Comme des Garçons Paris

Client: Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garçons

Location: Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris

Year: 2001


Done in partnership with Shona Kitchen, as Kitchen Rogers Design

Brief: To create a design for the brand’s flagship store inspired by the notion that ‘an alien wave’ had swept into the interior.

Set off the Rue du Faubourg St-Honore, the design experience of the store begins in the courtyard through which it is reached, where glossy red panels line the windows, obscuring the view in and imposing red doors glide silently open as the customer approaches. Immediately facing is a 15 metre long counter and opposite that a glossy red fibreglass skin flows the length of the shop, covering everything in its path – walls, ceiling, doors, lighting, horizontal and vertical planes – the alien wave. The fantastical red corridor leads to a brilliant white ante-chamber with a polished concrete floor where the retail is housed. Within this sanctuary like space clothes hang from metal rails suspended from the ceiling and folded t-shirts sit on extruded rubber benches, presented to the customer like objects in a museum.

Across the courtyard we created a 55 m2 pavilion, in which a set of red cubes spend the day moving silently through the space, spinning and shifting in a hypnotic way. This was not to be a retail area but an intense concentration of the whole concept. The pavilion has now been given over to retail, expanding the possibilities of the store.

The whole design teeters on the brink of installation art and design, both functional and transporting at the same time. Years on, it looks and feels as fresh and exciting as it did on day one and continues to attract a stream of visitors.