10 Beautifully Designed Stores in Manila
These stores will make you feel like you've stepped into works of art.
(SPOT.ph) The Philippines has come a long way as far as concept stores go. There are plenty of shops that bypass the usual mall setup, collaborating with known designers to best attract their market. A well-designed store doesn’t just make you want to swipe that card; it also stimulates the senses, and leads you through a certain flow around the store. Plus, they have carefully selected details that collectively reflect the brand and its locale. Here are 10 beautifully designed stores that deserve a closer look.
This list is not ranked.
Tyler at Shangri-La Plaza*
The fresh and urban interiors of Tyler’s 190-square meter retail space at Shangri-La Plaza is designed by Kenneth Cobonpue. Contemporary fashion meets native craftsmanship with the play of shadow and light, as seen in Tyler’s store setup. The store mirrors the sleek and tailored silhouettes of the clothes it carries.
Tyler is at 5/F East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.
Adora at Greenbelt
This luxury emporium can be quite intimidating at first, as it stands out with its dazzling mannequins and marble floor-to-ceiling interior. But upon entering, you will be greeted by a welcoming staff who will assist you as you browse through brands like Givenchy, Stella Luna, Schutz, and more. Walking around the store is an indulging experience, and their dressing rooms are draped with velvet curtains that give that something extra.
Adora is at 2/F Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City (0917-557-7405 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Happy Skin Boutique at Glorietta
Happy Skin is known for their adorable lippies and cosmetic products with charming packaging. You will light up as soon as you step inside their first standalone shop, with a layout that is as pretty as their products. The teal and pink interiors are put together by Heim Interiors, with custom-made furniture from Heima (Heim Interiors’ furniture store). Read more about Happy Skin Boutique here.
The Happy Skin Boutique is at G/F Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Makati City (email@example.com).
General at Bonifacio High Street
Primer Group of Companies curated General’s pioneer store with the self-made man in mind. It carries brands like Victorinox, Lyle & Scott, and Swims to name a few, which reflect the contemporary lifestyle of a modern gentleman. Robert Alejandro (designer) and Leah Sanchez (architect) incorporated wood, stone, and metal to achieve the sharp, masculine, and cosmopolitan ambiance of the shop.
General is at L/G Southeast Building, Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City (621-4031).
Beauty Bar at Central Square
The Beauty Bar at Central Square is a grown-up version of the Beauty Bar stores loved by makeup junkies around the Metro. Its 50-square meter store is a collaboration with German designers Blocher and Blocher. The mature look carries a palette of white and dark gray with accents of gold and red. The hand-painted mural of leaves, birds, and hearts lend a soft, feminine touch.
Beauty Bar is at 2/F Central Square, Bonifacio Global City (790-7004).
Fully Booked at Alabang
The four-storey Fully Booked branch in Alabang is a booklover’s ideal den. It’s spacious, homey, and well laid-out. You will find a lot of nooks where you can browse through pages peacefully. Aside from its notable exterior made of yakal, architect Micaela Benedicto considered placing windows at eye level to allow natural light to come in. There are narrower strips on the south side of the establishment to minimize the afternoon heat. Press Cafe’s wall installation of books clustered together with short messages is one of the highlights of the store.
Fully Booked is at Commerce Avenue, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City (522-9410 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Hoodwink at SM Aura
Hoodwink carries brands that radiate the impeccable style of a beatnik, like Fred Perry, Kitsuné Tee and Eytys and more. Their retail space at SM Aura has an underground yet laid-back feel. Resembling a ship’s deck, the shop is influenced by boat travel. The lively shade of yellow on the walls, along with details like cue sticks on the door handles, and thrown darts as clothing hooks create the playful vibe of the store. They also have seasonal collaborations for their striking window design, with artists such as RM de Leon.
Hoodwink is at U/G SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City (0917-817-7061).
Walking through Craftsmith feels like a trip to another era. There is no single formula in their setup, but this store’s heart is reflected in all the items they sell. Influenced by Nordic design and the post-war era, the shop displays an array of well-curated artisanal items and furniture. Each object in the store has a story to tell, according to the founders, and they believe in bringing out the beauty in the mundane.
Craftsmith is at Crown Tower, 107 H.V. Dela Costa, Makati City (869-8022).
Univers at One Rockwell
Univers from the Homme et Femme group is another haven for design-forward aficionados. The modern and polished interior is designed by renowned architect Eduardo Calma. The inspiration is a trail of vapor or cigarette, hence the palette of white, gray and black–which highlights the merchandise instead of overpower it. The layout also mirrors the smoke, with the gray flooring and white columns curving up to the graphite ceiling. The store carries brands such as Jil Sander, Comme des Garcons, Alexander Wang, and more.
Univers is at G/F, One Rockwell East Tower, Rockwell Center, Makati City (email@example.com or 553-6811).
Ralph Lauren at Greenbelt
Ralph Lauren’s flagship luxury boutique store in Manila boasts of a 3,000-square foot area. Its facade is inspired by Vigan’s Spanish Renaissance style. Limestone floors, touches of mahogany, and white columns make up the interiors that resemble founder, Ralph Lauren's own home.
Ralph Lauren is at Ground Floor, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City (728-9283). For more information, visit their website.
*This store has closed.
Photos from the establishments' archives, official websites, and Facebook pages; MB.com.ph (Tyler), EdCalma.com (Univers).