In Japanese, a yamamay is a butterfly. It is no great surprise, then, that the lingerie label of the same name is inspired by butterfly-like qualities: Yamamay‘s brand identity revolves around “lightness, softness, brilliance, geometry and symmetry.” So when Milan architecture firm Piuarch was tasked with developing a concept store for the Italian label, it, too, looked to the flutterbug for inspiration.
The influence of butterflies in the Yamamay concept store is quite evident, even at first glance. Piuarch distilled the shape of a butterfly into two triangles, and it’s a motif repeated throughout the space, visible on laser-cut metal screens, wallpapers and reflective surfaces (above).
The double-triangle pattern was the “starting point of the decorative concept” for Yamamay, but the butterfly’s influence doesn’t stop there.
Throughout the store, Piuarch used a deliberately airy colour palette – white, ivory, light grey and gold. The items in the store are also made to “flutter,” with hovering merchandise framed inside slender, gold-brushed frames. When viewed up close, ivory panels, placed behind the occasional display, feature a subtle zigzag pattern that’s meant to evoke the motions of – you guessed it – a butterfly.
Patterned tiles occasionally guide the eye away from the frilly wares, but even those are an articulation of Yamamay’s ethos: they’re filled with geometric shapes, a nod to the brand’s love of symmetry.
Piuarch also unveiled what, in time, will surely become unifying elements in Yamamay’s 1,300 stores globally. Freestanding metal chests anchor the store’s sales floor, but they serve multiple purposes: they feature lacquered wood drawers, meant for stashing away garments, and glass countertops, which double as a stage for prized items. Look down, and you’ll see terrazzo-esque tiles with geometric marble inserts.
Piuarch said they created the space to be “light, luminous and soft.” In other words, perfect for a lingerie brand.