that every store is different. We were both interested in bringing in the local craftsman,
trades, and different cultures and histories of cities that we were building in. I think
there are 136 freestanding stores worldwide. We’ve done lots of concessions as
well, so [we’ve completed more than] 200 projects with them. What’s nice is no
store is the same. When we got to Miami in the Design District, it was always
about being part of Art Basel and being a part of creating a very artistic piece.”
i+s: The use of Bark House’s products both inside and out was an incredibly
unique approach. Did you previously work with the company?
EC: We test drove some of [Bark House’s] materials on about five or six different
stores throughout China, Singapore, and there was another little concession in the
Miami Nordstrom location. And one after the other, [it received] rave reviews. The
product [works as] kind of a backdrop to push that beautiful sparkle of the shoes,
and the spikes and other detailing that Christian does. It was a wonderful contrast
to that. Bark House has created a palette of materials for us that has really resonated
through the stores and the products. A lot of Christian’s artistic desires are being
true to materials, and also the craft behind it and keeping things as found objects,
which are kind of funky moments and quite playful.
i+s: Why was sustainability an important consideration for the CL Miami
flagship store, and how did Bark House’s products help achieve this initiative?
EC: We hope that the new Christian Louboutin flagship building becomes a testament
to the sustainability effort in Miami led by the Design District and Craig Robins
[president and CEO of Dacra, a prominent real estate development firm in the
area]. The materials chosen for the exterior and interior of this two-story men and
women’s retail store are straight out of nature’s library. The exterior is completely
clad in Poplar tree bark, while the interior has softer bark walls of white birch, gold
birch, and pin cherry accents. The materials have softened and enriched a lot of
the interior design, allowing their natural beauty to resonate. We tried to keep the
use of the materials simple by puzzling various patterns of bark or relentlessly coating
entire surfaces to create a new painting of nature as a backdrop to the elegant
sculptures of each of Christian’s shoes.