Virtual inspiration in a real store in Kyiv
A new space for the Ukrainian brand CHER'17 opened on the first floor of a building built in the second half of the 19th century on one of the central streets of Kyiv. The designer was tasked with creating a flagship store that would show the brand's character and raise its status.
Photos: Andriy Bezuglov
The design concept arose from the digitalization trend in the fashion industry. There are many stores with online showrooms and virtual fitting rooms. Virtual clothes that you can wear while inside the meta-universe are gaining popularity. The virtual space forms its own aesthetics, characterized by minimalism, playing with the proportions of objects and bold accented colors. The CHER'17 store is a physical interior created in the aesthetics of a virtual space. The reception desk, imitating a massive stone block, is a metaphor for nature, which definitely breaks into our accelerated life. Yet, the value of nature remains constant both in urban reality and sterile meta-simulation. It is a kind of reminder that you can always stop to breathe, recharge your batteries, and experience life to the touch. Mirror and metal surfaces became another element echoing nature.
They offer store visitors a variety of Instagrammable angles. "Mirrors of various shapes and configurations give additional air and blur the physical boundaries of space. For me, mirrors and steel surfaces are a metaphor for a lake, a river, or gasoline stains in a puddle on the asphalt. Water is my inspiration, a living substance that I can observe endlessly. Natural luxury that we do not always appreciate," says designer Anastasiia Tempynska.
The store's space has an elongated shape and is divided into three zones. The central element of the first hall ("Living Room") is a massive blue sofa assembled from long cylindrical shapes. Behind it is a LED screen for brand content. The shape of the couch resonates with metal tables made of cut pipes and soft poufs in the fitting room area.
The second hall ("Boudoir") has pale pink walls and a podium. In the middle of the hall stands a pink marble sink with two faucets: one with water and one with sparkling wine. Shopping with friends is not only about trying on and buying clothes but also about socializing and enjoying life. In the third zone ("Cabin of a private plane"), which is located in the depth of the hall, the saturated ultramarine shade of surfaces and furniture dominates.
CHER'17 is a Ukrainian clothing brand in the mass market segment. The company has existed since 2017 and has six stores in different cities in Ukraine. The brand owners are a couple of popular Ukrainian influencers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs, Tetyana Parfiliyeva @tanyaparfileva (1.6M) and Ivan Kryshtal @vanyakryshtal (490K).
For Tetyana Parfiliyeva, the premises of the flagship store at Velyka Vasylkivska 12 became symbolic. Apart from the central location in the historical part of the city, the space relates to the blogger's family history. At the end of the last century, the cult wine shop and restaurant "Zakarpatska Troyanda" worked here - a favorite place of Tetiana's grandfather.
After the start of Russia's full-scale assault on Ukraine (February 24, 2022), all Ukrainian businesses faced the question of whether to close or continue to work. When many international mass-market brands left the Ukrainian market to secure their own business in a period of instability, the owners of CHER'17 decided to continue their work. In this way, the company supports its employees and the economy of Ukraine. In addition to the brand's new collections, CHER'17's own production also works for military needs - it sews balaclavas and fleece jackets for Ukrainian soldiers.
Work on the design of the flagship store began in August 2022. Client meetings with the designer took place between air raid sirens. Furniture production risked failing to meet its deadline due to a power outage in Kyiv. On October 10, during the project's building period, a Russian rocket fell in the center of Kyiv, about half a kilometer from the store. However, life in Kyiv continues - people go to offices, sit in cafes, attend concerts, and do shopping.
The founder of TemProject, Anastasia Tempynska, is optimistic, just like the owners of CHER'17. They plan to work in Ukraine, develop in new conditions and support the economy of Ukraine.