House of Raisons, Mall of In­dia


VMRD - - Contents - Sa­tarupa Chakraborty

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.

Cus­tomis­ing ex­clu­siv­ity

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

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