LA-based outerwear label Aether has opened a 2,000-square-foot Soho flagship store. The new space is crafted—much like the “clean modern design” of the brand’s clothes—to bring a sense of urban sophistication to roughing it.
This rugged-modern concept is the work of Paris-based designer Thierry Gaugain, the mastermind behind Aether’s San Francisco outpost, which is constructed out of stacked shipping containers.
Visitors are greeted by a brawny snowmobile at the store’s entrance, and the space beyond is an industrial shell of polished concrete floors and gunboat gray girders. Steel shipping containers emerge jauntily from an alpine-scene-covered wall, enclosing the boutique’s sales desk. The length of the interior is flanked by 34 irregularly-stacked wooden crates detailed like fine casework. Lined with white laminate and LED lights, the casework provides a glowing backdrop for the clothing line, while creating the sense that the merchandise has just been airdropped into the wilderness.
The fitting rooms are at the back of the space, accessed by twin doorways with stainless steel lintels that punctuate a 16-foot-tall wall of stacked logs. An oversized table offers an impromptu whiskey bar and offers would-be urban campers a line of outdoor goods, including artisanal axes and knives.