A Reflection of Time

Story By
Isaac William Jefferson Mandagie

Just as fashion itself draws inspiration from the past and future, so, too, fashion stores use elements from years gone by or what lies ahead. Here are the 2 stores that fit the description.


Photos by Roth-Architecture, Maíra Acayaba

Zak Ik Store

Located in Tulum, Mexico, a popular site for tourists due to the historical Mayan Civilization sites, Zak Ik Store is a peculiar fashion boutique that is a part of AZULIK Resort. Designed by Roth-Architecture, the store merges fashion, design, jewelry, and art, inside a space that pays tribute to diversity, tradition, and nature. Its tropical contrasts and textures will trap the customers to discover what’s in store for them.

As you enter the boutique, you will need to remove your shoes in order to “connect with the Earth” by stepping on the store’s concrete floor and passing through a tunnel made of twigs that leads you into the store itself. It fills one with a sense of adventure as you walk barefoot on the polished concrete finish, with footpaths and ramps over water mirrors, tunnels of natural leaves, and spaces with nets and interior vegetation.

The simple-chic interior design is inspired by the ancient Mayan construction techniques and organic architecture which makes you feel unexpectedly serene. Built with wood (jiles and bejuco) from the Yucatan Peninsula, placed by Mayan artisans, the building mimics the surrounding jungle which shrouds the boutique. Using local materials and techniques, the Roth-Architecture clearly shows the potential which they have achieved by utilizing the natural, cultural, and human resources in Tulum with commitment towards sustainability and respect towards native knowledge.

It is clear that nature is the main concept for the store, from the wood and trees, the warmth and texture of the materials, and the natural shape and flow of the concrete, the store combines Zen, modern, and Mayan themes. All of this gives us hope that the future will look like Zak Ik – sustainable, pure and supportive of local artistry.

AMARO Guide Shop

From SuperLimão Studio, comes a totally original concept for AMARO, the digital fashion brand which has opened its new Guide Shop in São Paulo. The AMARO Guide Shop is a personalized design that takes the experience of digital purchases in the physical realm to a whole new level.

The AMARO Guide Shop serves as a ‘concept store’ or ‘showroom’, where you can experience what the shop has in store. Instead of purchasing the item like a regular retail store, customers will need to do the purchasing by going online, using one of the computers or tablets provided by the store. Then, customers can choose to have the item delivered to their home or pick it up themselves.

The layout of the store’s interior follows the same format of the customer in the online shop, as a medium of the website at the point of sale. Then, granilite is used to create catwalks and stands inside the store, to make the store feel like a fashion show by AMARO. The materials and layout also remind you of fashion and interior enthusiasts of the 60s.

The store is trying to develop a range of technology that will become a part of its interior, such as Artificial Intelligence cameras that capture the consumer’s profile, approximate age, and reactions and responses to stimulations with facial recognition. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t start an AI apocalypse like in the movies. Elsewhere, the AMARO Guide Shop is equipped with fitting rooms which have special lighting and a background screen, functioning as a scenographic projection.

For example, when trying out swimwear, the background screen becomes beach scenery, complete with rising temperature and winds that create a tropical atmosphere, generating a unique shopping experience. That’s why the space allows the customer a long stay, with comfy furniture, cafes, and self-checkout points, to provide shareable experiences in social media. With this, SuperLimão Studio manages to transfer the virtual store into a physical space.