Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Second Floor

In 15 days, we'll be very pleased to present to all of you the second floor at KIN.

Just a quick recap on what it was and what it intends to be in the future:

Upon opening it's doors back in 2007, the second floor was initially delayed due to furniture and design issues. We had decided to go ahead and present the first floor and slowly attempt to get the upstairs portion sorted out. 3 months after we opened up, the second floor was done. All furniture was put in and the store was eventually segregated into two sections with the first comprising of clothing and accessories while the second floor comprised purely of footwear and some artwork.

The second floor turned into somewhat of an enclave for many. With the mood set by a combination of subtle lighting and cozy mid-century furniture, the space welcomed customers both new and old. Sometimes even to purely just soak in the atmosphere of a quiet and cultured setting far away from the bustle of the more central areas. The space also functioned as a gallery and sometimes played host to many a gathering for friends or other like minds. We even had DJ "Brown Suga" at the second floor to drop some 90's R&B for an intimate gathering one Thursday evening. It was a one of a kind affair. If you know of anyone that was present at that event, make sure to ask for highlights of the evening.

As some of you may know, the second floor was recently turned into an office space for us. Shortly after, we grew out of it and moved on to another great spot in the city. We packed the ping-pong table, the water cooler, the inventory and moved out. Since then, the second floor has undergone a slight renovation to turn it back into a retail location. We miss having an engaging space.

Albeit fun, the second floor renovation was an interesting challenge. With the entire team throwing out ideas for furniture/design/direction, it was more relaxing than it was 4 years ago when I single-handedly took charge of the project. It made me thankful for the support of a solid team. I also realized that this business has come a long way since May 2007.

Our brief was simple. Keywords tossed around included; Modular, Visually Engaging, Clean, etc. We wanted a slightly different realm than the first floor which is why we chose some of the furniture that you'll eventually see up there. A lot of us at the office were highly influenced by the would be home of a wealthy upper-east side divorcee. You'll see brass in shiny yellow, you'll see carpets we've accumulated over the years, you'll see a more loose collection of knick knacks that we've gathered over time. In the meantime, here are some teasers.

2nd store sneak preview (1 of 3)

2nd store sneak preview (3 of 3)

This brings us back to when we first conceptualized the space. There was a certain pressure to overly plan in order to come out with a very solid concept. The research part was important, but the overall execution was even more crucial. We felt the need to include as much artwork and other visuals that would define the KIN brand. 4 years on and it seems that "designers" have moved away from that. In essence, it seems like the space just needs to organically develop into a collection of all the things the store resonates with. Visual merchandising is more key than conceptualizing a space, at least in our books. Feel free to disagree with all this in comments section.

2nd store sneak preview (2 of 3)

All the furniture here was made in Indonesia. If any of you like the look of it, let us know and we'll be able to direct you to the source. We'll post more in the coming days.


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