Design tells brand’s story, reflects values
ICEBREAKER | Rideau Centre, Ottawa
size 1,139 sf
completion May 2017
Contributing Shop! member
Ruscio Studio design
ELEMENTS INSPIRED BY THE NEW ZEALAND COUNTRYSIDE project an appealing, authentic connection to the Auckland-headquartered brand and its philosophy of sustainability, social ethics, and animal welfare.
Bucolic settings, barns, and the sheep that provide merino wool for the brand’s apparel play a major role in the concept’s creation. Features such as weathered wood planks, rough timber, a moss wall, rope, and pulleys promote the company’s origins. Visual merchandising props such as lanterns, picture frames, antique cameras, and vintage books tell the brand’s story.
Thoughtful placement of various wood textures throughout the space also elevates the customer experience. A storefront of recycled barn wood planks, installed in a random pattern, creates an eye-catching first impression and stands out from the predominately black and white mall facades. Posts and beams inside the store have a darker tone. Fitting rooms and feature tables have an off-white, weathered wood finish.
Fitting rooms with sliding barn doors, interior benches made of rope and pulley, full-height mirrors, and painted inspirational quotes further enhance the shopping experience.
Other highlights are six frameless screens on the back wall, displaying impressive imagery. Framing the screens with a black lacquer shroud and showcasing various props on the pinewood grey stained planks underneath amps up the wow factor.
More features include impactful lighting, such as:
- Multi-heads at the storefront and on the drywall ceiling
- Track lights discreetly located in the open ceiling space behind the beams
- Suspended decorative light pendants highlighting the feature table
- Hidden LED strips in the stretch fabric ceilings of the fitting rooms, creating an evenly diffused warm light
Matte black metal for the fixtures and bands on the beams recall the blackened metal found in rural settings and anchor the store’s color palette. Porcelain tile flooring replicates the look of wood planks. Raw wool carpeting and leather upholstery give the setting an additional authentic boost. Cash units with no front or back allow for circulation on all four sides, offering a more intimate way of serving customers and not confining sales associates to one particular area.
Due to impressive sales results, the brand’s C-suite quickly moved forward with the new concept, applying it to another Canadian location at the West Edmonton Mall, and their store in Chamonix, France.