Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 4/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
Miss Sixty, a label that attracts young women with a flair for hip, has a worldwide network of 100-odd stores. Most recall the go-go 1970's. (Day-Glo tones vibrate. Patent vinyl shines. Ceilings and fixtures follow serpentine paths.) And 30 of those locations were created over the past year by Studio 63 Architecture and Design partners Massimo Dei and Piero Angelo Orecchioni.
For a new shop in Los Angeles, the Studio 63 team focused on 1970's sci-fi—think Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Which is why a central display table clad in black vinyl resembles a UFO, and a conical steel light fixture sprouting fiber-optic strands looks rather like a form of alien life.
Plenty of sound retail thinking underpins the fantasy. First, Miss Sixty's enviable location bears note. The shop occupies 2,700 square feet in a new corner building. There are front and side entrances, and the floor slopes gently downward toward the rear—a quasi-guarantee that shoppers will roam all the way through the space. To guide the hipsters along their journey, Studio 63 flew in craftsmen from Italy to apply runways of yellow and black epoxy to the floor.
Just steps from the rear cash-wrap desk, an amorphous lounge piece covered in fuchsia shag encourages lolling—and inspires recollections of decades-old conversation pits. Studio 63 went organic for most of the display fixtures, too. The latest strappy shoes, for example, strut their stuff on a boomerang of patent vinyl and mirror chrome. For dresses, miniskirts, hanging pants, and tiny T-shirts, options are lacquered ribbon curves or an undulating yellow patent-vinyl wall surface inset with niches. Black lacquered shelves and hot-pink lacquered boxes provide linear alternatives.
If color, forms, and, materials leave any doubt about the retro vibe, it's reinforced by the furniture. With Gaetano Pesce's dark red Up 5 lounge chair presiding out front and Eero Saarinen's pedestal table and chairs standing guard outside the dressing rooms, Miss Sixty shoppers are positively immersed in the 20th century's grooviest decade. Even though many of them hadn't even been born then.