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Product + Dressing Room: Redefining the Experience of Luxury

March 2, 2016

Tom Marquardt takes i+s on a tour of Maya Romanoff’s Chicago showroom, highlighting the ways in which the luxury sourcing experience is
transformed in the space.

As you approach the Maya Romanoff showroom in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, it feels as if you’re stepping out of the rotunda of shops into a luxurious oasis separated from the outside world. The glittering, illuminated signage beckons you down the long entrance before swooping open into the expanse of the showroom, fanning out in a radial grid pattern from the inside corner.

Such an entrance could be seen as extreme if it didn’t so adequately prepare you for the opulence of Maya Romanoff’s hand-perfected coverings inside. There I met with Tom Marquardt (IIDA, SBID), design principal at HDR who, along with his previous team at marquardt+ (then Design Collaboratives), created the space as an homage to Maya Romanoff’s luxury style and artistry without becoming overbearing and overwhelming.

The key is in the different ways in which the product is displayed. “The space provides a variety of shopping experiences because designers don’t all look for products in the same way,” Marquardt explained. Instead, the showroom works like a hands-on gallery where designers are encouraged to interact with the products as they see fit to give them all the tools they need to perfect their projects.

Photography by Jeremy Witteveen

About the Author

Kadie Yale | Former Editor-in-Chief

Kadie Yale holds a BA in Industrial Design from San Francisco State University and a MA in Decorative Art History and Theory from Parsons the New School. In her role as editor-in-chief from 2015-2018, she led the interiors+sources team in creating relevant content that touches on sustainability, universal design, science, and the role of design in society.

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