Studio Roslyn creates a tongue-in-cheek design for the flagship store of Vancouver sneaker and streetwear retailer Stay Fresh.
By Rachel Gallaher
Studio Roslyn designed the Stay Fresh flagship store complete with a sneaker dispenser conveyer felt. Image by Conrad Brown.
When it came to the flagship location of Stay Fresh—a sneaker, streetwear, and collectibles retailer known for its rare offerings from brands like Supreme, Nike, Medicom, Yeezy, Adidas, and more— Kate Snyder and Jessica MacDonald, the duo behind Vancouver design firm Studio Roslyn, took a step back from their usual bold use of color and pattern, instead embracing a monotone palette of white and channeling their creative energies into a cheeky play-on-words design that puts all focus on the product.
“Sneakerhead culture and the retail side to it is so unique from most other retail,” Snyder and MacDonlad write in an email. “Your product actually appreciates over time as long as it’s kept in mint condition. The client was keen to design a space that was quite experimental, hence a conveyor belt shoe display that spits out your vacuum-sealed shoes.”
Studio Roslyn designated the consignment and resale area at the back of the store with black paint and fixtures. Image by Conrad Brown.
Arguably the centerpiece of the store, which is located in Richmond Centre, in Richmond, B.C., the conveyer belt shoe dispenser draws inspiration from Stay Fresh’s practice of sheathing their wares in vacuum-sealed plastic (to maintain freshness, of course). The company wanted flexible and easily adjustable fixtures that echo an industrial vibe and allow for easy display of pop-up showcases and brand collaborations. Casework was designed to look like vintage, commercial refrigerators and Studio Roslyn employed the use of cold glass blocks throughout (a definite ’80s-and-’90s feel). The store also works in trades and consignments, so Studio Roslyn designated the back third of the space for this activity, separating it from the retail area with all-black finishes.
An industrial aesthetic was employed throughout. Image by Conrad Brown.
“The balance of the materials and the finishing program continue the minimal design language with polished concrete, glass block, stainless and powder-coated steel,” the studio writes. “The feeling of austerity is fully intentional, with contemporary lighting, polished concrete, and angular fixtures echoing set design from science fiction and futurist fantasies from across the decades. Hypebeast meets Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey. All in the name of hyper-consumer, warp-speed fashion trends.”
Kubrick’s classic had a strong influence on the design beyond just the aesthetics. “The whole space is designed around a one-point perspective,” the studio explains. “All of the casework repeats and steps up in scale in a way that leads your eye towards the ‘black zone’ in the back of the space. This is also achieved with the transition from lightness at the front of the space to darkness in the back. We took cues from 2001 A Space Odyssey—a lot of the scenes are set up with this one-point perspective. We felt this served to intrigue and pull people into the space—a bit of a vortex if you will.”