Tracing its roots back to 1774, Birkenstock is a German shoe manufacturer known for its signature sandals and footwear with cork and rubber insoles that conform to the wearer’s feet. The notable footwear brand is sold in 90 countries worldwide but had previously only sold their merchandise in the US through wholesalers and distributors. Looking to extend their geographic reach and promote their expanding merchandise, the client wanted to open their first branded retail store in the United States. Our firm helped to design Birkenstock’s first brick-and-mortar store in NYC, nestled in the heart of Soho at 120 Spring Street.
Located within a Landmarked building built in 1920, the store’s exteriors, façade, and windows were refurbished back to its early 20th-century condition. TPG worked directly with Birkenstock’s German and US design teams to create a new 1,800 SF flagship boutique store, which includes one-and-a-half floors of retail space and a back-of-house basement storage area. The client sought an experiential and brand-centric store that not only created a brand experience, but also celebrated their rich history and highlighted their dedication to craftsmanship. TPG’s design team incorporated whimsical, organic materials throughout the space, using the same element of sustainable materiality to align with Birkenstock’s products. An industrial cobbler’s workshop bench allows guests to customize their own shoes. Heritage walls with shadow boxes and a greenery wall with a bronze-colored branded token were incorporated in the design, commemorating the brand’s original shoebox design. Similarly, our design team enhanced the space’s existing stair, incorporating a mesh-like black screen designed to mirror the same pattern found on Birkenstock’s rubber soles.
The second-floor showroom lounge space is dedicated to the brand’s higher-end and exclusive collections, and also features a foot scanner for guests to get fitted properly. The store design was so well-received by brand’s German design team that it became the brand’s new global design, with the potential be rolled-out on an international scale.