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New interior for Michelle Ludek - Haldane Martin
Michelle Ludek interior design by Haldane Martin, photo by Micky Hoyle

New interior for Michelle Ludek

Michelle Ludek commisions Haldane Martin to design innovative 14m² fashion store at The Watershed

Cape Town interior designer Haldane Martin has designed a sculptural 14m² retail space for fashion design brand Michelle Ludek. It is located at the new home for African art and design, the recently transformed Watershed at the V&A Waterfront. The store opens on 7 October 2014. An official opening event is planned for the end of October.

Michelle Ludek’s women’s wear is sold at The Space stores around South Africa and is the top-selling local brand at the online retailer Zando. This is the brand’s first foray into its own permanent retail space.

The small size of the space called for an innovative design that integrates all of the essential elements of a successful fashion retail store, at the same time as expressing the essence of Michelle Ludek’s brand identity in an iconic, high-impact way.

Haldane’s space-saving solution was to create a spiral string curtain installation that wraps itself around the entirety of the store, beautifully framing the main merchandise clothing rail below. The spiral’s focal point ends with a customer change room curtain enriched with a bright yellow to white ombré effect.

The remaining walls and shop fittings are also ombréed in Michelle Ludek’s signature yellow, giving the space a light and uplifting atmosphere. This is further enhanced by backlighting the curtain with LED tube lights. The cashier desk is also designed to take up as little space as possible, featuring a hidden pull-out surface for folding and packing purchases.

Haldane envisioned a spiral curtain as the iconic motif for the retail space as it expresses Michelle Ludek’s sculptural and relaxed use of fabric in her easy-to-wear ladies’ fashion range.

The spiral line that the curtain follows, however, proved to be a serious challenge for regular curtain manufacturers. Haldane overcame this by drawing on his two decades of furniture design experience: he laser cut a custom curtain track to make it possible to manufacture the sculptural design on time and on budget.

The spiral also happens to be the form nature uses for growth, an appropriate symbol for Michelle Ludek, as the business is experiencing an explosive growth in sales in both the online and physical retail space.