House of Raisons, Mall of India
The 49-year old heritage textile brand broke away from its “showroom” concept and forayed into a specialised retail avatar at Noida’s Mall of India, where it joins other topnotch brands and retailers. Spanning across 800 sq ft and designed by Delhi-based Studio Lotus, the new retail identity for the brand helps familiarise its legacy while connecting it to a contemporary audience. Bringing “vivid” into “vintage”
The brief from Raisons, a family-owned business founded in 1969, was to carve out a distinct retail identity as part of a complete rebranding exercise, which would give coherence to its mixed range of merchandise and allow it to attract a younger customer profile while retaining its older clients. The idea was to translate the handcrafting heritage and journey of the brand through new interpretations; in line with the brand vision.
The challenge, as seen from the previously existing store, was the sheer product density that melded one into the other and submerged the browsing experience.
Re-strategise, Restore, Regain
The brand was re-strategised as the ‘House of Raisons’; dividing it into four product categories: Unstitched, Stitched, Fabric Yardage and Sarees. This new identity was translated with its core concept of re-presenting a traditional shopping experience as a contemporary retail narrative communicating the luxury and heritage of the brand.
The space was treated as a warm, inviting and monochromatic space, which with its palette of Indian marble, mild steel, brass and timber creates a restrained backdrop highlighting the rich colours and weaves of the diverse merchandise.
Narrating the legacy
The key intervention was to create four distinct zones for each of the product categories through three layers of display narratives: Market, Gallery and Archive.
The Market is a celebratory representation that is familiar with the chaos of a bazaar. Reflecting the character that the name suggests, the section represents the maximum density of merchandise and allows self-browsing. The Gallery section, becomes the storytelling feature of the store. The section is aimed to offer a brand insight through narrative displays and
devices such as an abstracted loom and artefacts like printing blocks capturing handcrafting techniques and styles. The Archive showcases the brand’s most premium and valuable heritage collection. To evoke the ‘memory’ of archiving, the section uses bespoke drawer systems as part of its display system.
The display systems and stands have been custom-designed to showcase merchandise with careful reference to how they might be exhibited, browsed or stored. Slim modular units in mild steel, brass and timber allow flexibility in product display without cluttering the space. Specially-designed storage baskets store unspooled textiles in gathered form, which can be redisplayed by the staff without hindering their time or the space.
Interspersed within the space, brass mesh screens on metal rods create a sense of transparency between zones and visually expand the footprint of the space. The patterns on the screens and the Indian marble flooring inlays take cue from various weaving designs that have been derived as part of the brand identity. Adding to the streamlined nature of the store shell, a bespoke contemporary line of furniture with clean silhouettes creates contrast against the context of dense merchandise in a tight footprint.
As a key feature in the space, the backdrop to the reception cash desk showcases a mural hand painted by artist Latif Husain, which was traced from an heirloom dupatta with a design sourced from a century ago.l