The research arm of OMA has created a three-floor space blending Parisian elegance with industrial aesthetics for the Virgil Abloh fashion label
AMO, the Rotterdam-based research and design studio of architecture firm OMA, has completed the new flagship store in Paris for global fashion label Off-White. Occupying three floors of a 19th-century corner building in the city centre near Place Vendôme, the project aims to explore new ways in which architecture facilitates the interaction between fashion and the public.
Led by Ellen van Loon – together with Samir Bantal and Giulio Margheri – the design blends high-end and casual, elegance and industry. Various references to iconic Parisian architectural elements – such as the courtyard and market – are woven into the design, so the city becomes present within the store.
‘Over twenty years ago, Sarah Andelman’s Colette was the predecessor of modern experiential retail, one of the first concept stores where street style met luxury,’ explain van Loon and Bantal. ‘Fast forward to 2021, a couple of blocks away from where Colette sat, the new Off-White store in Paris represents the brand’s multifaceted identity as a cultural channel broadcasting style, media and fashion, humbly saluting Colette and drawing from its irreplaceable legacy.’
The store’s main entrance is a semi-circular vestibule of corrugated glass, which leads to the ground floor’s centrepiece: a reinterpretation of the typical Parisian courtyard. Framed by arches inspired by the street’s portico, the courtyard walls and floors are cladded in white travertine. Another entrance leads to what feels like a completely different store, with light blue walls and a black terrazzo floor, filled with AMO-designed freestanding furniture.
The mezzanine floor, with a low ceiling and small windows, is a space inspired by the aesthetics of the gift shop. On the second floor, a high ceiling and large windows facing the city create a bright and flexible space. A foldable box finished with Sottsass-red veneer conceals the bar and the back of house. The floor accommodates freestanding display elements designed by AMO – metallic clothing racks, wooden tables and white travertine shelving systems – echoing the Parisian flea market. Contrasting combinations of textures and colours emphasise the store’s array of ambiences.
The project continues the collaboration between AMO and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, which started in 2018 with the design of the Abloh’s first solo exhibition Figures of Speech. Off-White Paris is the second store designed for the brand after the Miami flagship.
‘Working with AMO is a synergistic process,’ says Abloh. ‘The way we ideate is similar – nothing is off limits – and the outcome at Off-White Paris is greater than I could have ever imagined.’
Photography by Benoit Florençon, courtesy of OMA