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Intimate Amanté

By Susmita Das | Vjmedia Works | January 29, 2014

Garments manufacturer, MAS Holdings, introduces Amanté from Sri Lanka in its first flagship store in Colombo, Srilanka in a new concept with the idea of repositioning the brand image of Amanté as the number one premium intimate inner-wear brand in South East Asia by 2020.

Known as a specialist producer of high-end lingerie for leading international brand names,'amanté' is the first Sri Lankan lingerie brand to the world. The specialty offering, lingerie, sleepwear and swimwear,  is developed specifically with the South Asian market in mind to suit the climate, the difference in body structures and clothing tastes of that region.

Amanté is positioned as a value-premium product targeting women between the ages of 25 and 45 years, in the middle and upper income brackets where there is a need to bridge the gap between quality and fashion at affordable prices.

"Amanté intimate inner-wear is positioned to feel confident, glamorous and sensual. We needed a brand identity which will be rolled across in India / Asia. The flagship store is primarily to attract the target Amanté consumer, generate sales and serve the purpose of building brand image for Amanté. This store should be a lifestyle destination store for Amanté, premium intimate inner-wear. It should have a strong emotional connect with the consumer through the in-store experience, service and visual merchandising. The store must bring out an overall feeling of warmth and intimacy,” informs Niranjan Wijesekera, CEO, MAS Brands Pvt. Ltd.

Located on the ground floor of the Race Course Heritage building and spread across 1800 sq.ft, the Amanté store was created in collaboration between design firms Liganova and 02JUNE Design Studios. Speaking about the conceptualization of this exclusive store, Elena Maurer, Managing Director at LIGANOVA explains, "The vision of MAS Brands to make Amanté the number one premium intimate inner-wear brand in South East Asia by 2020 had set for us a clear tone for designing the first flagship store for Amanté. The Amanté flagship store had to convey the feeling of confidence, glamour and sensuality. These feeling were translated at different levels during the store designing process. Being the flagship store for Amanté, this store was amongst the most important steps in the brand building exercise and had to showcase as a premium, elegant, luxurious and at the same time an approachable store.” She further added, "The design team has worked on making a store which is visually comforting, approachable and carries elegance which is timeless. While designing we have simultaneously worked on the aspect of easy adaptability of this store across different countries and different formats like EBO or SIS.”

The store front design was based on the architectural challenges, the store visibility, the brand image and also the need for privacy for this super specialty retail space. Constraints like restrictions in altering the building architecture helped create opportunities for innovative approach to the store front design. Sankalp Sahu, Partner at 02JUNE Design Studios explains, "Being a lingerie store it was really important for us to keep the store prominently visible and also provide ample sense of privacy to the customers who are shopping inside the store. We were able to use these restrictions to our advantage by providing enclosed shop windows on the larger openings; they were supported by branding spaces and back lit LED corian patterns on the smaller openings. These features were designed to be one of the identity features to the store. And on the interior facade the glass was converted into an opaque white glass and identity graphic patterns were used. These facades were also supported by sleek LED back-lit SS signage providing a reverse glow effect.”

The store design palette is very clean, contemporary, soft and feminine in colors, textures and forms. Soft colors in floor coverings, plush upholstery and furniture help create contrasts in the store interiors to render the store environment as soft and intimate. "The design team has worked from the scratch on every aspect of the design to bring out the finest of details and keep the overall look and feel linked to the three keywords for this store. The interior design concept for the store holds on to the idea of providing finishes which are premium and elegant, colors which are neutral and luxurious and highlight which are prominent and vivid. While designing the fixtures, the VM strategy for display of merchandise was simultaneously worked out to ensure that the fixture is used to the best of its display and stocking capacities and at the same time provide complete flexibility to change the look of the display,” shares Sankalp.

The store layout flows into three zones starting at the entrance that features everyday fashion and bridal wear. This is followed by the intimate inner wear wall, sports and swim wear leading into the sports sleepwear. The product presentation is done in logical product ranges in very smart color blocks and convenient sizing discipline supported with cleaning signing. Edge lit wardrobe alcoves are used to highlight merchandise on perimeter walls and classic lined furniture are used on the floor for product presentation.
 
The lighting strategy is very clean and soft with indirect ambient lighting punched with adjustable accent lighting to draw attention to store design features, visual images, messages and product highlights. "Being a Lingerie store where the products are small in size, the role of lighting has been very critical. We have designed high Lux levels in the store to achieve proper punch of light on the products. The fixtures by themselves are provided with diffused lights to eliminate shadows cast by the merchandise. The drawers of wall fixture units are also provided by diffused LED lights to highlight the products kept in them. The changing rooms and consultation suites which have a low ceiling are provided with LED light fixtures to cut down on the heat and provide proper illumination levels. The lighting design ensures that the occupant in the changing room has proper light focused on the customer so that they are able to properly see the garments in ample light from all the sides,” says Elena.

"Additionally we have used linear LED lights on the highlight walls and on the main entrance façade to create lit frames and accentuate the areas. LED backlit Corian patterns are also used in the store as a prominent design feature,” further adds Elena.

The service areas like the change rooms and consultation suites have been equipped with turn able mirrors, mobile charging points, purse and wallet ledges, size charts, and garment rails in fusion with multi directional lighting. Comfortable lounge seating is provided around the store for leisure shopping.

A large interactive touch screen offers information about the collection and feature and benefits for the products offered by the brand. The cash registers have customer facing I-pads that give the entire billing information and the ease of signing off the bill on the screen. The cash area is also equipped with gift wrapping service for the customers.

Post the successful opening of this store; the brand is adapting this concept for multi-branded retail spaces across the region to increase reach and its footprint.

Credits:


VM Design Team (LIGANOVA)
Elena Maurer - Managing Director
Siddhant Sahu - Visual Marketing Director
Arnaud Brachet - Design Director
Gunjan Shedha - Senior Visual Merchandiser
Soumyajit Chakladar - Retail Design Manager

Retail Design Team (02JUNE Design Studios)
Sankalp Sahu - Architect and Partner
Amit Bahadauria - Architect       
Sudhanshu Taneja - Retail Designer
Narendra Raikwar - Architect

Fixtures
Dehara Gomes (Westgate International Pvt. Ltd)
Manish Jain (Shark Shopfits Pvt. Ltd)

Graphics:
Harjee Gandhi - GH Graphics Pvt. Ltd

Lighting
Amit Raj (Focus Lighting and Fixtures Pvt. Ltd)
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