Wine and design: MADLAB gives new shop a creative facelift
Carlo Orrico, the owner of the new West Village wine shop Le Vigne, wanted a high-concept design for his store, but he also wanted it on a low budget.
His goal was met skeptically by the design team at MADLAB, which helps decorate stores with far-out furnishings. Orrico’s budget was around $25,000, while MADLAB is used to six-figure accounts.
Making it work was a lesson in frugality and the end result was a retail work of art intended to generate curiosity in the month-old store and draw customers.
“Everything was done on a shoestring budget. We proposed a solution to him which meant a fixed price to produce an entire store,” said Petia Morozov, a partner at MADLAB.
Morozov enlisted the help of SPURSE, an international art collective, to execute the wine store design.
The low-budget part of the project came from using materials scavenged from Goodwill and The Salvation Army; the artistry came from assembling the pieces in a provocative way.
The 107-year-old storefront at 35 Greenwich Ave. hadn’t been renovated in decades. Hardwood floors were hidden under layers of carpet, a tin ceiling was waiting to be uncovered, and brick walls needed exposing. Those were typical charms that needed polishing, but MADLAB also installed new fixtures of art to complement Orrico’s passion for his wine.
“When you’re drinking wine, you’re not just drinking alcohol. Each of these wines want to tell you a story,” said Orrico, 26.
To tell that story, different sections of wines come with maps pointing out the regions they come from. The centerpiece at the shop is a 25-foot-long reimagining of Italy with wines positioned at different points on the map.
Other corners of the store have wine displays popping out from white furniture leaning at precarious angles, all lending to a whimsical feel to the store.
The end result for Orrico, who was told by MADLAB to “trust us,” is a store with a unique aesthetic that didn’t break his budget and intrigued customers.
“What surprised me was the overwhelming positive reaction [from customers] to something so different and offbeat, and this new way of presenting wine,” he said.