Sage Wimer Coombe Architects designs a new shop for Sigerson Morrison in the Nolita district of New York.
Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 4/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
YOU CAN HAVE your Manolos, J.P. Tod's, and Pradas. We'll take Sigerson Morrison. These distinctive shoes, the creation of partners Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison, always hit the fashion mark without needing a buckle, toggle, or red stripe to identify them to the status-conscious. The eager embrace of Sigerson Morrison by the fashion crowd is particularly remarkable given the firm's low-key approach to marketing: no glaring ad campaigns, little media hype, and limited distribution. While the Sigerson Morrison label is found in chic shops worldwide, the firm maintains just two stores of its own. The new flagship setting is at 28 Prince Street in Nolita, just around the corner from the site of its first shop, which opened in 1995. A second store, established in 1999, is in London's Westbourne Grove.
Facing expansion, Sigerson and Morrison looked to Sage Wimer Coombe Architects to design a space that would reflect the esprit of both the neighborhood and their product. An old, freestanding vegetable warehouse provided the skeleton for the new shop. The architects had to fashion an interior plan that would accommodate wholesale showroom space, partners' offices, and storage to supplement the retail operation.
"There was virtually nothing there," says Jennifer Sage of the 3,500-sq.-ft., 113-ft.-deep site. "We cleaned out the space, built a new façade, and put in four big, 14-by-6 11/42-ft. skylights." Relying on simple construction methods, limited materials, and a straightforward plan, Sage and partner Peter Coombe created a luminous environment that serves as a striking setting for the shoes.
The storefront's grid of aluminum, glass, and white "penny tile" affords enticing views of the interior. The designers divided the space roughly into thirds, establishing divisions with partitions that fall a few feet short of a ceiling that varies from 14 11/42 ft. to 15 11/42 ft. The first 1,100-sq.-ft. area encompasses the retail portion. Beyond this are the stock area and the wholesale showroom, accessible by a separate entry. Offices for the principals occupy a rear mezzanine.
Furnishings are sparse but distinctive. Display vehicles consist solely of movable, brushed steel tables, a collaboration between the design team and Jasper Morrison, who is Miranda's brother. Sage Wimer Coombe designed the white oak banquette along the west wall, and the cash/wrap of the same material. Jasper Morrison selected the material for the banquette and cash/wrap and also designed the red Cappellini sofa. Two eleven-ft.-high mirrors are spaced along the facing elevation. White penny tile creates a textured floor plane and provides a link between interior and exterior.