Workshop has opened a new Christchurch store and it is the latest installment in a long-time creative collaboration between owner, architect, and artisans, marking a renewed commitment to the city and its history.
A new home in The Crossing
Workshop has been a leading name in the New Zealand fashion industry for three decades. Led by Chris and Helen Cherry, their labels encompass cutting-edge streetwear and denim, through to Helen Cherry’s eponymous high-end contemporary women’s label. They complement their collections in-store with those from an exclusive selection of international designers including Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, Marc Jacobs, See by Chloe, Common Projects, James Perse and Vanessa Bruno.
Following a thirty-year history in Christchurch with locations in Cashel Mall, High & Tuam St, and Colombo St, their new location in Carter Group’s ‘The Crossing’, sees Workshop’s renewed commitment to the Christchurch CBD.
Embracing a rare opportunity to re-establish a presence in a character heritage space in the city’s premium retail precinct, the carefully restored space with original decorative coffered ceilings, and copper & bronze awning friezes provided just the right mix of character, history, and location for Workshop.
For this latest project, Workshop founder and creative director Chris Cherry has been joined by long-time Workshop collaborators – architect Chris Adams of Pohio Adams Architects, and steel fabricator Gary Hunt. The three have worked together for over 25 years having developed and refined a unique design language of fixtures and fittings that gives each store a unique identity while maintaining a distinct Workshop aesthetic.
Chris Cherry is an avid collector of New Zealand art and international mid 20th-century design. Through his ongoing pursuit of industrial antiques, he unearthed a set of fabulous cast bronze balustrades originally from the Allied Assurance Building on Hereford St. These have been painstakingly restored and repurposed as sales counter and display cases.
The bronze is highly decorative in a late ‘30’s Regency Moderne style, but paired with industrial steel frames fabricated by long-time collaborator Gary Hunt, the excess flamboyancy is dialled back and identity becomes uniquely Workshop, hence the ‘Industrial Regency’ moniker. The bespoke fittings are complemented by a range of original Italian sculpture lights from Mazzega, Poliarte, and Angelo Brotto along with a luxurious original Gio Ponti sofa.
“This project builds on the previous stores we have designed in Auckland, Wellington and Melbourne, but here there is an extra resonance imparted by the unique pieces we have used that have a special Christchurch history.” describes Adams. “The store has an elegance, and connection with history that is important in a city where so much of that has been lost.”
The language of subtle industrial detailing and reinvention, careful weaving together of garment display, furniture, art, and object, goes beyond a raw reconstructed aesthetic, detailing and finish are immaculate – an extension of the values held by Chris and Helen Cherry.
View the new store in the gallery above, or see it for yourself at The Crossing, 684 Colombo Street, Monday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm and Sun 10 am – 4 pm.