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  • Aether Apparel

    For its first location, this design-minded retailer questioned what a store should look like.

    When Aether Apparel, an online purveyor of design-conscious, technical outerwear, made the leap to brick-and-mortar retail, PROXY offered many advantages over conventional spaces, including the opportunity to with the clothing store concept itself. Working within PROXY’s container vocabulary, we created a temporary, stand-alone building in the heart of Hayes Valley to provide Aether with an icon fitting their brand—and a more nimble business model.

    Modular design is an exercise in efficiency and ingenuity. For Aether, we stacked and staggered three 40-foot shipping containers to stake out a compelling urban form. A glass-enclosed lounge cantilevers over the sidewalk, drawing the gaze of passersby. Inside, the store capitalizes on its unexpectedly narrow space: a seven-foot-wide void spans the two lower floors, while back-of-house needs are met at top. A customized, vertical dry-cleaning conveyor system serves as an efficient armature for display and storage, making the store’s full inventory available at the push of a button.

    Like PROXY itself, this store won’t remain on its site forever. But thanks to our durable and portable design, Aether can disassemble their store and move it to a new home, changing location without losing this signature structure.