Cassis is a liqueur made from blackberries. It’s also a fishing village on France’s southern coast favored by artists. And now, it’s the name of a new Canadian apparel chain that targets baby boomer women.
“Our stores are designed to appeal to the senses, and also represent a destination,” says Kim Schumpert, president of the new chain, which was created by Montreal-based Reitman’s (Canada) Ltd., operator of more than 800 stores under seven nameplates. “The name Cassis represents what we want the store to become.”
Cassis defines its target market as time-pressed/independent thinking/fashion-conscious women, ages 45 to 60. The retailer hired II BY IV Design Associates Inc. (Toronto) to help create the relaxing, easy-to-shop and flattering environment it felt that clientele would appreciate.
Lighting within the 3100-square-foot space was treated “like a primary design material,” says Keith Rushbrook, II BY IV’s partner-in-charge on the project.
“We used a creative combination of cove lighting, recessed spotlights, perimeter uplighting, halo-lit mirrors and homey floor, table and pendant lamps to fill the space with a soft, ambient glow,” says Rushbrook. “Shoppers and products alike are gently flattered, without shadows or glare.”
Adding to the store’s low-key vibe are a muted golden tan wall finish, natural oiled oak flooring and a storefront that’s divided into a 150-square-foot welcoming foyer and a window framed in soft curtains. “The overall aesthetic is designed to deliver the message, ‘slow down, come in, treat yourself,’ ” says Rushbrook.
Client: Cassis, Montreal – Kim Schumpert, President, Cassis Division; Diane Archibald, vp, store planning; Henry Fiederer, president, Reitmans Division; Leah Daley, vp, Cassis Division; France Gendron, design manager
Design: II BY IV Design Associates Inc., Toronto – Keith Rushbrook, partner; Dan Menchions, partner; Allan Tse, senior designer; Sarah Townson, junior designer
Architect: Gerald Labelle Architects, Lachine, Que.
General Contractor: SAJO, Montreal
Outside Design Consultant
Taxi, Montreal (advertising)
Artwork: Moss & Lam, Toronto
Carpet: Weavers Art, Toronto
Drapery: Maple Drapery, Concord, Ont.
Fitting Room Furniture: Kiosk, Toronto
Fixturing: JP Metal America Inc., Montreal
Lighting: Eurolite, Toronto
Union Lighting, Montreal
Specialty Finishes: Architectural Systems Inc., New York
Wood Flooring: Sullivan Source, Toronto
Photography: Evan Dion Photographer Inc., Toronto