DAS Architects, a hospitality, retail and residential design firm in Philadelphia, has completed the first phase of a reimagining of Boyds, Philadelphia’s iconic retailer of designer and custom-made apparel.
“Boyds has always been the shop of choice for impeccably tailored men’s and women’s clothes,” said David A. Schultz, AIA, principal of DAS Architects. “Our design for the store has the same attention to fine detail. We worked closely with the client to fulfill their rebranding strategy.”
The $10 million project will be completed in phases and remain open during construction. It includes exterior restoration of the landmark building and renovation of the five floors. Women’s haute couture, handbags and shoes will be showcased throughout the entire first floor and mezzanine. Men’s tailored furnishings and sophisticated sportswear for a younger clientele will be on the second floor; and on the third floor will be the classic men’s suits and formal wear for which Boyds is known worldwide.
The upper floors, including the tailors’ workshop, will be converted to executive and administrative offices. Boyds’ thirty-five full-time tailors will now have work stations on showroom floors so that shoppers can appreciate the custom-made process.
“Each department is unique,” said Susan M. Davidson, IDC, principal of DAS Architects. “The first floor is a jewel box, a light-toned environment with a delicately patterned carpet and custom crystal light installation. The mezzanine is an extension of the first floor, with brightly lit casework and plush seating. Moving upstairs, the second-floor contemporary department is edgy and modern, contrasted by the dark, luxurious new shoe department. Upstairs, men’s classic and luxury departments are minimal yet sophisticated, with bleached wood, textured walls, and chic lighting. The formalwear room features dark walls and ceilings, white lacquered casework, and patterned black and white floor, while the made-to-measure room beyond features custom cabinetry and furniture.”
Boyds was designed by Beaux Arts architect John Windrim and constructed in 1907. The renovation project includes restoration of interior and exterior historic elements including Corinthian columns and decorative pilasters, wall panels and wainscoting, ceiling coffers and cornice moldings.
The blue canvas awning at the Chestnut Street entrance will be replaced with a custom glass and bronze canopy that showcases the original façade, and the heavy glass front doors will be replaced with a modern design using lighter materials.
In The Last Great Clothing Store: A Classic is Spiffing Up, NY Times writer Steven Kurutz described the standard of service that Boyds clothing store has maintained since 1938:
“In this age of dressing down and click-and-buy, in an environment where the big chains have killed off the mom-and-pops and Amazon is killing off the chains, Boyds now feels like a shopping experience out of time…. It may be the only clothing store of its kind in the country.”
All phases are expected to be complete in Fall of 2018.
Additional members of the Project Team include Bala Consulting MEP Engineer; Barry Isett & Assoc Structural Engineer; Grenald Waldron and Assoc Lighting Design; Studio DAS furniture procurement; and Clemens Construction general contractor.