Ed Hardy

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

VM&RD - - CONTENTS - Mansi Lavsi

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

Vis­ual Mer­chan­dis­ing

Jel­ly­fish, a di­vi­sion of Re­store

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