Here’s an interesting example of how playing with simple line drawings can inspire a new range of retail display units. Canadian design studio +tongtong used their Les Ailes Noires range of geometric welded steel shop fixtures to create a bold interior for Parisian fashion brand Annie Aime when they launched their boutique space in Toronto in Canada.
As well as being a retail interior the space had to be designed in such a was that it could be used for other events, such as installations and arts openings. Indeed, the large brick plinth taking centre stage in the shop seems itself like an homage to Carl Andre’s sculptural work of the 1970s rather than just a handy way to display what is for sale.
The design studio worked with a graffiti artist, Pascal Pasquette, who designed the splashes of bold colour on the otherwise white walls, that in some places looks like giant pieces of handwritten text.
Leaning against the bold walls are +tongtong’s own range of lightweight, freestanding clothing racks that launched earlier this year. Made of welded steel, Les Ailes Noires (the Black Wings) are weighted in such a way that they do not have to be fixed to the wall but can be easily moved to reconfigure the interior space, allowing for the flexibility that this retail space needs. The units are simple, clear and geometric with a light, airy feel. Rubber feet and wall bumpers protect floor and walls as well as stopping the shelving from slippage. Inspired by a series of black line drawings, they playfully throw interesting shadows on to the space.
Horizontal space for display of non-hanging items on Les Ailes Noires is provided by clear glass shelves. Elsewhere the shop interior incorporates bare brick and plain wood shelving displays, echoing a length of exposed brick in the wall. It all adds up to a very light industrial feel, with the flowing coloured strokes of the paint work slipping from wall to the wooden floor and repeated on the window of the shop.