Firm’s remodel aids staff creativity

For nearly three decades, Topline, the parent company of REPORT Footwear has steadily built a name for itself by producing fashion-forward shoes. Recently, the company’s headquarters underwent a major interior remodel producing a now equally fashionable design studio.

Report’s Assaf Ziv and Stacy Cail pose among the mannequins and shoes on display inside the company’s facility.

For nearly three decades, Topline, the parent company of REPORT Footwear has steadily built a name for itself by producing fashion-forward shoes. Recently, the company’s headquarters underwent a major interior remodel producing a now equally fashionable design studio.

Bellevue has been home to Topline Corporate Headquarters since 1980 when the company first formed. Topline produces three footwear lines: REPORT, REPORT Signature, and R2.

Prior to the remodel, the company’s departments were jumbled together and the shoe designers were crammed into closed cubicles and scattered all over the building.

Assaf Ziv, the branding and marketing director of Report Shoes approached the renovation of the company’s corporate headquarters much like an artist approaches a blank canvas.

“The original space wasn’t designed for a design studio, it was an office building that the company molded to fit the business,” Ziv said.

“We tried to create a minimal and clean design overall and the choice of color was very simple – white, on white, on white,” Ziv explained.

The front doors open to a lobby composed of modern pieces and nature inspired elements blended together. The lobby was designed to reflect the personality of the company’s owner, Bill Snowdon.

“He really embodies a modern lifestyle,” Ziv explained. “His vision was to create something very neutral but sophisticated, adding wood elements and a Northwest feel with a modern twist.”

Prior to reaching the main showroom and design area on the first floor, clients are led into an expansive presentation area. Catering to buyers and perspective clients, the area resembles a long oversized runway with two walls running along the width. Pillows are assembled for seating along one wall and mannequins are displayed directly across for easy viewing.

“It’s all white so you almost feel like you are in a studio where you can create all kind of ideas,” Ziv explained. “It can be changed so quickly with subtle changes to the mannequins or pillows – it transforms the overall look and you can create a very diverse area.

The mannequins were custom made and incorporate ethic traits from cultures from all over the globe.

When designing the space that the warehouse had previously occupied, the concept was to create an area where employees would be exposed to inspiration, design, product and to one another. To achieve this, the showroom was placed in the center area and the design areas stretch along the outside perimeter. The showroom contains three walls showcasing Topline’s latest collections, organized by shoe line.

According to Ziv, the layout of the first floor provides the designers with constant exposure to elements of fashion and design. The parameter consists of short-walled cubicles that give each designer their own designated work space while allowing constant interaction and communication.

“As you walk along the parameter you’ll notice that the designers face the outside wall,” Stacy Cail, of the marketing department pointed out. “The designers have the freedom to use the outside wall to hang materials or images that might give them inspiration and the floor space in front of their cubicles is often lined with shoes and sketches in various design stages.”

The second floor boasts a Shoe Library – a collection of thousands of shoes from all over the world organized according to decade.

“If a designer wants to be inspired by the trends of the ‘60s they can browse through the hundreds of shoes from that era,” Ziv explained. “It beats flipping through endless pages of books or digging through boxes.”

According to Ziv, the re-design concept took two years to develop – a long process of looking at the practicality of the building’s interior space and utilizing the square footage in the most effective way.

“It was a warehouse and we had to transform it into a working space. So it was a challenge,” Ziv explained, who is now in the process of overseeing the re-design of Topline’s China offices.

“The re-design reflects the core of the company’s main style and vision. It’s fashion at its best,” Ziv said. “It’s a long process, but a very good process.”

Lindsay Larin can be reached at llarin@reporternewspapers.com or 425-453-4602.

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