Subtype lightens subterranean Melbourne

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Putting a store in a basement, when other locations might be available, might not sound the best thing that a retailer could do in terms of creating an inviting environment. Now couple this with choosing a location that is well away from the retail hum of things and you might think that a fashion merchant had temporarily abandoned any thought of being commercial.

Yet Sydney-based sneaker brand Subtype has chosen just such a site in Melbourne, locating its 280 sq m new store below ground in the city’s Central Business District. And in doing so it has had to create an interior in which light and dark play off each other, with concrete and steel forming the materials palette backdrop.

The outcome is a store that has a retro space age modernist feel about it and in which the bright, but largely neutral light ensures that the vivid colours of the sneakers and athleisure offer are seen to best advantage.

For office workers, bankers and other locals, this is a flash of light in the dark.