Maison Alaïa on New Bond Street is the brand’s first flagship store outside of Paris. Designed by the late Azzedine Alaïa, the store comprises 6000 square feet of elegant, bright space, filled with the work of artists and designers selected by the revered fashion designer.
Central to the brief was to create the aesthetic of a luxurious, contemporary fashion boutique. Optelma worked closely with lighting designer Nulty and architect Aukett Swanke to light the lift shafts and the spacious fitting rooms located on the upper floors of the three-storey retail space.
The lift is a feature in itself. Inside the lift shaft, artwork printed on plexiglass is back-illuminated with scattered, horizontal LED luminaires. Part of Alaïa’s vision for the store, the effect created resembles a deconstructed ladder, with Optelma’s Lima Round profile, with opal diffuser, ensuring a clean, homogenous light distribution.
The fitting rooms were designed to maximise the quality and distribution of light in order to capture the colours, textures and details of the couture clothing and accessories. Ceiling-mounted light boxes adorned with printed artwork are outlined by a linear frame of illumination. This profile contains high-quality LEDs, with a colour-rendering index of 90+ helping to define colour accurately. Optelma’s Graze 2 profile, integrated into window joinery, creates further lines of light for a simple, but eye-catching effect, which adds to customer comfort by imitating daylight.
A lighting control system gives flexibility through pre-programmed light scenes, allowing the client to respond to the needs of an ever-changing premium retail space. This provides a valuable resource for day-to-day use, enabling the client to highlight specific pieces, vary the effect of the light within the store, and to complement new season releases and couture fashion events.
Commenting on the success of the design, Rebecca Hodge, Senior Lighting Designer, Nulty, said: ‘We really appreciated Optelma’s ability to use their product range to its full potential, making design adjustments at a component level to ensure each and every product is tailored to the specific requirements of the project.’
CLIENT: Maison Alaïa
LIGHTING DESIGN CONSULTANT: Nulty
ARCHITECT: Aukett Swanke
LIGHTING DESIGN AND MANUFACTURE: Optelma
PHOTOGRAPHY: © Agnese Sanvito