Designers transformed the resulting clean and contemporary lines of
the store to embody understated luxury. Sparks says his firm specializes
in translating a store’s identity and
customers—its “DNA”—into three-dimensional reality. The retailer’s
existing stores in New York and Chicago all feature vertical, striated millwork, so the design team focused on
that for the new store’s visual identity.
“To modernize it, we decided on a
‘zim-zum’ pattern of broken but verti-
cal panels of zebrano, which stains to
a beautiful umber tone,” Sparks says.
Cladding perimeter walls, divider walls,
and freestanding display panels, the
striped wood became the center of a
design based on “asymmetrical, com-
positional” physical elements. Their
lines are echoed in linear patterns of
rugs, the freestanding staircase, and the
custom chandelier, all of which feature
straight lines set at angles.
To make the design a reality, Sparks
turned to High Country of Longmont,
Colo. (sister company to Leesport,
Pa.-based Fleetwood). The fabricator had worked on previous luxury
properties, including Neiman Marcus
stores, and Sparks trusted them to
provide the level of quality necessary
for the D.C. store.
“Creating a true luxury environment requires devotion to details,”
Exceptional service is a
hallmark of Paul Stuart,
whose luxurious suits and
clothes are all their own
brand. The display wall
hides the fitting area,
where customers are
served drinks and small
foods. Clothing is taken to
New York City for tailoring;
minor tailoring is done
in a tailor shop on-site.
Left: Custom rugs play off the striated zebrano used in wall panel and fixtures throughout the store, bringing the linear design to a different surface and
material. Free-standing panels, such as the one next to the window, hold merchandising units on one side and act as display backdrops on the other.
Right: A custom chandelier continues the linear theme in yet another material and space. The store’s second floor, built in what was originally intended as condo
space, has a lower ceiling and a cozier feel. Ceiling coffers add more verticality while allowing for the HVAC, electrical, and other systems for the floors above.