For the design-build firm Emporium Design, a second collaboration with the luxury menswear brand Carson Street is not only about connecting to the heart and the soul of the client’s brand but also about linking to the spirit of the store’s stylish SoHo neighborhood. The new flagship store is a physical and aesthetic departure from its previous location on Crosby Street, with Emporium Design creating a happy marriage between the new location’s historic infrastructure and the sleek and sophisticated, mid-century aesthetic of the brand.
According to Timothy Welsh, director of architecture and construction at Emporium Design, “The original space needed to be a canvas to multiple designers and collections, so we concentrated on crafting an environment that was both welcoming and flexible.”
The new 3,300-square-foot store pays homage to Carson Street’s spirit of classic masculinity and light industrial vibe by incorporating an array of textures and materials, including natural walnut, blackened steel and concrete, while keeping to a restrained palette of muted colors to maintain its sophisticated appeal. The design of the store allows the client's brand to stand on its own, with stately wood display tables and concrete pedestals marking their own presence within the space and fitting comfortably within the framework of exposed cast-iron columns, the historical vastness, and the double-height ceilings of the original building.
In a true spirit of craftsmanship, the built components of the store—including the custom stainless steel, modular display rack system that cantilevers from the building’s columns, and the steel dressing room enclosure—showcase the workmanship of the local, New York-based craftsmen and artisans. The modular footwear and menswear displays reveal the deceptive simplicity of the sleek modern approach to space, while allowing the Carson Street brand to evolve and interchange its collections through functional and flexible spatial design.
“As the clients had evolved over the last few years, and subsequently asked us to design and build their new store, we had the unique opportunity to re-think what the most appropriate canvas would be for their current and new brands," explains Welsh. "Much like the current collections that are displayed, the new space wanted to be more refined and streamlined, resulting in a minimalist approach with a more modern palette, focusing on custom solutions and superior craft.”