RIO DE JANEIRO — Expanding Nkstore, a micro shop for young, upscale women in São Paulo, Brazil's fashionable Jardins shopping district, was a delicate task because Nk's owner didn't want to disrupt its signature look.
The retailer, which will almost double its size to 16,000 square feet in August when a renovation project is completed, opened in 1997 and is one of the few São Paulo fashion boutiques with interesting architecture and an inventive decor.
There is its black-and-white color motif. The store's logo is written in small black letters on the glossy, black reflective glass facade. The only color is a small white door. Inside, customers walk across a white concrete footbridge over a rectangular pool and into a white-marbled, white-walled, four-story space filled with black furniture and freestanding counters.
"The inspiration for the pool/footbridge came from the architecture of spas, which are designed to be relaxing," said Natalie Klein, Nk's owner. "Pumps make the water in the pool ripple. It's a soothing sound that relaxes clients as they enter the store."
Klein said she decided to make Nkstore's interior all white so it would not clash with the colorful clothes. The facade and furniture are black to break up the visual monotony of an all-white space and because black never goes out of style, she said. "That's why we carry a lot of black clothing, too."
A skylight on the ceiling gives the store plenty of natural light and potted palms lend a tropical Brazilian look. A wood-paneled, wood-floored bar in the back of the store serves champagne and soft drinks. The bar will be moved to the second floor when the expansion is finished.
Klein bought a 6,450-square-foot, three-story building on an adjacent cross street, which shares a common wall with Nk. When that wall is demolished, the original store will seamlessly flow into the new wing.
The expansion is meant to give Nkstore more space for foreign labels, which will move from the original store's second floor to the first two levels of the new space. The foreign labels Klein carries include Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs, Catherine Malandrino, Stella McCartney, Issa, Yanuk, Paper Denim & Cloth, Sass & Bide and Luella Bartley, but she plans to add others.Those foreign brands now make up 20 percent of the stock. The remainder is Nkstore's own brand, which includes jeans, embroidered knitwear, ruffled silk skirts, leather jackets, shoes and handbags. Prices for the Nkstore brand are in the $120 to $180 range.
Klein declined to discuss Nk's volume, but market sources said it does about $14 million in sales, a figure that's likely to rise after the expansion.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast