Honed-granite surfaces at the checkout counter
I always visit the Ralph Lauren store at Ala Moana mall in Honolulu because I like the interiors very much. Last year, Ralph Lauren opened two flagship stores: one in Paris, and the other in New York, adding two more prestigious locations to his list of flagship stores in existence. The Ala Moana store in Honolulu is small compared to his other stores that sometimes occupy a whole building, but the attention to detail is the same.
The store has a tropical resort look, in keeping with its Honolulu location. Palms in planter baskets fill corners, sisal rugs cover stone-textured tiled floors, and zebra ottomans give that extra design punch. I want a zebra ottoman but I have no idea where to get one. Locally, the Michael Kors stores in Rockwell and in Rustan's Makati have zebra ottomans. I want one! Maybe I'll source a zebra-printed cow hide and just have one custom made?
I want this ottoman!
The pictures in this post belong to different years (from 2008 to 2011) that's why you'll notice the mannequins wearing different clothes. The homey interiors haven't changed in the last four years and yet it doesn't look dated. That's what I like about Ralph Lauren's interiors--they're timeless.
“That’s always been my philosophy: timelessness, not trends,” Lauren says. In his opinion, cutting-edge buildings date quickly and offer no spiritual satisfaction. “I like materials that get better with age, like leather, marble, and exotic woods,” he continues.
That exact quote is taken from this article.
The millwork is exemplary, and the attention to detail is impeccable. The details are luxurious but the overall look is casual. Take a look at the lighting on the display shelves. I took this photo below eye level because I wanted to see how the lighting was executed.
A peek under the shelves reveal two rows of t-5 bulbs expertly hidden in channels above each shelf.
By the way, the back, sides and top of these display nooks are all neatly lined in a felt-like fabric. There are no bare, just-painted shelves or walls in the store.
The dressing rooms have sisal carpets and beautiful wallpaper. Some have flattering wall sconces.
I just noticed that the Chinoiserie wallpaper in this Honolulu dressing room above (photo taken in 2008) is the same one they used in the NY store that opened only last year.
The VIP dressing room of the elegant Manhattan store. Photo from here.
I don't really like clothes shopping so I didn't even notice the clothes in the shop. Did you ever enter a store only because you liked the interiors? I do this a lot, many times not even paying attention to the merchandise.
I also didn't intend to take the behind of this sales person, but I didn't want to risk her telling me not to take pictures, therefore the shot from behind. I really wanted to have a photo of this sofa and the lounge chairs which are elegant in silhouette but upholstered in casual denim. You've got to love Ralph Lauren for contrasts like this!
These imposing jars are dramatic, but are softened with the plants propped on top.
And lastly, another settee in timeless rattan. There are slow-moving ceiling fans throughout the store too, reminding you that you're in a tropical locale.
Ralph Lauren stores are usually true to their location, incorporating local touches to their classic interiors. I look forward to visiting other Ralph Lauren stores to see what other looks I can pick up for my own house (aside from that zebra ottoman!)