To label Issey Miyake store at 11 Rue Royale in Paris ‘a shopping space’ seems trivial. Shopping probably isn’t the main reference a visitor can make in this 420 sq m. space.

Designed by Jean-Guillaume Mathiaut in 2008 to showcase not only Issey Miyake collections but also to share this space with other designers and artists.

Simple, minimalist design defines the environment, giving the attention to/putting the focus on fashion and art. Displays and fixtures blend discreetly with the background, despite the fact that they include a 12 m long Corian display table. The whole space looks like an art gallery transformed into a retail space.

This example of Mathiaut’s minimalistic yet powerful interior design creates a sophisticated background to the fashion design and artwork.

The look, or maybe more importantly, the idea behind the store concept is successfully adopted by smaller retailers too.

Here is an example of Dublin’s boutique Nowhere.

Nowhere boutique in Dublin, Ireland, showcases unisex hand picked designer pieces. The small retail space is cleverly organised and its minimalist design accentuates the uniqueness of the products on display.

Tiny spaces can be powerful too. Mirrors that elongate the space, white, blended backgrounds and ‘floating’ LED horizontal lights – all of these elements of design serve to make the space look more airy.

Like the Issey Miyake store, toutes proportions gardées, the interior of Nowhere uses the feel and look of the art gallery to neutralise the space and highlight displayed products as if they are individual art pieces. In this way, the interior complements the brand identity.

But what is really extraordinary in this design is its organic look and bespoke furniture.

Furniture is lit with warm yellow light at ground level giving the impression that it is suspended above the floor.

Similar LED lighting is echoed above the rectangular display unit and racks.

The old brick walls and timber support ceiling could be exposed but in this case these elements blend into the neutral background.

The Cash desk is a bespoke piece encapsulating space design – a simple geometric ‘floating’ piece.

Both examples presented above accentuate the sophistication of designed product for sale. The interior design itself acts as a canvas for retailing.

Nowhere retail space is designed by Abcg Architects.