Project: Joseph Miami

Design: Sybarite
Opening date: February 2018
Store size: 285 sq m

Luxury fashion label Joseph has opened a new signature store in Miami’s Design District, designed by London-based architects, Sybarite. Spread across 285 sq m, this is the brand’s largest store in the world and offers womenswear, menswear and accessories collections. Sybarite’s design for the store combines Joseph’s aesthetic language with the cultural identity of historic Miami.

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Throughout the store are Joseph’s signature design details: strong geometric lines and a play on opposites – black and white, masculine and feminine. This signature style is evident in the black line that draws the eye around the store, like a brush stroke taking the customer on a curated journey throughout the space, framing the clothes and providing a strong geometry in contrast to the clothes that sit on white shelves or hang from white rails.

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The signature black line also travels into the ceiling cut-outs which create grand geometric gestures through the lighting trenches. Large stretched Barrisol LED lighting areas lift the space to heighten the sensory experience and create a warm ambient light that is complemented by cooler spotlights, the combination of which creates an atmospheric and attractive light scenario for the clothes and the customer.

In addition to the Joseph signature style, each store always incorporates a cultural reference and sensitivity to its location, be it in Singapore, London or Miami.

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For the Miami store, Sybarite was inspired by Miami’s iconic architecture from the 40s and 50s; grand gestures such as circular balconies, spiral staircases, and curved balcony railings. These architectural references inspired the team to design the giant black corkscrew staircase, which provides a central feature, juxtaposing the existing industrial steelwork framing of the store and complemented by polished concrete floors. This is the first time a curved element has been incorporated into a Joseph store design.

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At first glance, the corkscrew staircase is uniformly black but as you enter the staircase and start to ascend it, you discover beautiful white polished marble treads – another play on materials and opposites. On reaching the first floor – which is home to menswear and accessories – the staircase becomes more transparent, with a smoked black glass balustrade.

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Overall, the Miami store concept creates a dramatic gallery space, with the clothes on show and the bold staircase forming an architectural sculpture in its own right. The gallery concept is further supported by a series of plinths sitting on an inlayed brass chessboard made from various materials such as OSB, brass and black Corian. The plinths are designed to showcase accessories such as bags and shoes, and act as a teaser for the store concept but without dominating the visual sight lines of the rest of the space.

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At the end of the store on the ground floor, the till point is formed from a huge piece of Italian green marble called Onice Smeraldo. This is also a signature style within the Joseph concept, with each Joseph store using a different marble from around the world, creating monolithic gestures to evoke a naturalness, a hard beauty and depth to it but within this very geometric landscape.

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In contrast to the store's palette of core materials of marble, concrete, brass and Corian, Sybarite used rich shearlings, velvet upholstery and luxurious carpet in the fitting rooms and seating areas on both the ground and first floors.

The textures, architecture and palette, although contrasting in nature, provide a binding foundation for the uniformity of Joseph’s ever-evolving sartorial language.

'Joseph really understand their customer and we understand our client, having now worked with them on over 50 stores. Our designs for Joseph are based on opposites and the unexpected to provide a complete brand experience for the customer,' says Simon Mitchell, co-founder of Sybarite.

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