Just like our home neighbourhood of Shoreditch, Seoul’s Hongdae district has long attracted artists, entrepreneurs and creatives, undergoing similar waves of gentrification as rents have increased and the big labels have moved in. Among them is streetwear brand Fred Perry, with whom we have collaborated on projects from Cologne to Coal Drops Yard. On every project, the challenge has been to make a space which takes on something of the character the local context as well as defining that of the Fred Perry brand itself.
In Seoul, the existing unit had an abundance of character, poised on a street corner above an underground garage, and from the outset we wanted to work with the space rather than against it. Outside, the external brickwork was painted black to differentiate the shop from the floors above, and the space ‘hanging’ above the garage entrance defined as a performance/launch area. Almost immediately we decided to keep the rough wall, floor and ceiling textures inside just as they were, foregrounding them by keeping the shop fixtures and fittings simple.
The grid pattern left in the concrete floor after the damaged tiles were taken up drove the concept for the display fixtures, which are based on a modular framework of minimal black steel. This framework creates hanging rails and lighting tracks, and is infilled in part by glass lightboxes to make plinths, shelves and counters. The use of hanging fixtures throughout the small unit maximises the shop floor and gives a increased sense of space.