Over the years our shops have evolved into spaces where we tell our story, where we exchange ideas and inspiration with our customers. They're integral and inseparable limbs of our brand and mission. With this in mind, we kicked off this year with a goal: to find unique and exciting ways to bring our community together within our shops. The first step was to give our Williamsburg store a makeover, and turn it into an always evolving, functional space. We sit down with our founder Szeki to chat about the new space.
On Szeki: Quilted Linen Jacket
You set out to create a space that was an extension of the 7115 mission and story. How did you achieve this?
Balancing aesthetic and function has always been important to 7115. We began with thinking about what makes a functional space. To me, a functional retail environment has to be flexible. It needs to breathe in new life on its own all the time. In this particular design practice, flexibility was my primary objective. I worked with our team to design custom multi-purpose fixtures that would turn the space into something that was dynamic and hard-working.
What do you hope that the new space will achieve? How do you want people to feel when they step into the space?
I don’t want people to feel like they’re inside. I want them to feel like they’re still outdoors. I want people to feel comfortable as soon as they step in and like they’re part of the space. To be able to enjoy the space and the fact that the shop isn’t built around the clothes. Instead of having racks and racks of clothes, the clothes have become part of the space. So when people walk in they take it all in, in a way that makes the shopping experience a lot less forceful. They can connect with our clothes, our brand and our story in a natural way.
You’ve definitely been able to turn the space into a warm and welcoming environment. Can you walk us through the palette you used and how it has helped to create this atmosphere?
I really liked the original space before the renovation and it was working fine. It was clean and minimal, but after a while I felt it lacked liveliness. So improving our atmosphere was one of the main goals with this renovation. I wanted to create a clean, streamlined space that wasn’t harsh. That’s where the palette really helps because we used a lot of green and wood. These are colors you find in nature. So right away you feel like you’re outside. It’s refreshing. It's like the feeling you get when you step into a greenhouse and a nursery. I love nurseries so that was definitely part of the inspiration.
Designing and constructing the new space was an exercise in doing a lot with a little. What’s your favorite feature in the space?
Our pegboard wall is my favorite feature. It’s just a wooden wall with holes in it that we built and mounted, but the holes in the wall allow us to design simple and clean fixtures that would just slot straight in. Right now we have racks in different sizes, shelving, and boxes that are all interchangeable and easy to store. So they’re not taking up too much space. We designed some fixtures that are a combination to maximize the use of the space. The possibilities are endless with this wall. It does all the hard work. The coolest part of it is that we can keep designing fixtures for whatever needs we might come across in the future.
That's really what the essence of 7115 is. We start by looking at an existing concept and see how we can tweak it with a clever detail to take it to its full potential, like with our deconstructed blazer. We looked at the idea of a blazer and asked ourselves: how can we make this better? More functional? The idea for our pegboard came about in the same way.
Any exciting plans for the space in 2017?
With all the space that we gained from the new streamlined design we were able to add a long table, which is something our team has always wanted to incorporate. We can now host events and workshops on topics that we find interesting. We want our customers to be able to come in and bounce ideas off one another. We’re really excited for some clever ideas coming into 7115 in the spring. There’s going to be something about plants, something about cooking...things that we’ve really connected with our customers over. I’m excited. I really hope that this will become a space that inspires clever ideas.
Swing by and visit us at 223 Grand St, Brooklyn NY 11211. We’re open from Monday to Saturday, 11:00am-8:00pm and Sunday 11:00am-7:00pm.