Levi’s Flagship Store, Berlin

First floor featuring repurposed fixtures for display of merchandise.

With a brief to create an ultimate retail brand experience for Levi’s in Germany, the vision was to create a store where customers could immerse themselves in the pioneering spirit of Levi’s.

The three-storey, 400 sq. m. store is located in the heart of Berlin on Kurfürstendamm. Its striking façade of arched windows spans the entire store showcasing each floor at a single glance.

Inside, the designers wanted to create a space where Levi’s relationships with local artists, musicians, and filmmakers could be nurtured and exhibited to generate a youthful mix of global/local creativity. It is this freshness and integrity that makes Levi’s Berlin a destination.

The ground and first floors are small spaces for such a grand façade, but these open up to a gigantic second floor, so the challenge was to create an absolute journey between the floors. In order to realize the design, the architectural layout of the store was changed quite drastically. The staircase was relocated and the mezzanine floors extended creating an expanded 100 sq. m. of retail space within the store.

The beautiful curved staircase becomes a central feature and is very much part of the journey between the floors. It sweeps through the first floor to the second with its irregularly set white balusters and concrete treads promoting solidity and wisp.

The floors are physically and metaphorically linked with a Levi’s signature red thread ‘chandelier’ which is suspended in the centre of the staircase.

View down staircase from second floor (left) and ground floor gallery and full height view of store interior.

 

Behind the staircase is a wall spanning the three floors displaying a Levi’s timeline - a snapshot on the brand history with images from its early roots (1853), running through the decades to the present day. Many of the frames are digital albums flicking through archives and current imagery depicting the soul of the brand.

The whole ground floor is a shop front for the brand. A gallery is instituted where the ‘newness’ and ‘most innovative’ Levi’s products are displayed with the works of local artists, musicians, and filmmakers. It is frequently refreshed and modified to sustain the energy and vitality of the store.

The first floor celebrates the concept of Levi’s Blue. The concrete floor of the gallery and stairway give way to a dark oak parquet floor complemented with stripped back brick and concrete walls, against which a gently undulating display of merchandise is presented. Whilst minimalist white fixtures display the range with clarity, featured garments in burnt orange punctuate the space.

The second floor houses a series of rooms offering a range of experiences for customers to explore. Firstly, a space is dedicated to the most celebrated jeans ever, Levi’s 501TM. Here, a curved wall displays a full range of 501s in every conceivable denim finish. This leads onto the main area displaying men’s and ladies’ products. Walls have again been stripped back like in the first floor adding a raw texture to the space with products contrasted against oversized images from the latest photo shots.

The denim ‘vault’ is the ultimate area of the store. Kept in the three metre high vaults is the most collectable apparel ranging from Levi’s Vintage Clothing collections to bespoke collaborations sourced from Levi’s outlets around the world. This is the only place where much of this product is obtainable outside the US and Japan making it a Mecca for denim aficionados.

This is an area for denim experts. While the copper lined vaults present hanging garments throughout the area, a ‘banker’ table in the centre of the floor allows customers to explore the products, just like clients examining their valuables in safety deposit boxes at the bank. Customer service staff are like ‘curators’ who possess expertise knowledge of Levi’s in helping customers to uncover the charisma and become even more passionate and obsessed about the brand.

Amidst one of the vaults lies a secret doorway to a concealed area, a premium leather floor and mahogany cupboards where the most atypical products are reserved for the exclusive…truly a denim heaven.

The store expresses the diversified personalities of the brand and creates a strong definitive area for each line, compassionately brought together to express the ultimate celebrity of Levi’s.

 

Imposing three-storey fascia using anti-reflective glass.
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