With a relationship spanning more than 200 projects, French luxury designer Christian Louboutin and New York- based multidisciplinary design firm
212box are no strangers to each other. Having
collaborated on locations from Dubai and Singapore
to Paris and San Francisco, the two were the perfect
pair for the Christian Louboutin (CL) brand’s new
flagship store in Miami’s Design District—a project
that has been nearly four years in the making.
In fact, the two-story, 3,874-square-foot space replaces
the original location of CL Miami’s flagship store, also
designed and built by 212box, which was showcased
at Art Basel in Miami in 2009 along with two temporary
retail outlets that were open while the project was being
completed. The previous Louboutin store, located on
40th Street, was torn down as part of a new master
plan for a rejuvenated Design District with a vision that
is responsive to its historic, urban, and tropical context,
according to Eric Clough, principal at 212box.
“It’s a unique, kind of beautiful moment in the
Design District, as they’ve launched a whole new
plaza and courtyards, etc., and we are right on one
of the [standout] corners of that moment,” Clough
explained. “We wanted something striking and
artistic. A lot of those Miami buildings are clean,
white, modern boxes with really beautiful detailing.
You come across ours, and we’ve clad the entire
façade in bark, so it’s a complete contrast to a lot of
those surrounding buildings, but a real nice gesture
of bringing a lot of natural materials to that corner
and to the Design District.”
The new flagship store is inspired by the Palais de
la Porte Dorée in Paris, and reclaimed panels from a
1970s Parisian office building line the mezzanine to
create a dramatic colonnade within the space. The
program consists of a dedicated CL Beauté corner
and the women’s footwear and handbag collections
on the ground floor, which connects to the men’s shoe
and leather goods collections on the mezzanine via a
grand staircase featuring a large, dramatic skylight that
allows natural light to flood the space. Locally sourced
Oolite stone, white travertine, and coral stone used
throughout the interior and exterior add another level of
elegance and uniqueness to the space.
interiors+sources recently spoke with Clough
about the CL Miami flagship store and the role that
unique (and sustainable) wallcovering and cladding
products from Bark House played in creating a
one-of-a-kind retail experience.
interiors+sources: Given the number of projects
you’ve worked on with Christian Louboutin, how
did you approach the new Miami location to give
it a sense of uniqueness?
ERIC CLOUGH: The wonderful thing about Christian is
By Robert Nieminen | Photography by Nick Rochowski
Miami boasts a stunning new storefront with the reemergence of Christian Louboutin’s retail
outlet that pays homage to both the Design District’s artistic roots and the environment.
1. In stark contrast to the contemporary architecture of Miami's Design District, the new Christian Louboutin flagship store is
clad entirely in Poplar tree bark. 2+ 3. Soft, white birch on the interior provides a dramatic backdrop against which Christian
Louboutin's signature shoes pop and sparkle. 4. Gold birch in a tile pattern on the wall in the women's department enriches the
unique design scheme. 5. Daylight floods the space, adding an element of sustainability—a key initiative of the project.