+ Dressing Room
By Kadie Yale | Photography by Jeremy Witteveen
As you approach the Maya Romanoff showroom in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, it feels as if you’re stepping out
of the rotunda of shops into a luxurious
oasis separated from the outside world.
The glittering, illuminated signage beckons
you down the long entrance before
swooping open into the expanse of the
showroom, fanning out in a radial grid
pattern from the inside corner.
Such an entrance could be seen as
extreme if it didn’t so adequately prepare
you for the opulence of Maya Romanoff’s
hand-perfected coverings inside. There
I met with Tom Marquardt (IIDA, SBID),
design principal at HDR who, along with
his previous team at marquardt+ (then
Design Collaboratives), created the space
as an homage to Maya Romanoff’s luxury
style and artistry without becoming overbearing and overwhelming.
The key is in the different ways in
which the product is displayed. “The
space provides a variety of shopping
experiences because designers don’t
all look for products in the same way,”
Marquardt explained. Instead, the
showroom works like a hands-on gallery
where designers are encouraged to
interact with the products as they see
fit to give them all the tools they need to
perfect their projects.
In the center of the room stands
a work table anchored by an elongated column covered
in Maya Romanoff’s shell covering, perfectly showcasing
the material’s ability to bend around curves. In fact,
just about every surface is covered in Maya Romanoff
to illustrate the brand’s versatility, from the upholstery
to the glimmering circular mirror.
Experience of Luxur y Tom Marquardt takes i+s on a tour of Maya Romanoff’s Chicago showroom, highlighting
the ways in which the luxury
sourcing experience is
transformed in the space.