In September last year NZ-based brand Lonely opened their third flagship store in the Auckland suburb of Newmarket. The boutiques are all designed by the incredibly talented Rufus Knight, and having been blown away the first two (take a look here), I was excited to see the unveiling. Unfortunately I couldn't make it to the official opening but I have since had the pleasure of visiting and once again I was captivated by what can only be described as a breathtakingly beautiful space.
Located in the historic Hayes Building on Teed Street at the centre of a fast-paced retail precinct, the space makes a departure from the cool modern delineation of the previous Ponsonby and Wellington stores with a soft and enveloping interior that focuses on natural materials in a tactile palette of oak, plaster, polished brass, and cast bronze.
From Monet’s ‘Les Nymphéas’, to Gabriella Crespi’s fluid brass forms, to Villa Noailles, the space speaks in calm and confident forms but keeps service and customer experience at its heart providing a serene and intimate showroom atmosphere to experience the brand and accessory collections. This begins from the moment you approach the understated shop frontage and walk through the glass doors featuring a specially commissioned cast bronze door handle by New Zealand artist Kate Newby. From there, a corridor featuring textured, dusky pink curved walls and warm timber flooring creates a sense of mystery as you turn the corner and enter the stunning space. Immediately drawn to the rich navy velvet seating including the pair of Bibendum Chairs by Eileen Gray, I love that the Newmarket flagship continues to explore female design histories by incorporating the work of mid-century designers like Gray and also Charlotte Perriand, whose Les Arcs stools feature in each of changing rooms. Brass accents and beautiful rugs by Nodi add further warmth and texture to the space.
Known internationally for advocating real women, Lonely has helped push diversity and body confidence into the wider fashion community through their ground breaking marketing campaign the Lonely Girls Project.
Prior to starting his own practice Knight Associates, Interior architect and designer Rufus Knight worked for Auckland based Fearon Hay for almost six years. During this time he also worked on projects in Europe, most recently with Vincent Van Duysen Architects in Antwerp.
Images courtesy of Lonely