words Johanna AgermanIn a gritty corner of Soho you'll find New York-based designer Derek Lam's first store. Designed by Japanese architect SANAA, it is only a couple of blocks from its last New York project - the New Museum on the Bowery.
Lam's store is a refit of a 19th-century factory building, and in true SANAA style it has been stripped back to the bare minimum: a grey concrete floor and brick walls painted white. The main intervention in the space is a series of oval rooms with walls of transparent acrylic, each room housing a different collection.
As the rooms can only be entered at one point, the customer has to circle them on the outside, browsing the goods before entering, playing with the concept of a peepshow - you can look but you can't touch.
At the back of the store the transparent acrylic is exchanged for gold metallic curtains to shield the changing rooms and a VIP suite catering to Lam's A-list clientele.
In the coming months Derek Lam plans to move his studio to the floors above the store, recreating the feel of an old Parisian fashion house. It hasn't been confirmed if SANAA has also been commissioned to design the studio.