198 S. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Client. RIF.LA (Reinforce Los Angeles)
Project Role. Conceptual Design, Schematic Design
About. RIF.LA, a thriving shoe consignment store in Little Tokyo, has proudly serviced the community with all their exclusive and collectible sneaker-wear needs for over a decade. Wanting to expand on the successes, RIF.LA Dos geared to be an upscale boutique selling street-wear apparel and accessories to compliment their sister store, RIF.LA located two store-fronts down.
Prompt. Although the company as a whole caters to a niche group of avid street-wear consumers, RIF.LA stays true to their core ideologies that helped them develop their successes: creating an ideal shopping experience. With the opening of a second store, these values needed to be reflected through the design.
Design. Using a combination of contrasting materials, exposed piping, and warm woods, the playful elements pay homage to influences of streetwear particularly skate culture and street fashion shops in Japan. Linear lines, used throughout the interior, keep a continuous flow of circulation through the space. Coating the concrete with a black stain epoxy and painting the ceiling in a dark tone shifts the user's focus and highlights the products.
User. The ideal user can come in and instantly feel a connection to the store. With open shelving, all the products can be easily seen showcasing various street-wear lines while the physical materials create a nostalgic presence reminiscent of skate parks and grunge-like stores found in the basements of Tokyo retail buildings.
A Bit More. This was my first freelance pro-bono job during my undergraduate career. A sneaker collector myself and avid street-wear enthusiast, I spent a previous summer working for RIF.LA thus this project meant a great deal to me as the company and niche community were a second family to me.
Photo credit: Carl Wilson
Retail space - prior to demolition