Architect Franklin Azzi × Designer Serge Ruffieux | Shanghai, Jiaxing, Beijing and NY Boutiques for the Chinese Brand EP YAYING

Faithful to his passion for creative encounters and collaborations, Franklin Azzi has united his vision with that of fashion designer Serge Ruffieux to establish a new architectural concept for Chinese ready-to-wear label EP YAYING.


Jiaxing, Photo credit: Franklin Azzi Architecture

Reflecting the approach of the iconic label in the revival of luxury goods and Chinese heritage – the name EP YAYING means ‘pledge of quality’ – Franklin Azzi drew from Oriental cultural references and skills to define a new contemporary aesthetic.


Jiaxing, Photo credit: Franklin Azzi Architecture

The creative tandem has given rise to a program of spaces dedicated to experiencing and strolling, which, from Shanghai to New York, cultivates oxymoron in every detail. The raw beauty of the materials, such as jade and concrete, combines with the elegance of lacquer work and embroidery. Between the association of rough and smooth surfaces, matte and gloss colors, the traditional mixing of materials of Chinese craftsmanship, the boutiques reveal their singularity in a play of contrasts between stark simplicity and maximalism. The collections of fashion and accessories are displayed around a graphic grid structure of black metal tubes, in which slabs of rough stones of different shapes and colors are suspended or held up, like an interior landscape reinforcing the impression of poetic antithesis between the different elements.


Shanghai, Photo credit: Matjaz Tancic


Shanghai, Photo credit: Matjaz Tancic


Shanghai, Photo credit: Matjaz Tancic

The architecture of the boutiques, whether within a new building or an existing one, such as the old colonial house entirely renovated in Shanghai, favors transparency, opening to the outside, and integrating nature. The fashion label’s spaces merge with public space in a principle of fluid sophistication.


Shanghai, Photo credit: Matjaz Tancic


Shanghai, Photo credit: Matjaz Tancic


Shanghai, Photo credit: Matjaz Tancic

From floor to ceiling, via the furniture and changing rooms designed as transition and exhibition spaces in dialogue with the overall scheme, an unusual voyage has been designed, composed of aesthetic and sensorial resonances.


New-York, Photo credit: Matjaz Tancic

It is a means for architects to bring modernity and craftsmanship into dialogue in an original approach that sees each new EP YAYING boutique as a venue in its own right.


  • Architizer A+ Awards 2022, finalist in the Retail category
  • Dezeen Awards 2022, longlisted in the Large Interior Retail category
  • Frame Awards 2022, nominee

New-York, Photo credit: Matjaz Tancic


Shanghai, Photo credit: Matjaz Tancic

About Franklin Azzi

Franklin Azzi and his practice, founded in 2006, develop a transversal approach stimulated by the intertwining of different views and disciplines. In constantly working on architecture, interior architecture, design, and contemporary art, he develops a way of designing and building that is applicable to all scales and typologies of space.


Franklin Azzi, Photo credit: Cyrille George Jerusalmi

Emblematic in its capacity to create and innovate through re-use, the new Montparnasse Tower, planned for 2024, seeks to summarize its vision of the vertical city, low in energy use, open, and resilient. Convinced of the strength of collective intelligence to meet the challenges of our time, Franklin Azzi has been working on this major project since 2017, along with Nouvelle AOM (Chartier Dalix Architectes and Hardel Le Bihan Architectes).

Invited by André Terrail, Franklin Azzi presents an ambitious project for the rehabilitation of the Tour d'Argent, meeting a rich historical background to give it a more contemporary vision. The focus of this project will be on the transformation of this heritage and renewed urban landmark, not only for Parisians, but for the whole world, while offering a new façade on the city.

Franklin Azzi places his commitment as designer–builder at every level of creation, from large scale to the smallest detail of fabrication, whether for public or private commission, in France or elsewhere. In doing so, he breathes new life into built heritage, inventing living and work spaces for tomorrow (Messager, The Bureau, Be In for LVMH), rethinking urban development with respect for what is already there (Toko, Grande Armée, Beaupassage for Emerige), and developing demountable and mobile structures (the rooftop pavilion for Galeries Lafayette). The result are places that outline a new horizon of possibilities, with an approach that is sustainable and contemporary, to the benefit of the end users.