In Madrid, A Wild Retail Experience Designed for Bridesmaids

Lady Pipa - Seating Area

Lady Pipa designs for the bold bridesmaid and her friends. Photos courtesy El Departamento


September 8, 2023

The orange storefront window framing Lady Pipa is a bit like looking through rose-tinted sunglasses. A joyful spirit radiates from the glass, casting a glamorous hue over the bright dresses on display. It’s the perfect introduction to the e-commerce brand’s first physical storefront in the heart of Madrid.

El Departamento, a studio based in Valencia, Spain, founded by architect Alberto Eltini and creative director Marina Martín, designed the new store. The studio specializes in daring aesthetics and experimental interiors—for Lady Pipa they built a store that caters to “motomamis,” a fierce, cool, independent woman embodied by singer Rosalía. El Departamento fused this persona with inspiration from Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, who designed the core of Miami’s design district. Alberto and Marina took notes from Sou’s ocean blue glass that lines storefronts, the pink umbrellas sprouting around a bulbous dome sculpture, and walls graffitied with vibrant warm colors. The result, channeled into Lady Pipa, is the invention of the “Moto-Miami,” the unconventional guest who wants to stand out without upstaging the bride.

Colorful panels of methacrylate, similar to the orange storefront window, coat the store in green and orange reflections. They bounce the silhouettes of the colorful dresses and strappy sandals lining the racks, which are arranged by color so that wedding guests can beeline to their bride’s color scheme. The lucite also picks up the pink and yellow ripples swirling in a liquid-y, psychedelic carpet.

Lady Pipa - Checkout

The checkout counter sits underneath a large format organ lamp.

Another focal point is the large-format lamp that hangs above a display counter. It is made up of three tiers of red, green, and blue tubes, each with a monochromatic color scheme that contrasts the stems with the tips. Light red sharply transforms into scarlet, like a matchstick.

In addition to the colorful accents, El Departamento designed the store as a social space for its Moto-Miamis. There’s a velvet fuchsia couch to accommodate a group of girlfriends, each seated in anticipation as they wait for their friend to emerge from the dressing room in their new dress, ready to spin and strike a pose.

The fitting rooms are their own Instagrammable moment. The walls feature a rich rainbow gradient complemented by chartreuse curtains and carpet. Warm globe lights, arched entryways, and velvety footstools make this area even more inviting than the storefront. It’s the ideal walk-in closet, perfect for trying on dozens of outfits like a character in a teen movie makeover montage. The playful backdrop will encourage Lady Pipa customers to snap dozens of photos for social media—even if they’re not invited to a wedding, or gala, or anything at all.

Other details include built-in, digital screens that show off models in saturated gowns and brides walking Spanish streets. Compared to the explosion of colorful outfits on screen and on the racks, the women in white are out of place. It’s rare for a store to think more about the bridesmaid than the bride, but Lady Pipa has found that this is its own lucrative niche.

Lady Pipa - Interior

Clothes are grouped by color scheme.

With such a sunny storefront, Lady Pipa’s merchandise will certainly be serving looks outside of the chapel. El Departamento’s inviting design will help the brand branch out from the internet and from weddings. Moto-Miamis are sure to take the good vibes from this store and blast them onto the streets.