architecture / design / art / music / culture




date. / 2013

location. / Chicago, Illinois

project type. / retail

role. / designer

size. / 2,800 square feet

architect. / Mapos

As a member of Mapos, Justin worked on the development and implementation of a new retail design concept for Icebreaker Merino, a clothing company that makes performance apparel and outerwear from ethically sourced New Zealand merino wool. His involvement included store and fixture design for the brand’s Chicago, New York, and San Francisco locations along with the development of a concept that has been translated globally.  Described as “TouchLabs,” the stores present the brand’s story and heritage through materiality and graphics, and display the brand’s products in a visual and easy to navigate system of physical elements.  The design is focused on communication and is primarily about two things, first, to immerse the customer in the context of where the merino wool comes from and how it is sourced, and second, to make explicit the benefits and applications of Icebreaker’s product line.  Throughout the store, there are numerous references to the wild landscape and pure geography of the mountains, which are dotted with sheep stations, along with the sheep and stewards who inhabit this world.  From a merchandising perspective, special attention was paid to messaging and wayfinding to help the customer navigate the hierarchical nature of the product line and to promote layering, a concept central to the brand’s philosophy.