USA, New York, New York

- 2008
A mix of Solatubes® and energy efficient fluorescents provide lighting for the sales floor.
An over-scaled graphic turns the cash desk into another graphic element within the shop.
A reflective, back LED-lit storefront uses less wattage but burns just as bright as traditional lighting.
Natural light fills the fitting rooms via roof-mounted Solatubes®.
Interior from storefront
Fitting rooms

Design Team

Jordan Parnass, Randy Plemel, Darrick Borowski, Miguel McKelvey, Willow Ayers, Owen Gerst, Anthony Moon


Engineers: Dagher Engineering


General Contractor: GPJ O' Donoghue


Solatubes® – Solatube International, Inc.
Toilets (low-flow) – Toto
Lav fixtures (low-flow) – American Standard
Entrance tile (55% recycled) – Terra Green
Bike storage racks – Rutland Industries


Frank Oudeman

Visitors to American Apparel’s latest New York location, in Hell’s Kitchen, will find another bold, graphic shop from the brand known for its smart, simple basics. What they may not notice is the fundamental shift in design and construction. The 9th Avenue store is the result of extensive research to develop a model for sustainable retail fit-outs. It is set to achieve LEED Gold certification this fall, the first in what American Apparel hopes will be a trend of sustainable fit-outs going into the future.

Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture (JPDA), American Apparel’s retail design and development agency, proposed that the two companies collaborate to develop a retail roll-out program that emphasizes sustainable practices and strives for LEED certification. JPDA developed the architectural branding for American Apparel’s stores, and was excited to evolve the materials and specifications in a way that would incorporate sustainable practices while preserving the retailer’s signature look and feel.

The system implemented at the Hell’s Kitchen location utilizes a mix of energy-efficient practices (natural lighting via Solatubes®, supported by compact fluorescent lamps), sustainable materials (FSC-certified wood products and recycled floor tiles), and operational strategies which encourage low-carbon footprint behaviors (secure bicycle racks and showers to promote commuting by bike).