July 25, 2018

Counterfeit Studio Brings Industrial Charm to Sneaker Retailer Footpatrol’s Paris Outpost

Footpatrol, a mainstay of London’s fashionable Soho neighborhood, has long been a sneakerhead’s dream destination. The luxury shoe retailer recently inaugurated a second location in Paris’s equally fashionable Le Marais district and enlisted London-based Counterfeit Studio to carve out a distinct aesthetic that remains faithful to the original store’s raw industrial design language. But there was a catch. “We needed to create a high-end sneaker destination on a shoestring budget,” quips founder and creative director Murray Aitken.

At Footpatrol Paris, a high-end sneaker retailer designed by Counterfeit Studio, suspended fins in galvanized steel mimic pitched roofs. Photography by French + Tye.

The solution? Apply the same material resourcefulness established in the London store. Throughout, Aitken used galvanized steel and glass reinforced plastic, a material normally designed for fire escape staircases as a corrosion-proof alternative to steel. “Both materials are fairly inexpensive and utilitarian, but when used creatively, work together to contribute a tonality to the store that feels premium,” he continues. The former appears re-appropriated as oversized benches and display shelving systems that offer an understated backdrop, letting the sneakers take center stage.

A rear mirror wall adds depth and visual impact. Photography by French + Tye.

Centrally situated inside, suspended galvanized steel fins use negative space to form a canopy of pitched-roof silhouettes—a continuation of the architectural language established at Footpatrol London. “We liked that the shed profile could be abstracted while retaining the essence of the original,” says Aitken. “For us, this parallels the rise in the sneaker industry since the London store’s launch nearly a decade ago—from niche dead stock crate digging to high-end luxury fashion statements.” Mirrored rear walls, adding depth, strengthen the shed’s visual impact.

Shelving units are glass-reinforced plastic. Photography by French + Tye.

Further intensifying depth and impact, a rendition of Footpatrol’s logo in white neon illuminates an infinity mirror backdropping the cashier’s desk. The interventions, while subtle, help chart sophisticated new territory for the luxury sneaker brand. And it shows: the owners were so pleased with the design that they tapped Counterfeit Studio to rework the London flagship later this year.

Flooring is concrete. Photography by French + Tye.
Concrete also clads walls. Photography by French + Tye.
The painted-black storefront mimics the London flagship. Photography by French + Tye.
The suspended fins use negative space to form architectural silhouettes. Photography by French + Tye.
Foot Patrol’s logo is rendered in white neon. Photography by French + Tye.

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