American Apparel

Mar 26, 2009
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Photography by Peter Bennetts
  • Architect Jordan Parnass

The store is spacious, yet has a marketplace feel about it and the clothing range is enormous. Selling US designed and made street wear for the hip and groovy, the store caters for everyone in the family, including the dog. So if it’s a snappy orange t-shirt that the pooch requires, this is the place to find it.

From the simple Helvetica typography of the entrance signage through to the spacious interior, this new store is all about the minimal. No vampy chandeliers, flocked wallpapers or silk curtains in sight. The epoxy floor is a brilliant jewel blue, the walls and ceiling stark white with detailing in blood red for the skylights. The colour scheme is a virtual American flag, but similarly very Australian too. Backlit, white, plastic-coated lengths of steel grids line the walls and serve as displays for clothes on hangers. Groupings of shirts and dresses, pants and hoodies are configured on hanging rails or ‘speed rail pipes’ that can be easily rearranged to accommodate floor plan changes at a moment’s notice.

An immense lighting frame is suspended from and covers the entire ceiling. A grid of horizontal bars each incorporating nine, well-spaced, low watt light bulbs provides ample light with an ESD sensibility. Five-metre-high ceilings showcase exposed air-conditioning ducts and a majestic Gone With the Wind staircase rises from behind the cashier’s area to the mid level office and storage area. At the very back of the store are four changing rooms, with displays of larger than life photographic images of happy young things modelling American Apparel clothing.

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