"SoHo," explains owner Michele Coulton, comfortably seated in the office of her 1,000-sq ft boutique, "is recognised as one of the top boutiques in the country, and the authority on fashion."
Indeed, the visually appealing space, where the client is an active participant in the architecture and the exhibition of merchandise, was created by one of Jamaica's top interior designers, Tanja Kay of Interiorscapes. The spacious walk-through feel, featuring built-in units on both side walls, creates a balanced atmosphere that does not encroach on the space. The runway, which dominates the centre of the space — a great spot to watch the collections on the screen — creates a clearly defined traffic flow that pulls the customer in.
The built-in displays create focal points with small vignettes and storage, an important element in the design, we glean from Kay, who did not wish to take away from limited square footage.
"To create the illusion of space," Kay explained, "we painted the ceiling and walls white... used many shades of white and played with textures of white: the slightly glossy white on the ceiling, the matte white walls, the shiny white of the built-in fixtures, the cool white 'Corian' on the sales desk, a rougher texture of matte white laminate on the runway and the reflective quality of the mirrors and brushed nickel hardware. All these elements helped to create the illusion of space."
To avoid a clinical look, Kay introduced shades of grey, which also helped to introduce focal points within the boutique, such as the dark grey main wall, which forms the backdrop to the runway and sales desk. "This is an anchor wall in the space," shared Kay. "It forms the wall for branding and a private area for the dressing rooms."
Tucked off to the side and rear of the dressing rooms is an informal sitting area, in a light shade of grey, where clients can sit and relax. This area, said Kay, "was painted a lighter shade of grey not only for its soothing value, but to convey an illusion of depth to the store".
The use of simple elements, understated displays, a colour scheme of white and grey — all enhance the effect the merchandise has on SoHo's clientele. There's a rationale behind these neutral colours: they form the backdrop to the clothing and accessories; therefore, not competing with the ever-changing colour trends of the fashion industry. Runway interior aside, Coulton and her team are as thrilled as their customers with the new endroit. "This new location — we've been here for two months — allows us to better serve our SoHo women while rebranding and putting our fresh face forward," reveals Coulton. Twenty-four-hour security, ample parking and an overall beautiful environment ensure an easy and pleasant shopping experience for customers. "We believe in our brand as we have always handpicked and perfectly packaged an assortment of pieces," explains the boutique owner. "Service is everything to us... we have managed to remain relevant due to hand-selecting each and every product in the store.
"Shopping at SoHo is like walking into the closet of your most fashionable friend with runway and contemporary lines like BCBG and Comfy USA, as well as select European pieces... we are known for our amazing accessories and handbags."