El Palacio de Hierro, 125 años de Estilo

The year 1888 marks the beginning of the history of El Palacio de Hierro, Mexico’s most emblematic department store that has become a reference of luxury, fashion and style in the country. To commemorate its 125th anniversary, El Palacio de Hierro displayed the exhibition “125 Years of Style” in one of its most iconic buildings in the city: the Historical District. The central atrium of the store was transformed into a temporary museum that exhibited unique garments, images, objects, documents and videos that were retrieved from the archives of El Palacio de Hierro as well as from private collectors.

Nineteen window displays around the perimeter complemented the journey through 125 years of history, and each one represented key events in the evolution of the store from the beginning of its construction in 1888 until the present day. Inhabiting the void.

A temporary steel structure was conceptualized to be built in 7 days, a three-dimensional grid that contained the stories which through its outward appearance narrated the metaphor of – an Iron Palace – in constant evolution and transformation. Fifty-six window displays were suspended in space, in their interior they told the story of a country and a brand that had been by its side promoting style and good taste for more than a century; on the outside, floating boxes and its monochromatic language referring to the DNA of the brand; they became almost invisible golden mirrors reflecting the monumental stained glass window in the atrium as well as the moving images of constantly changing visitors, writing new stories to become participants in a geometric staging.

The architectural beauty of the building was emphasized in a bilateral dialogue with the complexity of lines and the honesty of an iron structure that provided the framework to build the new speech of a brand that presents itself always respectful of its past but directed towards an avant-garde vision.

Concept and Experience / Esrawe + Cadena / 2016
Creative Direction / 
Ignacio Cadena y Héctor Esrawe
Interior and Furniture Project / 
Esrawe Studio
Branding / 
Cadena + Asociados Concept Design
Project Direction / 
Javier García-Rivera
Curatorship / 
Rodrigo Flores, Ana Elena Mallet
Visual Language / 
Rocío Serna
Design Team / Esrawe Studio: Javier García-Rivera, Anna Salcedo, Mariana Núñez,
Carlos Chino, Stella Riesterer, David Flores, Rodrigo Casanova, Said Manzur, Iván Delgadillo
Cadena + Asoc. Concept Design: Ricardo Bideau, Marcela Fraustro,
Karmen Orta, Sergio Martínez
Photography / Jaime Navarro