Kith creates “industrial ambiance” for its Williamsburg store
American clothing brand Kith has created a flagship store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that uses brick, wood and steel to reference the industrial history of the neighbourhood.
Designed by Kith‘s founder Ronnie Fieg and the brand’s in-house team of architects, the Williamsburg location is located in the Gensler-designed 25 Kent Plaza office building, where Kith also has its corporate offices.
The design takes elements that carry through some of the other Kith stores, such as marble finishes and metal fins, and adds details that situate it in the context of Williamsburg.
These include a massive circular structure at the heart of the store that is covered with red brick on the outside and lined with white oak inside. The piece was custom-made at a nearby, undisclosed wood workshop.
This central element has a domed wooden ceiling with a wooden column and circular light fixtures that radiate out towards the edges concentrically.
A number of sloping arched voids in the structure have metal-lined undersides and provide an entryway on two sides and display cases for the brand’s collection of sneakers on another.
“We constructed the central dome completely from scratch and created the exterior from the same exact bricks used on the outside of the main building so it feels very cohesive as you enter,” said Fieg.
“Every inch of that dome is custom which meant our precision down to the last minute detail was crucial.”
“Outfitting the interior with rounded wood panels, shaping the footwear shelves to sit flush within the windows, every detail was poured over.”
Outside the circular area, the lights radiate perpendicularly, like sun rays, towards the walls.
The perimeter of the store is lined with metal fins that block the sun from the glass-lined eastern exposure while also creating a massive logo when viewed from outside.
Also lining the perimeter of the store are custom wooden clothing racks.
Polished concrete flooring runs through the space, which steps down from the public plaza at the centre of 25 Kent.
The designers oriented the entrance towards the plaza and placed garden boxes in the corners of the store to better connect it with the public space outside.
“The industrial ambiance is balanced with lush oak trees outside, and an abundance of greenery spread throughout the store,” the brand said.
The Kith Treats Area at the entrance – where a combination of ice cream and cereal are served – was lined with Rosa Aurora marble and has a to-go window that opens up to the plaza.
A wall of stainless steel panels separates the treats area from the retail space, while the walls opposite the street-facing glass are matte concrete with wooden insets for further display and service areas.
On the floor, Kith installed a brand logo made of mosaic tiles.
It is the third store in New York City for the brand, which was founded in 2011, and creates apparel for men, women and children.
To celebrate the opening, the brand launched a sneaker with footwear companies Clarks and Adidas.
This is the twelfth store opened by Fieg, who moved to Williamsburg himself with his family in 2017, and the Kith headquarters there in 2021.
“The restaurants, the shops, the people, and the atmosphere make it a very special area in New York and were all factors in us moving our brand HQ there in 2021,” he said.
“It’s my home, our team’s home, and it only made sense for us to make it a home for our community.”
Many of Kith’s prior locations, in Miami and Los Angeles, for instance, were designed by designer Daniel Arsham and his studio Snarkitecture.
In both the Paris and original downtown Brooklyn locations, Kith installed chandeliers made up completely of Nike Air Max sneakers.