Dialect creates pink interior for Antwerp boutique featuring Barbie cabinet

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Colours and materials are used to mark the different zones of this revamped Antwerp fashion boutique by local studio Dialect, which also features a display case filled with Barbie and Ken dolls (+ slideshow).

Step by Step boutique by Dialect

The Step by Step store is located on Antwerp's Steenhouwersvest – a street close to the River Scheldt lined with various clothing and furniture stores.

In order to keep focus on the store's range of designer clothing, Dialect created a pared-back interior using raw and natural materials.

Step by Step boutique by Dialect

"We went for a strong basis with subtle and modest accents, allowing the store owner to personalise without affecting the overall picture," the team told Dezeen. "There are no abundant installations, no store concept, but it's a timeless design."



"The shopping experience prevails above standing out," they added. "The design is built in different sequences for different stages of shopping."

Step by Step boutique by Dialect

The entrance of the store acts as the display zone, and features a raised window with concealed storage space underneath. A glass cabinet to the left of the door is filled with Barbies – the dolls that were recently redesigned to include more body types and skin tones – as well as other action figures.

Raw neutral materials are used across the first part of the store to allow keep the focus entirely on the clothing.

Step by Step boutique by Dialect

Garments hang inside black wood closets to the left of the room and a number of clothing rails made from varnished raw steel are contained on the righthand side.

Here, the ceiling is painted a midnight-blue colour and is illuminated by Michael Anastassiades' Mobile Chandelier 6.

Step by Step boutique by Dialect

Towards the next section of the store, the rough concrete floor blends into pink-toned screed.

The colour of the floor extends to the walls. The stained black cupboards of the previous section are replaced by oak veneer.

Step by Step boutique by Dialect

A sales counter is made of oak and steel, and has a light-blue polyoxymethylene top.

"The middle part has pink floors and walls, and is more homely, cosy and informal," they said. "Pink is the store owners' favourite colour. This is the part where they would like to have a nice chat with the customers, maybe have a coffee."

Step by Step boutique by Dialect

An outdoor patio separates the middle section of the store from a series of fitting rooms. Here, white-painted walls are paired with concrete flooring.

"The patio separates the middle part from the fitting rooms and creates a natural barrier," said the team. "This allows the costumer some privacy, but means the store owners can still keep an eye on the fitting room and provide help when needed."

Step by Step boutique by Dialect

Other unusual clothing boutiques include a shoe store in Tokyo designed as a faceted white cave, and a maternity clothing store in Barcelona with a shelving system made up of wooden ladders.

Photography is by Bart Kiggen.

Step by Step boutique by Dialect
Floor plan