Stepping out: Inside I.T Group’s Shoe Collective flagship
I.T Group’s new 30,000sqft flagship apparel store at Causeway Bay’s Hysan One has long been a popular destination for the city’s fashionistas.
Late last year, the company opened its new shoes-and-bags zone, a 7500sqft space called Shoe Collective which boasts stock from curated international brands on M Floor.
The fashion house chose award-winning Shoreditch, London-based architect Jamie Fobert to create the space. His team delivered an “artistic and avant-garde atmosphere” with different spaces featuring themes like “transparency”, “neon”, “destination”, and “connection” in consideration of the brands’ different looks and characters and introducing a brand new shopping experience to customers. It also features an eyewear corner for Neith, a new I.T concept brand and Gallery Three & Four which showcases selected apparel which I.T believes complements the footwear on display adjacently.
“Every pair of shoes needs to match the right clothes to complete a fashionable look,” said an I.T spokesperson of the apparel component. “So Shoe Collective is equipped with a corner that showcases notable clothing brands from Asian to Europe.”
The new footwear and accessories space features more than 30 international brands, including Alexander McQueen, Ann Demeulemeester, Balenciaga, N°21 and Valextra. Labels such as Nicholas Kirkwood, Kozha Number, Leo Studio Design, Prosperine, Reike Nen, United Nude, Eureka and Vagabond launched exclusive items to mark the reopening of Shoe Collective and I.T’s coinciding 30th anniversary. Nicholas Kirkwood’s exclusive sneakers incorporate the idea of neon into sneaker design creating a gradient effect of neon pink from the bottom of the shoe up by splashing the contrasting black and grey ink onto the shoes, creating an effect that is both layering and three-dimensional.
Besides the Neith space and Gallery Three & Four, Fobert created five separate zones within Shoe Collective:
Gallery One’s main display includes leading shoe and bag designer brands, including Thom Browne and Alexander Wang. The main colour theme of the area is light grey, and Jamie Fobert’s octagonal pillars draw attention to the centre. Continuing the theme of transparency, there are four custom-built large transparent display bases which allow the products to be displayed in a modern, stylish way.
Luxury Poche aims to create “an independent, isolated private space,” offering multiple fitting rooms for customers. The space features an array of designer shoes and handbags, such as Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Valextra. Inspired by the calmness of lakes, Luxury Poche is equipped with a lake-blue carpet and sofa, with a three-dimensional stripped wall. Fobert says the calming feel of the room brings customers to the relaxation and romance of a destination, revisiting the “destination” theme of the space.
Gallery Two features a display corner for British brand Kurt Geiger, showcasing the brand’s shoes and bags. In addition, Fobert’s octagonal pillars are used to display different footwear and handbag brands that target younger customers. The pillars in Gallery Two are smaller and mainly focused in displaying a selection of shoes than those of Gallery One. They are also transparent with different fluorescent tones.
Aspirational Poche is the space for more affordable footwear and handbag brands, such as Venilla Suite. The area creates visual impact by using bold red carpet contrasting with silver display frames. An eye-catching pink mirror and glass lamp complete what Fobert describes as a “charismatic and irresistible space” for customers.
Sneaker Poche was designed to align with both the Shoe Collective concept and current sneakers trends. It has been created with an avant-garde curved wall and shelf design, showing off the latest sneaker designs from different brands. Fobert says the set up makes customers feel like they are inside “a fashionable spacecraft”. Sneaker Poche connects Gallery Two with the Gallery Three & Four apparel areas.
“The gradient grey floor of Gallery Three & Four share space with Gallery Two, creating a sense of continuity in the shopping experience,” explains an I.T spokesperson. Neon lighting and translucent glass feature here, highlighting the variety of footwear fashion styles on display.
Meanwhile, the Neith eyewear corner features a bright yellow carpet with avant-garde aluminum shelves. It displays a variety of international designer eyewear brands, including Gucci, Christian Dior, Bape, Alexander McQueen, Fendi, Celine and Stella McCartney. The space also features three different sized mirror-like rectangular displays which reflect the sharp yellow colour tones.
This feature originally appeared in the Winter edition of Inside Retail Hong Kong’s magazine edition, available by subscription in digital or print versions.