Don Ed Hardy, a legacy in the tattoo fraternity, extended his love for tattoos to the retail sector and Ed Hardy was born in the early 2000s. With its recent entry into the city of Bangalore, the Ed Hardy store at Phoenix Market City brings alive the core
Ed Hardy ventured into fashion to reach out to an audience fascinated with the idea but did not necessarily desire body art. The store design concurs with the merchandise selection at the store. Restore Solutions came up with a design focusing on the unique identity Ed Hardy has created across various retail destinations worldwide along with design disciplines which would suit the Indian retail tastes. The Restore teams in Paris and India worked closely to come up with a viable design outcome. Although popular as an apparel haven, the ambience reminisces of a new age Californian tattoo parlour.
The Ed Hardy brand feel dictates a sophisticated pop culture. It looks at tattoo as an art form and this ideology manifests in its store experience. From entry to exit, the store gives a vibe of a tattoo studio which houses apparel shopping. A dramatic entrance sets the mood for the experience which lies further. The design takes advantage of the 30 ft store entrance at Phoenix Market City sufficing for two large windows to showcase their ideas and collection. One of the windows is a permanent display which expresses the crux of the brand with a collage of tattoo graphics with the trademark skull at the centre.
To pep up the experience, the facade is curved and so at no point does the store give full visibility to the onlooker. With the statement created at the facade itself, the customer is lured into the store to behold the narrative inside. The entire facade is black glossy duco surface with the brand name lit in red neon which agrees with the right look for the brand. Also, the entry is beveled with angular mirrors on the side which add to the drama. At this point in the journey, the customers’ eyes are locked on the imagery of a big red tiger on the black wall staring back. It is a continuation of the dramatic effect and quite integral to the brand’s iconography. Of course, colour contrast has its role to play. And then, seconds later you realise your presence in the store.
Usually, when you’re shopping around, it is not a normal occurrence that your eyes would drift to the ceiling. But here, the Ed Hardy neon branding with its flashy nature and size of installation does not leave you with much choice and presents itself as a pleasant surprise. It is installed on a black background with dull graphics highlighting the Ed Hardy logo.
The store interior language has most of its credit to be given to the visual merchandising department. The essence of the brand is brought out through the VM execution.
The architectural elements which make up the store lay the canvas for the VM to communicate and the merchandise to blend with the interiors.
The entire store unfolds in about 1100 sq. ft. of space. “The available floor space is smaller than is usual for the brand. But instead of letting it bog the design team down, they turned into an opportunity to build closeness between the brand and the customer,” says Lisa Mukhedkar, Co-Founder, Restore.
Talking about the architectural components of the store, the flooring has a checkered black and white central aisle which sets base for an array of displays. The rest of the store is laid in wooden flooring which defines the movement area. Use of flooring as a tool to define movement is a known classic strategy applied to retail environments. The brick-clad walls are a typical Ed Hardy signature. Talking about the lighting in the store, Lisa says, “The lighting has a mix of tracks and pendants. All on a black metal grid. It allows the selective use of highlights and slightly darker spaces to build strong contrasts.”
To create the VM account, only one thought process was followed - “To use more elements from the world of tattoos and tattoo parlours that build a stronger ambience,” says Lisa. The VM elements do add the touch of the tattoo world but do not take away from the focus of the store. Ornamental skulls, playing cards, photo frames are a few elements used to create the feel. A very interesting gesture is tattooed hands popping out of a display stand to hang merchandise.
When one exits the store, irrespective of a purchase made or not, the store leaves an impression of the experience and provides a key-hole to the soul of the brand
Store, Fixture Design and Environmental Graphics Restore
Jellyfish, a division of Restore