New York’s Lower East Side has long been a hub for the well-dressed to source designer clothing and find new, buzzy brands. These days this feels especially true since the pandemic relit the flames under the fashionably hip to shop in person. The past couple of years have seen a resurgence in brick-and-mortar stores, whose designs often vie for the attention of shoppers with decked-out and saturated interiors. On the corner of Orchard and Broome, menswear brand le PÈRE from Noam Dvir and Daniel Rauchwerger’s firm BoND (which stands for the Bureau of Noam and David) makes a distinguished but not over-the-top splash on the fashionable street.
For the stylish brand’s first New York flagship, the local firm approached the space based on its locale. “First and foremost the project’s corner location and its large windows to Broome and Orchard streets meant that it has a tremendous potential in creating some kind of glowing effect, like a sort of lantern,” explained Rauchwerger. To create glow, the architects wrapped the store’s central column in a metal and acrylic frame to light up the front-half of the store. In the back, a matching neon yellow illuminates the fitting rooms, emanating from an LED tube leaning against a floor-to-ceiling mirror. The storefront’s large windows put this all on display from the street: the warm light beckons those passing by and feels right at home with the neighborhood’s nightlife scene.
The bold lighting is balanced by the otherwise minimal design. Maintaining the white-painted brick, replacing the flooring with wide-plank oak, and dividing the fitting room from the main floor with soft curtains helps keep the atmosphere inviting and open without feeling hyper-stimulated. Curving furniture and a neutral color palette aid this, too.
Rauchwerger likens the spatial organization of the 1,000-square-foot store as a typology that’s between an art gallery and retail space. On one hand, walls devoid of art or shelving recall the former and allow the clothing to be the main focus and source of additional color to the area. On the other hand, the minimal number of seating—a mix of custom-designed furniture and vintage pieces—sit in the center of the floor to allow free-flowing movement or open the space for events. As such, the custom aluminum clothing racks are portable and a check-out counter doubles as a DJ booth to more easily enable the brand to host events.
“We tried to inject some bold and playful design moves, like the monochrome yellow fitting area, the column-light, and the furniture pieces, which make the space memorable and photogenic,” said Rauchwerger. le PÈRE’s neon interiors are aspirational and trendy, catering to the needs of modern retail to have Instagram-worthy moments. But BoND’s emphasis on transparency and soft textures fulfill this brief while thankfully keeping the space bright and breathable.