retailer unique: its workwear roots.
Another challenge was to create a design
that would translate to any space. The
flagship space had a concrete ceiling that
contributed to the industrial look, but
designers steered clear of highlighting this
feature, as would not be available in other
stores. Most Mark’s stores are in big-box
locations with few or no unusual elements,
so the design would have to create its own
aesthetic through fixtures and materials,
His team worked with the retailer and
vendors to make sure that everyone was
on the same page. “The most difficult part
of this redesign was coordination,” he says.
” The retailer was used to opening stores
in a certain way. We had to get back to the
basics, to internal communication, to make
sure everyone had the same shared vision.
That’s always a challenge.”
The new design centers around a fitting room in Mark’s signature orange.
Departments, each with their own look,
radiate from it—the fitting room is visible
from every department and every department is visible from it.
Walls, fixtures, finishes, and graphics
give each department a unique character,
but each is a variation on the keywords
ing treatments at department entrances
include suspended light boxes, faux ceiling
beams, and playful lighting. Beyond these
department delineations, the spaces open
up to focus on products.
The industrial-chic look required many
specialty products, from rugged floor treatments to faux walls. For example, oil drums
painted fuchsia became fun light fixtures
in the women’s wear department.
Ruscio says fixtures were designed to
“animate the landscape” by varying heights
and types to help avoid the look of a sea of
racks and to keep the industrial look engaging, rather than alienating.
Left: Fixtures with the look of reclaimed wood are made of new wood finished in a proprietary process developed by Artitalia Group and its wood mill partner.
Unlike reclaimed wood, this wood will look the same for hundreds of fixtures when the redesign rolls out across Canada. Right: Inventive and intriguing,
a display of vintage and custom lights in the men’s denim department adds to the “heritage” feel and complements lighting mounted on metal poles.
Industrial touches in the womenswear department
are softer and more playful. Wood in the display
fixtures has a whitewashed finish, walls finished in
brick veneer and painted off-white add character,
while light fixtures made of oil drums painted
fuchsia hang between wooden beams
replicating the look of an old factory ceiling.