From Jiaxing, China to East Rutherford, New Jersey, the Chinese ready-to-wear fashion label Ep Yaying is becoming an international retail presence. And while a trademark interplay of East Asian influences and streamlined contemporary silhouettes defines the garments, the Chinese brand’s storefronts are an equally defining element of its identity. Designed by the French duo of architect Franklin Azzi with couturier Serge Ruffieux, the three locations are shaped by a sensibility that combines rough and glossy textures with vivid tonal accents.

With outlets in Shanghai, Jiaxing and a newly opened outpost in New Jersey’s American Dream mall, Ep Yaying, Azzi and Ruffieux have established a consistent visual language that’s nonetheless sensitive to local context and culture. (Next year, a Beijing location is also slated to open).

couches and displays in the Jiaxing location, with the room anchored by a light blue rug

Jiaxing. PHOTO: Franklin Azzi Architecture

It starts with the largest of the trio, the expansive 2,050-square metre Jiaxing flagship store. Anchored by warm wood tones and soft lighting — across the ceiling, walls and displays — the space boasts a warm ambiance accented by rough marble textures and sleek black metal.

couches and displays in the Jiaxing location

Jiaxing. PHOTO: Franklin Azzi Architecture

Used as tables and displays, the stone elements combine a smooth, polished marble top with a conspicuously rough underside. It’s a striking juxtaposition — and one that amplifies the presence of both the sleek and the textured surfaces.

view of Shanghai store from low vantage point, showing the paving stone floor in context of display walls and outdoor courtyard greenery

Shnghai. PHOTO: Matjaz Tancic

In Shanghai, Azzi and Ep Yaying’s aesthetic is translated into another context. An indoor-outdoor courtyard space, the airy 520-square metre shop adds greenery, concrete and brick pavers into the material melange. Framed by plant life and warm colours, elements like exposed concrete walls and herringbone paving stones lend the space added texture, while a feature wall of suspended stone displays adds an Ep Yaying trademark to the mix.

A view through the large windows in the Ep Yaying Shanghai store, showing a nearby building

Shanghai. PHOTO: Matjaz Tancic

Meanwhile, the combination of an open layout, ample fenestration, reflective surfaces and paving stone flooring enhances a connection to the outdoors and the neighbourhood context, putting the design into conversation with its surroundings.

a view of the changing room, framed by lacquered wall and ceiling

New Jersey. PHOTO: Matjaz Tancic

Ep Yaying’s latest outpost brings Azzi and Ruffieux’s aesthetic signature to North America. At 325 square metres, the boutique in New Jersey’s American Dream mall is the smallest of the three locations so far, with a cozier ambiance to match the intimate scale.

View of textured fabric walls around a sofa at Ep Yaying New Jersey, with images of plants and animals across the walls

New Jersey. PHOTO: Matjaz Tancic

Here, elegantly textured fabric walls — decorated with whimsical drawings of plants and animals — are a signature element, translating a gesture introduced more subtly in the brand’s Shanghai location into a bolder motif.

Detail close-up of smooth marble surface at Ep Yaying's New Jersey location

New Jersey. PHOTO: Matjaz Tancic

And while the playful images draw the eye, the rest of the space unfolds in signature Ep Yaying style of lacquered walls, warm colours and dramatically textured stone displays. It makes for a stylish addition to the American Dream — by way of China and France.

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