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A new look for Calvin Klein Underwear stores.

The new look for Calvin Klein underwear in Helsinki infuses the store environment with a sense of youthful vitality. The primarily linear concept creates a strong visual counterpoint to the CK Jeans and CK Platinum concepts, by using a discreet, monochromatic, palette.


A new look for Calvin Klein Underwear stores.

Both passive and active light has been used to create zones throughout the store and to infuse theatre into the retail landscape. Meanwhile, the colour and patterns used throughout reinforce the male/ female product split. In addition, scale and texture have been employed to create key touch points throughout the store, enabling and encouraging discovery and intimacy during the customer journey.

On entering the store, the brand’s signature high-contrast palette and corresponding large-scale, monochrome brand photography brings an immediate and visceral excitement to the customer. The sensuality, depth of experience and engagement is deliberately on an intimate level, speaking to both men and women.

James Breaks, head of design for rpa:group, said: “At inception, the challenge for us was to infuse the iconic interior elements with a subtle warmth and lightness-of-touch, thereby, creating a multi-layered experience, that maintained design parity with existing Calvin Klein ranges.” Architecturally, each store was considered on its own merits. The designs retained and celebrated distinguishing shell features such as structural columns and distinctive ceiling construction.

Internally, Calvin Klein Underwear has a bold fixture style that has a high practical remit for retail-floor storage and mass-display. The clean, linear tone needed to remain as the primary visual cue. Using these elements as a starting point, we began to deconstruct the existing concept, lightening the framework to make it as invisible as possible, accentuating the packaged product and allowing the hung product to ‘float’ in front of the wall displays. Rectilinear runs of wall units were given a gentle incline to break repetition, opaque voiles behind system allowed a degree of transparency and light-play to suggest a soft tactile palette, without detracting from the product material and pattern.

Lighting design was thoroughly reconsidered to take into account this strategy, thereby increasing theatre via pronounced contrast and defining focal points to drive the journey through the store. In addition, high gloss vertical finishes added an element of reflection and depth, allowing horizontal display surfaces to catch the light.

As with most successful concepts, the fine detail brought the concept to life and gave it a unique identity. The displays incorporated slender metalwork to frame the product with a hint of reflection, where crystal acrylic inserts provided hints of warmth and colour to accent product areas. The recessed troughs in the ceiling rafts used the adjacent gloss black of the brand walls to continue, or multiply, their linear pattern. Short, but deeply set skirting and plinths gave the practical and solid freestanding furniture a suggestion of floating above the floor finish. Each fixture joint was carefully considered to retain a visual simplicity of form, allowing the eye to flow across the surface and directly to product display.

In combination, the store successfully engages the customer with a sophistication that serves both male and female tastes. The primary Calvin Klein precept of classic simple elegance is retained, making the Underwear Concept a worthy and successful addition to the family.

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