Title Image


Project type: Retail


Locations: New York, Los Angeles, U.S.A.


Time: 2004, 2006


Client: DC Shoes – Quicksilver


Status: Completed


Photos: GRAFT



DC Shoes, a young shoe and clothing company from Escondido, CA, quickly achieved cult status among international skating youth. Founders Ken Block and Damon Way celebrate technical innovation as well as the skating counterculture sensibility synonymous with DC Shoes.


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 clients a unique and innovative interface as an expression of the company’s values. The architectural branding is based on the principles of flexibility, suspended speed, and technical innovation.


All products are presented on moveable display units hanging from the ceiling. Hence, the space can be reorganized to support different displays and events. The space’s color palate is limited to white and black, DC’s signature colors, emphasizing the displayed products. Nothing in this space touches the floor, instead suspended mid-air as if in motion— an homage to skaters’ gravity-defying maneuvers. This idea breaks with the conventional rule in retail of ‘putting the product on the floor.’



The Melrose Avenue store is DC Shoes’ second retail store location. The space’s aim is to provide a unique and upscale retail environment that stays true to DC’s motto “Born of street, born of skate”. With this in mind, the goal is to maintain the vibrant history of this skate brand while bringing its retail imagery into adulthood.


The client expressed an affinity to a clean modern aesthetic, flexibility and materials true to the skater aesthetic. The resulting store is composed of modular fixtures which are easily rearranged as needed. Display walls are made up of individual cubbies that open and close depending on the desired aesthetic and number of shoes on display. The shoe wall is housed on a sliding track, allowing flexibility for the wall as well as the floor space.


The hung plywood ceiling in the entry bay resembles an inverted half-pipe. Its egg crate construction is partially clad, abstractly representing a half-pipe’s smooth surface while exposing its structural components.