Knight Associates Ltd. 19 Lara Hoad Archietcture & Design Lonely Melrose

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Steve Ferguson, Helene Morris, Rufus Knight
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Directors
    Lara Hoad, Vivienne Cardno
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Scott Hurst, Taylor Hurst, Brain Swink
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Nicholas Trott
  • Client
    Lonely Label
Judge's comments:

Serene design that is beautifully detailed and offers quiet luxury to compliment the brand experience with harmonious blend of tactile intimacy and modern sophistication, creating a sanctuary-like space.


Since 2003, Lonely has been crafting and creating with love.

Offering lingerie, womenswear, swimwear, and lifestyle products that are made for exploration and enjoyment, Lonely’s unique palette creates products that are artistic expressions for customers to discover themselves as the muse.

With two existing retail touchpoints in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand, Lonely Melrose is the brand’s first international flagship, located on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. Lonely boutiques aim to be calm sanctuary-like spaces, designed for customers to relax in and experience a zone of self-love and honour, where collections can be intimately experienced with guidance from brand hosts.

Knight Associates, in collaboration with Lara Hoad Architecture & Design, undertook an extensive design and permitting process, with the City of West Hollywood, to refurbish both the main retail space and store-front and to reconfigure and modernize the former gallery into a contemporary and inviting showroom. The Melrose boutique is a place for customers to interact and buy products on both an analogue and digital level. Forward-thinking with regard to digital integration but primarily service-focused.

The design direction of the space references a dialogue between hard and soft surfaces – between confidence and intimacy. The Melrose space makes a departure from the cool modern delineation of the previous Auckland and Wellington stores with a soft and enveloping interior. Materials and textures are muted yet tactile – a palette of Douglas Fir, aged brass, pitted plaster, and stained Elm continue the brand themes of raw sophistication, honesty, and simplicity. The space aims to say something romantic but in a modern vocabulary.

Through calm and confident forms, the interior design keeps service and customer experience at its heart; large operable joinery provides the ability to experience the brand and accessory collections as an inviting open-plan showroom experience or subtly delineated for more intimate private consultations and fittings. Storage is discreetly addressed through freestanding vintage furniture in the main retail spaces and administrative and stock fulfilment areas are positioned at the rear of the store. The newly constructed façade joinery, finished in cathedral glass, filters natural light and presents an adumbrated view of the interior, furthering discretion for customers.

The Lonely boutiques speak strongly about layers of intimacy; a space that focuses on the customer, their experience, and the process of buying lingerie remained essential.