: they have to deliver experience and service. Kenzo’s directors and RDC/AAL described the role of shopping in South Korea as ‘almost a national sport.’ Cheongdam-dong Fashion Street, where the shop is located, is made up of a string of high-end retailers all vying for the attention of Seoul’s super wealthy, as well as the growing tourist economy.
With South Korea positioned as the fourth fastest growing luxury goods market, the spending power of Chinese and international visitors is luring a diverse range of global fashion brands to Gangnam.