Established by the Berneda family in 1939, Barcelona’s own sports shoe house Munich continues to stay on top of things. In the 1970s, Munich made tracks with the Made in Barcelona footwear line and the X logo.
The Munich flagship store was designed by Ignasi Llauradó and Eric Dufourd of dear design, a design and architectural firm the two established in Barcelona in 2005.
Dark-glass surfaces, mirrors, metal trees and cage-like boxes hanging from the ceiling (from which the shoes have “escaped”), all carry a carefree, experimental and impermanent air. The angular and clunky space with its hard edges and seemingly moving parts is clearly an attempt to say that the septuagenarian brand is nowhere near slowing down. - Tuija Seipell
Lovely shoes and bags will literally be on pins and needles this Saturday, when the Kymyka shoes and bags boutique opens in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The beautiful store, established by Chantal Hermans and Jurgo Mouthaan, begins its life with an impressive line-up of brands, including Dolce & Cabbana, Etro, Stella McCartney, Dsquared, YSL, Giuseppe Zanotti, Luciano Padovan and Theory. Jimmy Choo will join the list soon, as will other brands.
Hermans and Muthaan chose well when they picked the industrious Maurice Mentjens to design their store. His work has been rewarded at many design competitions, including the Dutch Design Awards in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
His design for the Stash bag shop won not just the Dutch Design Award in the Retail Category but also the German Design Award. Maurice Mentjens Design is engaged in a vast variety of project ranging from interior, exhibit, retail and hospitality design to product and furniture design. - Tuija Seipell
Related article - Shoo Biz - The World's Best
Photography - Arjen Schmitz
How do you create a powerful experience that leaves a mark on your customers? It's an important question that drives large brands and companies to seminar after seminar about experiential marketing and purchasing. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes, despite substantial financial investment, they don't. Which is why we love it when we stumbled on a small, independent that has nailed it. In the crowded market of luxury/boutique travel emerges Pretty Beach House, an exclusive food-lovers Hamptons-esque private beach house resort just outside of Sydney that takes the concept of 'weekend' getaway to a new level.
The resort is made up of three private pavilions; relaxed, non-pretencious and homely beach villas nestled discreetly into a landscape full of hundreds of old gum trees which stand there like living art sculptures. A sense of peace and quiet descends upon you as soon as you arrive, ushering you into instant relaxation-mode. The villas interiors are luxurious but not over the top and feature raw, natural materials which blend in with the more 'designer' elements. Privacy is paramount which is why, we guess, each villa also has its own private swimming pool. There are no TVs in the villas, just a Bose Soundock with iPod and wireless internet (for online-junkies) so there's nothing else to do but slide from day bed to pool and back again in a haze of sedation, facilitated by attentive staff who materialise at your every whim.
The setting may be beautiful but the real thrill begins when it's time to eat. Renowned Sydney chef Steve Manfredi is in charge of the kitchen and largely responsible for the best part of the trip, exporting sophisticated, city fine dining into this laid-back environment. Manfredi often serves guests himself. If anything, the trip to Pretty Beach House is worth it just for this. Where else can you experience one of Sydney's top chefs cooking just for you and a tiny handful of others?
Aside from sleeping (in extraordinary beds, we must note), lazing, eating and drinking, you can wander down to Tallow Beach for a swim and a dose of dolphin watching. Or if you're in search of a slice of adventure you hop into the Pretty Beach House boat or take out a helicopter ride over the area.
For more information check out the site prettybeachhouse.com.au. Mention The Cool Hunter to receive a free upgrade to the tree house villa. - Bill Tikos