When Nicolas first showed Issey Miyake his concept for the Pleats Please shop in New York, the fashion designer thought it was a joke. The concept featured a gigantic green cube, and green is definitely not Miyake’s favourite colour. He thinks the colour clashes with most skin tones and that people wearing green look unhealthy. Nicolas chose green as a contrast to the terracotta tint of the façade. He found red and yellow a boring duo and red and blue too dark. Furthermore, Nicolas wondered if green would really prove to be the wrong colour for a clothing store.
In this particular case, Miyake can draw a sigh of relief, as customers are arriving at the shop in droves. Those passing the boutique at the corner of Prince Street become inquisitive when it’s not immediately apparent what’s going on behind the scenes. The establishment has no ordinary shop window. A big glass box inside – covered with Lumisty film, which is transparent only when you stand right in front of it – contains the retail space.
Major difficulties slowed down the construction phase. At the outset of the renovation, the basic structure of the 200-year-old building, literally on the verge of collapse, had to be restored. Steel panels now hold the wall in place, and the film-covered glass further blocks the view of the wall. Thanks to these interventions, customers have no sense of being in an old building. At the core of the shop, a metal frame supports the suspended green cube, which is an icon of what SoHo once was: a hub of avant-garde galleries and visual art.