International Visual Competition: First Place
In-Store Apparel Presentation
Submitted by: Four Dimensions Retail Design India Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru, India
The British menswear brand Simon Carter is named for its eponymous founder, who left his training as an immunologist in the 1980s to join the retail industry. Based in London, the brand is known to have an eccentric, quirky design language, so Four Dimensions Retail Design India Pvt. Ltd. (Bengaluru, India) created a store design and VM strategy for its new Mumbai, India, location that aimed to convey an appealing, witty vibe.
The merchandising journey guides customers through various zones: The storefront is dubbed The Announcer; the window and entrance are The Ante Room; The Dandy Parlour is the name for the merchandising area, while My Cuppa Tea is the nickname for the trial and service lounge. Throughout, Simon’s imaginary dog, Gervaise, is portrayed through silhouettes, 3-D forms and comic strip-style graphics.
Most of the store’s props were handmade (many from scratch), which presented a challenge to designers in sourcing the right artisans and vendors. According to Surender Gnanaolivu, a retail experience consultant who worked on the project, some forms were first made digitally. Molds were created using a 3-D printer, then covered by a fiber compound to make the shapes and layered with printed paper as a finishing touch.
Found objects like old turntables used as displays, retro stereo equipment and walking sticks were visually tied together with luxe and common materials sprinkled throughout.
The project’s strong merchandising journey is what sealed the deal for this year’s judges. “You know what they stand for, who their mascot is. It’s very inviting and clean,” said competition judge Michael-Marie DeGenova, AVP Visual Merchandising, Justice (New Albany, Ohio). “It’s a mix of visual and store design; there are a couple of wins here.”
To learn more about this year's International Visual Competition winners and honorable mentions, be sure to check vmsd.com throughout the month of August.