Client: American Apparel
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Size: 4,300 sf
With a target demographic of young urbanites with a unique sense of fashion culture, American Apparel’s U.S. retail stores are generally located in either life style streets or college towns. In Ann Arbor, the national retailer hit both marks. Located adjacent to the University of Michigan’s Central Campus, the store’s success helped contribute to the re-emergence of a fashion-related identity in the vibrant South State District—an important downtown commercial center.
To find the amount of square footage necessary to make the store successful, three disparate, run-down spaces and storefronts in a 100-year old commercial building were transformed into a clean, contemporary and contextually-fitting retail store for the major, national franchise. Built in 1910, and located in one of the city’s historic districts, work involved structural modifications for a new, accessible entry; restoration of the original, stamped tin ceiling and creating openings in the masonry demising walls to combine the three spaces.
In addition to the Ann Arbor store, O|X Studio worked with the retailer using design integration to promote vertical integration of its urban brand for stores in Royal Oak and East Lansing.