Friday, March 7, 2008

CH Carolina Herrera stores

I have worked at some level of retail for almost 20 years and got into visual merchandising 15 years ago. I have been fortunate to have travelled across the US and visit a lot of shopping centers or neighborhoods, so I am really hard to impress when it comes to store design. A lot of high-end fashion stores choose a stereotypical white box and fill it with dark wood fixtures.

When I first came upon the CH Carolina Herrera store in Las Vegas, I was immediately struck by how elegant and modern both the exterior and interior looked. The store has a warm, masculine feel with a definite homage to the work of Jean-Michel Frank. Most fixtures are made from unstained walnut. The store is split into a series of rooms, that have the ambiance of a very nice Manhattan apartment. 

The men’s section

The men’s clothing has a very traditional American style, but with a South American influence, meaning some pieces are more fitted and tailored and color palettes are more daring. The women’s clothing runs in the same vein, though there are a wider variety of styles than the men’s. There are numerous accessories, ranging from the requesite handbag and shoe collection, to more obscure golf and pet collections.

I think the store and clothing succeed at creating a luxurious atmosphere. Even the scented candles they are constantly burning have a pleasant aroma. Two things I would suggest changing, the facade and the logo accessories. I have seen 2 stores, Las Vegas and South Coast Plaza, and both have cramped facades with store windows that obscure the inside, which seems uninviting. Everytime I walk by the South Coast store, it is empty, even on weekends when the stores next door are brimming with customers.

The logo accessories bother me because almost all the accessories are covered with them. This is a complaint I have with a lot of fashion brands. It’s just plain lazy design.

Desk at the entry with a Jean-Michel Frank lamp in front of panels of backlit alabaster--I think

Bar in the men’s section
All photos from

One element that doesn't show up in the pictures is the repeated use of red as an accent. All the packaging is in red, and becomes a visual element through stacked red shoe boxes in the shoe salon. The logo and packaging were done by Fabien Baron.

posted by David


SpenceOhana said...

Cool, I was waiting on a new blog entry. When were you in Vegas? Never heard of a clothing store having a bar inside of it?

Armilyn & David said...

I was in Vegas in 2006 for a business conference

Christopher Hanlon said...

Carolina is a wonderful designer and her brand looks beautiful. I only wish she would slighltly alter her branding as she is using a CH monogram device that I first registered in Australia in 1994. It is a wellknown niche luxury brand in Australia. Q: Why build a brand using a logo similar to another person? I love her new ID by Baron and Baron and hope this supercedes her intertwined CH device. Please spread the word and lets hope that deep down Carolina is a class act like the brand she has manifested; and that we can both co-exist as adult designers; and go seperate ways. Sincerely, Christopher Hanlon