by Stephen Garner

Streetwear and sneaker boutique WISH ATL has reopened its store in Atlanta, unveiling a new redesign called “WISH Remix.” Located 447 Moreland Avenue in the Little Five Points neighborhood, the store reopens with enhanced health and safety protocols as well as a new virtual offering to ensure the safest and most convenient shopping experience.

Designed by Chris Benfield of Benfield Partners, WISH Remix builds on the notion of the remix in music: a collaboration where a work’s original form is sampled, reimagined, and recombined with new elements. The creative vision of founder and owner Lauren Amos, WISH ATL is Atlanta’s premier destination offering the most highly sought after, limited-edition footwear brands alongside unique, one-of-one designer pieces from around the world. Since its inception in 2004, WISH ATL has become a local cultural icon in Atlanta and a global trend leader in sneakers and streetwear.

“The most important thing while doing this remodel was staying true to ourselves while still providing an experience that is unique to WISH ATL,” Amos tells MR. “Drawing inspiration from our fifteen years of creative cultural engagement and energy, the new design builds on the notion of the remix in music: a collaboration where a work’s original form is sampled, re-imagined, and recombined with new elements. The new WISH ATL is a collaboration of the creative community of Atlanta, streetwear and sneakerhead culture, and the building’s architectural history.”

Design details include forms reminiscent of skate park elements like kinked rails and flat bars that now house curated apparel and accessories. Fifty-five thousand shoelaces woven into a perforated metal wall create the impression of broadcast television static and act as a background for WISH’s collection of snapbacks. A blue carpet runway inset in a concrete field winds through the space, leading customers along custom-designed steel, bronze, and suede hanging racks. Modular wall panels invite future collaborations with artists and currently feature custom graphics by Atlanta-based artist Sage Guillory, who has also been featured at The Gallery by WISH, the contemporary art complement to WISH ATL.

The Gallery by WISH reopens alongside the iconic boutique, which will showcase dynamic exhibitions featuring local and international artists as well as series that invite creative and curious community members to explore and foster their own creativity. The Gallery by WISH will host signature WISH ATL events in the music industry, fine arts, fashion, and beyond. The Gallery is also home to Atlanta’s iconic Outkast Mural by renowned muralist, Jeks, from Greensboro, North Carolina.

The new design also remixes one of the most recognizable elements from WISH ATL’s earlier design, the “shoe library.” Ten thousand books now create a stairway, with the books’ inner faces forming a tunnel into the store’s lower level and recalling the building’s original identity as a Carnegie library. Clay dioramas, produced by artist Cindy Hsu, peek out from the stacks and depict a shoe design studio and production factory. Like a secret passageway, the stairs descend into WISH’s Sneaker Vault, which honors the cultural importance of sneaker collecting.

Customers will pass through a monolithic portal into the first chamber, which features alternating glass panels and gold-leafed sneaker displays that reference medieval reliquaries. The room, which is constructed to reveal the building’s original granite foundation, will naturally draw viewers’ eyes to the shoes on display. Ten tons of river rock boulders complement this space, carved into seating by stone artisans from the granite capital of the world, Elberton, GA. In a second chamber, the walls are lined with a custom fabricated stainless-steel matrix housing individual shoes in cubbies that reference safety deposit boxes.

“We are looking forward to re-engaging with our local community in the new space,” adds Amos. “WISH ATL is such a unique and collaborative creative environment, and our hope is that our space will continue to foster creatives in our local community and ultimately make a positive change in the world.”