When Josefinas Creative Director Filipa Julio read about Christian Lahoude’s design for the Jimmy Choo store on Avenue Montaigne in Vogue Paris, she knew he was the right architect and designer for Josefinas first physical location. Christian Lahoude’s eponymous Studio has created imaginative and distinctive spaces for such high-end retailers as Chanel, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, and Tiffany & Co. And for Josefinas, he created an airy and whimsical environment, distinguished by specially made, handcrafted elements. The store, which includes a backyard garden, exudes femininity, relaxation, and fun, and actively responds to the Josefinas story and brand message.
At the heart of the store is a life-size, copper tree that is hand-sculpted by Portuguese artisan Jorge Direito and serves as an important point of inspiration for the Studio’s overall design. Elements of nature are woven throughout the store, from the entrance door handle, which features a copper branch, to the cozy background garden, a primary driver for the selection of the site in NoLita. The design is further knit together by a peach, copper, and grey color palette, evoking the duality of power and softness. Attention to detail embodies the Studio’s design approach, and it is felt from the sheer tulle that surrounds the wooden suitcase-style trunks and risers for shoes—adding a delicacy to the overall display—to the broader contrasts between colors, materials, and shapes.
Upon entering the store, shoppers are transported from the bustle of the street into a luxurious and inviting space. The store is outfitted with furniture designed and selected by Christian Lahoude, including the signature S-shaped sofa, inspired by the asymmetric loops of the bow in the Josefinas logo and made by Wood Spring and Down, a workshop in the Bronx run by Michael Bagley and whose long-standing relationship with Christian Lahoude is based on a shared belief in aesthetic and functional quality. Other pieces are made by Portuguese artisans from materials local to the country, including the copper-framed mirrors and copper tables by Ginger and Djagger and a plush “Lipstick” armchair by Munna Design.
These custom components are further highlighted by handmade grey-pink, cut pile fiber and natural wool carpet by the Michigan-based Scott Group and a mother-of-pearl tiled wallpaper by Angela Brown—two suppliers with whom Christian Lahoude has also long collaborated. Concrete flooring adds a modernity and counterpoint to the rich and sumptuous patterns and fabrics, including leather and faux-fur, throughout the store. The space is additionally balanced by a series of peach and clear-mirrored panels that seem to float atop the wall, lending an overall sense of lightness and enhancing the perceived size of the store.
Moving deeper into the space, shoppers encounter the most exclusive shoes made by the brand, presented on floating shelves that are supported by custom wall fabrics and coverings. A specially designed bench offers comfortable seating and also doubles as a dynamic and accessible platform for the shoes. The interior then flows seamlessly into the garden, where visitors can relax at quaint wooden tables, decorated with bouquets of pastel-colored flowers. In this space, the created, almost magical, landscape enters the real outdoors, signifying Josefinas core belief—that dreams can be made true.