In this movie Dezeen filmed at the opening of the new Camper store in New York, Japanese designer and Nendo founder Oki Sato explains why he covered the interior walls of the store with over a thousand white plastic shoes. Update: this interview is featured in Dezeen Book of Interviews, which is on sale now for £12.
"I've been working with Camper for the past few years on their small retail stores," says Sato.
"The concept [for the small stores] was these shoes walking in mid air, showing that Camper shoes are not for running fast or for luxury or things like that, but something to enjoy walking."
However, Sato goes on to explain that designing the interior for the larger New York store located on Fifth Avenue, one of world's biggest shopping streets, was much more challenging.
"Camper asked me a few months ago to find a solution for the big stores that have really high ceilings," he says. "Because the product is obviously very small, we weren't sure how to use the ceiling height. Before they used a lot of graphics on the ceiling but it looked really empty."
Nendo's solution was to completely cover the walls in the store with white plastic replicas of Camper Pelotas, the brand's signature shoe design. The current collections are then displayed amongst these replicas in spaces at the base of the walls where customers are able to reach.
"What it's doing is making the products really stand out - the colours, the forms of the products," says Sato. "It starts from a single product but by copying and pasting it becomes an interior element. It catches a lot of light and shadow and gives a lot of texture to the space."
The protruding shoes also provide an important acoustic benefit, Sato says: "It absorbs the sound so it feels much more comfortable as well."
Sato goes on to explain that he believes physical retail environments are still important, despite the rise of shopping online.
"Just one click on the internet and you can buy any of these shoes from wherever you are," he says. "But I guess it's really the experience of the space that is the most important thing. It's a space that you have to be there, you have to feel something."
"In the end if a guy comes into the store and he doesn't want to buy any shoes in the beginning but he gets excited and he buys a shoe I think that's the victory of design. That is the goal for interior design in a way."
Dezeen was in New York as part of our Dezeen and MINI World Tour.
- Ninetynine creates chipboard interior fo…r Amsterdam's Mash bar
- Grey Goose bar by Puresang
- Front and Back Apartment by h2o Architec…tes
- Art Gallery Showroom by Antonio Ravalli …Architetti
- Tanada piece gallery by Geneto
- Món Petit by Miquel Merce Architect and… MSB Workshop
- Metal Staircase by Francesco Librizzi St…udio
- NY 11-18-02-10 by Campaign for Dunhill
- Designers of the future at Design Miami/…Basel
Sign up for a daily roundup
of all our stories