Carolina Maluhy Has Conceived the Sinuous New Cris Barros Flagship Store in Belo Horizonte

Natural materials, sinuous curves, sand tones, luminosity and the ‘handmade' set the tone for Cris Barros’ new store (her first in Belo Horizonte), designed by architecture office Carolina Maluhy + Partners

The partnership between the designer and the architect, both from São Paulo, is a long-standing one: Carolina Maluhy is responsible for the concept of the brand’s boutiques from the start, when it was still known as Wardrobe, over fifteen years ago. “The concept of the store is always evolving”, claims Maluhy, that masterfully keeps up with the ascension of the Cris Barros group.

The most recent boutique opened in July 2023, encompassing 300 square meters in the capital of Minas Gerais. Four luminous and ventilated rooms, connected by portals and punctuated with tropical flowers, invite the customer to slow down and embark in a sensorial journey of silence, absence of interferences and plays on light and shadow. The huge water mirror that graces the entrance hall sets the soundtrack that takes us to the river shore, while branches of elden majestic trees, salvaged by Pedro Petry, give the ambiance a touch of rusticity.

Also from the bodies of water come the pebbles that make up niches for accessories and shoes exhibited in the second room, where a sinuous pouf takes us back to stones covered in lime or moss. The green stain of the piece on the carpet of the same tone establishes dialogs with the organic sculptures created by Frida Não Late and the totems of round shapes in off-white and wooden tones, crowned by the brand’s jewelry. The walls in plaster made up with rustic stone powder in sand tone and the five meters high ceiling accentuate the light that emanates from the ample domes installed on the roof, that is also reflected by the curved clothing racks in brushed brass that surround the first two rooms. Before going into the third one, white spiral stairs call on one’s attention, accessing the store’s backstage.

Upon reaching the second to last room - an enormous tent - the frenzy of the outside world is already a distant memory. Here, the lower ceiling, the soft rug and the draped natural sand linen curtains foster the feeling of coziness that culminates in an invitation to cuddle on the 8 meters long spacious couch. Suspended lamps designed by Adriana Yazbek evoke clouds in the natural scenery imagined by the architect, allowing for the warm and nurturing light of the room. From that point, we get to the end of this sensorial journey: a generous hall and an enormous rustic wooden bench precede the dressing rooms where the immersion in the creations of Cris Barros and in the architecture of Carolina Maluhy completes itself with calm, minimalism and sophistication.

Words: Emily Leung & Nikey Cheng
Published on January 11, 2024