General Contractor: A&R Building and Remodeling
Photographerr: John Muggenborg
Sneaker Junkies decided to expand their business by opening a third location in New Haven. When they came to us to inquire about design services, they explained that they were ready to up their game. In true entrepreneurial style, they completed the fit-outs of their Providence and Boston stores with a bit of design help and a lot of their own effort. For their newest location, they really wanted to wow their customers. Finding a great location on New Haven’s green in a historic building was an excellent start.
Our goals were threefold. One - to create a memorable place that would draw in their fashion-forward streetwear-obsessed customers; two – to develop a strategy for displaying product that would highlight each individual item’s uniqueness; and three – to create a place where community can come together around fashion, social media, and music to celebrate the unique vibe of Sneaker Junkies.
The Sneaker Junkies branding was a great source of inspiration for the design direction. The logo features a “sneaker head” donning a suit and sneakers. The figure is framed by a formal, sneaker-decked crest to create a royal shield that is the soul of Sneaker Junkies. The idea of the customer as royalty is a attitude that Sneaker Junkies amplifies, sharing one on one, personal fashion service and the opportunity for each customer to admire and share their look on the Sneaker Junkies throne, located at the focal point of the store.
To play off the idea of the combining a royal feeling with a futuristic vibe, we developed a diagram for the space that used a traditional shell (also well-suited to the historic building) with sleek, mod insertions. The design response organizes the space so that the customer is front and center, and is treated like royalty. The walls have traditional panel molding that creates hanging panels for single-shoe displays. White illuminated “ribs” asymmetrically flank the walls, drawing customers to the back of the store where the iconic Sneaker Junkies throne is located. The ribs also serve as a structure for product display, bracing hang rods for apparel back to the wall, and “floating” the most new and exciting footwear on floating shelves. Similar to the shoe displays, apparel is presented in a one-off fashion, increasing interaction with sales advisors and enhancing customer service. The generous spacing between products allows each special piece to be viewed more easily and encourages customers to linger over and appreciate the art of each item.
Details include an original, hand drawn design for fabric and wall paper. The design, reminiscent of toile, tells the story of each of the three Sneaker Junkie locations through New England. The design was translated to fabric for furniture and wallpaper as focal points, further knitting a traditional feel with a royal, elegant, modern vibe.