Detail in Contemporary Retail Design Task

Labels – Sittard, Netherlands.

Task: Use the book “Plunkett, D. and Reid, O. (2012) Detail in Contemporary Retail Design. Find two contrasting examples and critically reflect on each through the use of your blog.

Designed by Maurice Mentjens, Labels is featured on pages 100 – 105 of the Detail in Contemporary Design book.



Labels is a clothing store situated in Sittard, they sell a collection of fashion brands. In 2008 it was expanded and renovated into a 250m² space.

Maurice Mentjens, an interior designer based in the Netherlands brought references to the Garden of Eden and Roman Mythology to the space. By dividing three small spaces into a ying and yang with an all white fairy-tale like interior referring to innocence and purity displaying women’s clothing in creative ways, and a black doorway leading to the lost paradise men’s zone with dark heavy beam construction and subdued lighting.

In the white space angled vertical tubing support clothes rails and represent swaying reeds, and are featured all around the white space, as well as being used as door handles. Two changing rooms at the back of the room make the space look twice as long, and clever display walls feature circular cut-out forms of various sizes, with magnetic support pins items like shoes and bags appear to be floating. Halogen circular halo lights mimic the wall features along with small spot lights creating a starry sky effect.

The dark space is created from rugged beams forming lattice shapes (see elevation photo) These dark stained beams are used as shelving and as clothing rails creating an innovative rustic interior. The lighting is subdued creating a mysterious atmosphere, halogen spotlights and strip lighting highlight products.

Separating these spaces is the long narrow garden with a glass roof and many openings connecting the black and white spaces and bringing the interiors together. Orange bricks run along the walls and modern cantilever wooden counter tops used to serve customers run through the rooms connecting both opposite spaces, there are steel trees cut with water jets and powder coated, the branches are used to as rails for clothing. – a very decorative way to display products.

The spaces are specifically designed to every detail in an innovative way, however the store is minimal, simple and functional. There are no single furnishings, simple blocks are used as seating and tables when needed, everything is connected and joined, creating a seamless bond between dark and light spaces.

The white space creates a clean background for the clothing and accessories to really sell themselves, however I feel the dark room, although the decor is creative and different it looks a little dull and bare, with only a few items hanging from the beams I feel the focus is more on the interior design than the products and clothing itself. On the other hand i can see how these completely opposite interiors are tied together really well with the use of the neutral room in the middle.


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