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Stilettos on Pedestals

The designer shoes and bags sold in the Kymyka store in Maastricht designed by Maurice Mentjens Design, are literally held in the utmost highest regard.

By Jeanne Tan /asdf 25-02-2009

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend: in actual fact, they're wrong. It's really shoes.

Peeping into the window at Kymyka shoes and bags in Maastricht, the intriguing sight of sky-high stillettos displayed on vertical steel rods staggered in height, shows that this shop means serious shoe-business.

Designed by Maurice Mentjens Design, the interior of Kymyka is intended to be modern and chic but modest at the same time, which was an integral part of the brief. The store sells a range of high-end brands from Stella McCartney, DSQUARED, Dolce & Gabbana to Yves Saint Laurent and Jimmy Choo.

The interior is characterised by a minimal palette of materials and colours - wood, white and steel - interplayed in horizontal and vertical elements. The layout consists of two adjacent houses that are mirrored in plan. The structural dividing wall was removed to be replace with columns. Horizontality is emphasised by the large overhead beams that intersect the columns. The backdrop was intended as a sort of embrace. Timber joinery skirts along the perimeters of the interior, housing the practicalities of the store including seating, shoe storage and heating while acting as display surface. Above, layers of narrower white display bands follow the same path, referring also to the layers of the cornices.

Centrally, attention is focused on the vertical elements. Columns are fitted with mirrors both full-height and bench-height, playing with optical illusions and light but pragmatically allowing clients to walk around the store and still be able to look in the mirror. The highlight are clusters of steel rods which display stilettos atop, attached with the assistance of magnets. Staggered in height, the rods resemble oversized pins, adding movement to the space. While they bring to mind high heels, the installation is also a memory to the late Richard Hermans jr. one of the founders of Kymyka, symbolically referring to an altar of candles. 

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