DC Shoes, a shoe and clothing company based in Southern California, quickly achieved cult status among the international skating community. Founders Ken Block and Damon Way celebrated technical innovation as well as a particular sensibility associated with the skating counterculture; the success of their products has much to do with their being identified as synonymous with these values.
GRAFT was asked to aid in developing the brand’s retail identity by designing their flagship store in the fashionable Soho district of New York City. GRAFT’s spatial concept offers customers a unique and innovative space that exemplifies the company’s values. The architectural concept is based on the principles of flexibility, suspended motion and technical innovation.
All products are presented on movable display units suspended from the ceiling, meaning the space can be reorganized to allow different presentations and host events. The color palette is limited to black and white, DC’s signature colors, emphasizing the products on display. Nothing in the space touches the floor; instead the products are suspended in mid-air as if in motion—an homage to the gravity-defying maneuvers performed by skaters. This idea breaks with the conventional retail rule of ‘putting the product on the floor.’