Retail space design always complements the brand’s own culture and demand. WeMarket aims to create a platform for independent Chinese designers to voice the fashion needs of independent Chinese women. As a result, the design needs to take off the sales space of traditional stores and turn to the level of how to take fashion as the medium and build WeMarket as the public platform leading the trend, art and design by visual and spatial means.
Fashion by nature is juxtaposition the need to stand out in a crowd and a community which thrives on exclusivity. However like-minded practitioners always need to interact as traditional clusters of similar functions spring together in the city. We took inspiration from developing co-shares from existing communities. Usually these communities grow from abandoned warehouses and structures in a moment of transition in densely populated areas. These communes or squats gave an indication of a co-share identity as close to a democratic model as exists. The brief gave more questions than answers. An Unknown number of designers. An Unknown Duration of Display. An Unknown Rental Requirements.
What does a Retail Co-Share experience feel like and what do designers need to not loose their identity within the crowd? Our idea pinpointed the need for movement and adapting to new movements in future clusters of designers. The Nature of this business model needs a fluid system of re-generation where fixed locations where not an option. So Space arrangement / Visual identity / and rental changes had to react in extreme cases to potential hour to hour brief requirements. WeMarket should also facilitate the need for designers to self-promote and a platform to increase the Co-Shares desirability as a community.
A research driven approach to developing component driven architecture enabled us to engineer moveable display racks with 3 movements, linear, rotational and flatbed shelves. Using the panels as a space divider the store was divided into 3 volumes 5sqm (Capsule) /10sqm (Resort) /20sqm (Full). Each designer would own a minimum of 3 moveable panels, 4 plinths and one LED sign located in a 1.8Mx2.7M zone to display. This would increase in multiples relating to area. With each designer given their own territory a sense of co-share was generated. The panels also allowed the client multiple options to expand open spaces to facilitate temporary event space for Presentations including fashion shows or exhibitions, and collaborative spaces for display which is currently occupied by Artist Installations.
However this simple ambition belied the complexity to create this changing environment. Each moveable panel contains a yellow scrim panel, Environmental and task lighting to display accessories or clothing and a frame structure was attached to a movable track with fixings to allow shelves or Hanging rails. Each panel is de-mountable and designed to be disguised by the use of stainless steel which reduces the awareness of density in the store. All Visual identity in the store was designed to allow a permanent state of change with All Branding / Designer signage / Rack panels / Curtains demounted or replaced.
WeMarket is a Co-Share retail multiband fashion hub. A platform for Emerging Chinese designers in various stages of development. Connecting with the traditional feeling relating to a market experience whilst also generating a community with a co-share sentiment. Here, independent designers, cross-border artists, top craftsmen can freely express their ideas and inspiration, so that more attention to independent design and original attitude Chic girl feel the beauty of culture, experience the new wave of creative design.