The designer jeans company, True Religion, opened their first brick-and-mortar store in Manhattan Beach thirteen years ago. Their new 72,000 square foot corporate headquarters moves the company from the City of Vernon back to its roots, but in a setting that reflects the company’s global success. Their new office embodies the rawness yet high quality of the jeans and fashions the company produces. According to project designers at Wolcott, it incorporates the tactile elements of weaving, raw natural materials, applying dye and pattern, and celebrating the craft of industrial machinery, all embodying True Religion’s brand and culture.
The exposed ceilings and polished concrete floors throughout the space create a sense of rawness, reinforced by design details such as the indigo-dyed plywood feature wall and the heavy wood and steel reception desk at the entry of the open communal space on the first floor. The adjacent stairs reinforce the industrial sense of machinery while contrasting with fine materials. Wire brushed oak details on the oversized platform landing of the stairwell speak to the application of pattern and texture found in many of the company’s clothing designs. Fine, woven stainless steel cables appear to delicately suspend the stairs on one side, while oil-rubbed, antique brass creates the massive structure seemingly supporting the other side. Comparatively delicate looking brass and wood handrails run from the first floor to the second and top the glass stairwell railing above.
Branding elements are expressed throughout the space by the use of the company’s logo in custom designed light fixtures, the use of millwork display niches that show the most recent clothing styles, and in large-scale, printed images of the company’s fashions. Tables in the break areas are made of heavy steel and thick, rough wood elements, similar to industrial work tables, an aesthetic established in the reception desk on the first floor. Tiles installed at the backsplashes in the break areas emulate dye running through fabric.
The headquarters contain not only the administrative aspects of the company, but also the design and manufacturing portions as well. Close coordination with the landlord was essential, as core and shell MEP upgrades were occurring in conjunction with the interior construction, and the sewing rooms located on the second floor required electrical upgrades to the existing service equipment and panel boards. Further, MEP cores were required down to the parking garage ceiling on the bottom floor, also requiring coordination with existing lighting and fire protection. All of this was successfully incorporated into the project schedule as well as the procurement of new Title 24 light fixtures and the required building commissioning.