28 Apr 2021 • Retail
Ugg is using its Fifth Avenue flagship to position itself as a lifestyle brand
Green Building/LEED Consultant
Paradigm Structural Engineering, 2L Engineering (MEP)
The fashion retailer is marking its evolution from boots to lifestyle with a Southern California-inspired flagship in New York.
Most people immediately associate Ugg with its suede-and-sheepskin boots – mainstays of popular footwear in the early 2000s. But they’re far from all the brand offers, and that’s now made clear on Fifth Avenue. Ugg worked with Florencia Pita & Co and Quezada Architecture – two architecture-and-design firms based in California – to bring its Southern California roots to the Big Apple. The teams aimed to emulate the quality of light and landscape in the Golden State, introducing soft, curving counters and a glowing LED wall to the adaptable space (574 sq-m of which is customer-facing). Two iconic Ugg qualities – its logo and the ‘sun-flake’ geometry of its undersoles – were abstracted as design features, represented throughout the interior (and its furniture) using craft techniques. On the street level, a steel-framed structure provides a modular system for display, circulation and view-framing, ideal for inviting passersby into the space.
By emphasizing craftsmanship through the use of custom materials and bespoke furniture, Florencia Pita & Co and Quezada Architecture successfully established a spatial language for Ugg that indeed may prove more appealing to a wider audience. But, for a lifestyle-oriented space, the shop feels quite commercial, particularly the downstairs area. Alternative use of the LED wall – programming more complementary to the interior itself – would certainly help to give it more of a Santa Barbara, less Fifth Avenue atmosphere.