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Scoring points with the sneaker lovers

By Swaminathan Balasubramanian | May 06, 2019

Designed by Drink Water Architecture and Design, the Superkicks in Mumbai, which won a Merit in the VM&RD Retail Awards 2019, has established itself as a one stop shop for the sneaker lovers.

SuperkicksLocated at Khar, Mumbai, Superkicks is unique in that it’s a one-stop destination for the rarest sneaker collections. The store design stemmed from the retailer’s insight that unlike other categories like apparels or bags, sneakers have a unique culture built around them and that there is a community that collects sneakers, just like stamps or other popular collectibles. The idea thus was to give access to some great sneakers all under one roof to the customers. Drink Water Architecture and Design, which had designed close to 50 stores of Natural ice cream with each store being unique, has designed the Superkicks store.

SuperkicksThe aesthetics is kept simple with a predominance of grey and the fixtures are designed to serve multi purposes. One of the key things that was followed while creating the design was to keep the fixtures and the set-up monotone so that once the shoes are kept on the rack, they take the center-stage and shoppers are not distracted by too many colors on the fixtures. The lighting is also designed in such a way, that the focus lights put the merchandise under the spotlight, while the down lights lend the store a classy yet grungy look.

As Prasad Patil, Founder of Drink Water Architecture and Design, the agency behind the design, pointed out, the client wanted to create a ‘cult-brand’ out of Superkicks. “We needed to design a retail space that felt more than a shoe store. As we met sneaker freaks we realised that for the sneaker community buying a shoe is an experience that starts before they visit the outlet and ends much after they have left it. As we spoke to the fans we noticed that the true joy a sneaker freak feels is when he/she opens the shoe box after purchase. Based on this insight we developed the brand imagery and logo that celebrated the 'the open box’,” Patil said.

Speaking on the challenge while designing, Patil elaborated, “The biggest challenge we faced was that of space. We had to design something cutting edge without compromising on display space. We were given the mandate to display more than 150 shoes within 300 sq ft. At one point of time, we realised we will have to relook at the way we approach this project. We debriefed the design team to crack the shelf design before they designed the space,” he concluded.

SuperkicksThe MS wire mesh in the store was the chief element of design as the designers wanted to let the retailer display as many products as they could. Also, there was a clear decision that no element of design would interfere with the shoes, so that the customer gets an easy and uninterrupted store experience and view of the shoes. Thus, the grey wire mesh merged with the grey walls and became almost invisible highlighting only the shoes and the vibrant shadow that the mesh reflected on the wall.

According to the designers, the idea of the steel wire was born more out of function rather than design. “We always try to design to solve a problem and that's what we were trying to do with the wire approach too. We only created one option for the project and luckily the client loved it in the first go,” Patil explained.

Despite the size, the store till date has had round 10 different events. The instore activities ranged from product launches to sneaker carnival and even rap battles. Having gained a strong foothold in Mumbai, the retailer is now planning to tap other metros like Delhi and Bengaluru.

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