Swedish retailer COS recently opened a new boutique in the Design District. COS is a fashion brand for women and men who want modern, functional and considered design offering reinvented classics and wardrobe essentials. COS creates pieces that are made to last beyond the season, merging traditional methods and new techniques to form timeless, understated collections.
Check out our interview below with Creative Director Karin Gustafsson about what shoppers can expect, hot buys for Spring 2017 and what's next for the brand.
Q: Who do you identify as your Miami Design District customer?
A: When thinking of the COS customer, we think of a group of friends who share the same likes and appreciation for aesthetics but with their own discerning take on fashion, rather than designing for a specific person. This group share busy lifestyles and are interested in current issues—from cultural, to political and fashion. This group of friends tend to be confident, style conscious and have a big-city mindset. They appreciate exceptional quality and value in every element of their lives. We definitely feel this customer exists in the cultural, creative hub of Miami.
Q: COS is known for collaborating with highly regarded contemporary art, architecture, fashion and design companies such as Serpentine Galleries, Frieze Art Fairs, the Donald Judd Foundation, Japanese design studio NENDO, COS’ men’s capsule collection with MR. PORTER, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, and Snarkitecture to name a few. What collaborations might the brand bring to the Miami design scene?
A: Miami offers a wealth of opportunity for the brand, and there is a clear synergy between the creative community in the city and our ongoing relationship with the art world. We feel very inspired by the innovative architecture, fashion, design, and dining experiences in the Design District itself, and we are of course visitors of both of the globally renowned art and design fairs like Art Basel Miami and Design Miami/ that take place in the city each year. At this point we are remaining open minded regarding future collaborations, exploring all that the Miami art and design scene has to offer.
Q: Why did you choose Miami Design District to open your first Florida location? How does the COS core philosophy reflect the design of the new Miami Design District store and what are some interesting features in the Miami Design District store that customers can expect?
A: Opening our first store in Miami is an exciting step for the brand. Supporting the arts remains a priority for COS, so it felt a natural step to introduce the brand to the city with a store in an area known for having the same values. The environmentally friendly design of the new location features a unique façade constructed from locally sourced solar screen tiles, which is intended to create lightness while providing transparency and shade. Inside, tactile materials in neutral tones, such as glass, concrete and wood will be used to create a gallery-like backdrop befitting of the surrounding design district, highlighting the clean lines of COS’ menswear and womenswear collections available across two floors of 3,703 square feet.
Q: Tell us about the COS Anniversary Collection?
A: Our 10-year anniversary felt like the perfect opportunity for us to reflect on what we have learnt over the last decade, through our design process, customer feedback and through the collaborations we have done with artists and designers globally. This is a moment for us to look back on what we have achieved but also focus on the future. We are proud of where we have come, opening the first COS store on Regent Street in London in March 2007, growing steadily over the last decade with store expansions across the world, and we want to continue to innovate and grow, using all the learnings from the last 10 years. For the collection we used a new approach with our pattern makers and designers working in parallel; rather than sketching on to the body, rectilinear lengths of fabric were draped directly on to a mannequin to begin the creative process. The interesting features you see, such as the double pockets and appliqué details, are created by incorporating the surplus fabric into the design. The collection features a pared-back color palette of white and sand. we didn’t want to take any attention away from the interesting way in which the pieces have been cut and the neutral palette felt most fitting.
Q: What is the most innovative feature your brand can be most proud of?
A: We speak a lot about the design principles that define us—modern, timeless, tactile and functional. These principles run through every collection we produce. I believe sticking to our core and remaining consistent in that way is something that makes us recognizable. We always aim to offer an inspiring collection comprised of wardrobe staples as well as reinvented classics which are designed to last beyond the season. The pieces are high quality—a lot of attention is paid to the design, the fabrics, the finish—but at an affordable price. We believe this is something that sets us apart and therefore part of what makes COS innovative and unique.