Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 25 Winter 2010 Contents NEWS DESIGN
Designer and retailer Simon James (pictured) has opened a concept store in Auckland's
hottest shopping destination, The Department Store, a modern take on the traditional
department store. It's the brainchild of Karen Walker, Stephen Marr and Dan Gosling of
Black Box Boutique. We suss it out with Simon.. .
Tr end- s e t ting Monocle magazine placed The Department Store at the top of its latest
Retail Stars list. What makes it so good? I think it's the combination of design, fashion,
hair, beauty, food and co ee over the three floors that o ers customers an innovative,
boutique, retail experience. The people behind the idea are very forward-thinking and
continue to challenge the way we shop. This, combined with an impressive fit-out by
Katie Lockhart, including a central spiral staircase and the living wall of plants at hairstylist
Stephen Marr, makes for a unique shopping space.
How did you get involved in the development? Dan from Black Box is a good old friend
and he and Karen Walker approached us initially. They were looking for something that
could sit alongside fashion, but be more object- and design-focused. After hearing more
about the concept behind The Department Store, we took on a permanent space.
What is the big idea behind the Simon James concept store? Basically, it was a chance
to diversify from furniture and lighting, and to open something dedicated to objects and
homewares. We have hand-picked a selection of products from companies based in New
York, Paris, London, Japan and New Zealand. The store's format and layout give us the
opportunity to constantly change the product we o er and how it's displayed. We want the
concept store to o er something for everyone and a large selection of the international
items we import are only available through this store. Visit simonjamesdesign.com.
SPEAK TO ME
Designer Grier Govorko once designed stage shows for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. His
conversations with Chili Peppers sound engineer Dave Levine led to the development of
the Q Speaker, a beautifully sleek object designed for the home. The mid-high speakers
point at their metal base to fill the room evenly with sound, while the sleek, all-in-one design
delivers minimal clutter. Q Speakers are hand-crafted in New Zealand using real wood and
metal bases. Priced from A$1200. Visit Qspeakers.com.
The cute, o -beat designs from
Union Furniture are comfortable
and hard-wearing. Prices start at
Fashion designer Paula Coulthard and theatre and furniture designer Sue
Haldane have teamed up to create Union Furniture. Found and handmade
materials are incorporated to create a quirky range, including Billiard Settees and
Club Room Furniture. Each piece is made from sustainable timber, upholstered
with hard-wearing textiles and embroidered by hand. Visit uniondesign.co.nz.
68 INSITE WINTER
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