Cup of chic

Vogue Café opens to the delight of regional fashionistas

Privately nestled within Dubai Mall’s shoe metropolis, Level Shoe District, the newly opened Vogue Café invites fashion-forward and trend-oriented customers to take a seat and enjoy a classic setting.

As the first venture for Condé Nast Restaurants in the Middle East, Vogue Café represents its publication with pure clarity. From the timeless and elegant detail that fluidly fuses with contemporary elements, the interior layout is one that is, at once, effortless and chic.

A joint venture between Inspired Brands and Ginza Restuarants, the new eatery is quite remote. “The Level Shoe District is managed by the Chalhoub Group, and while developing the district, they allocated from the start the central space for a café and an espresso bar, so there are two parts.

They wanted something that fits in with the rest of the district in terms of prestige…They were very excited about Vogue Café coming in, because they felt it would add a lot of value to the space, and we personally felt that it was ideal…it’s not in your main traffic area, so it’s sort of exclusive, and it fits in with how we want Vogue Café to be perceived,” said Enrico Clementi, head of food and beverage, Ginza Restaurants.

Designed by Bash Hesnef, the café applies sophisticated elements that blend in with the surrounding environment. Open on all four sides, the café’s interior not only needed to fit in with the trendy shoe department, but it also needed to stand out on its own.

The café’s main features include a suspended magazine display, golden archways and a pyramid-cladded welcome desk.

“These arches are part of the Level Shoe District, so we had to work with these elements. Bash Hesnef came up with this very cool feature in the front, which hangs above to display the magazines and represents the brand in a way that’t not too obvious,” said Clementi.

The suspended circular structure is brightly lit and contains overlapping glass fins, which store Vogue issues. It further compliments the gold archways that gracefully border the café and display iconic images dug up from Vogue’s private archives.

The most notable and standout feature of the cafe, however, is the pyramid-cladded wall that represents the welcome desk and houses the kitchen.

“This area was more of a practical element that is utilised by the staff for service, so we had to introduce a design element to this space. To add a slight contemporary feel, we designed an interesting pyramid wall cladding effect that enhances the service area. Stacked wood reducing in size, finished in an off-white paint gives the pyramid effect and visual impact,” explained Paul Divers, general manager, Bash Hesnef.

According to Divers, Vogue is the world’s most influential fashion magazine, so its café needed to stay in line with the publication’s standards, applying a design that would stand the test of time and ephemeral trends. Ultimately, the café needed to be styled in a way that would always be fashionable.

“Having a multi-cultural team within our office helped the design process by feeding [off of] the different fashion-related tastes and ideas from various countries…Condé Nast themselves didn’t want to have a clone-type offering for all the Vogue Cafés around the world…they were keen to have local influences determine the result,” Divers goes on to explain.

He continues: “This was great as it allowed us poetic license… Within the set guidelines, we had to create a very stylish, elegant, classic concept that was warm and inviting, avoiding a monochromatic cold atmosphere.”

The restaurant contains modest parquet flooring, while contemporary style dining chairs that are upholstered in two different shades of leather compliment the classic and simple marble top dining tables. Additionally, leather banquet seating wraps around one side of the café to create a comfortable and cosy dining experience.

“The aesthetic message was to produce an understated luxury look that will appeal to all tastes and cultures, and reflect the rich traditional history of the Vogue brand,” concludes Divers.