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Shoe Express: A visual retro journey

By Susmita Das | Vjmedia Works | December 04, 2013

A blend of the classic with the contemporary exemplifies the new Shoe Express store launched at Phoenix Market City in Pune.

Shoe Express, an Indian retail destination for a range of footwear brands and accessories, for both men and women, has launched a new store at Phoenix Market City in Pune.

The brand, though contemporary in its product offerings,   has a retro ring to it in terms of its name, which brings to mind the American ethos of the 60s and 70s, a time when visual clichés ruled the sensorial perceptions.

Designed by Bangalore based Restore Solutions and spread across 3500 sq.ft, this new store has been adorned with retrograde visual cues all over to reinforce the theme and build the mood of the space. The façade too has been given a classical touch leaning towards the retro theme. The entire façade is clad in wood with the main signage in 3D in-lit letters. 

The flooring has been given a neutral off-white look in order to allow for the rest of the store to take prominence, while the ceiling design which flaunts white suspended false ceiling panels against a black painted exposed ceiling, generates a very contemporary illustration. 

To further enhance the juxtaposed twist, the shell of the space is made of the quintessential retro building elements and methods along with exposed brick and wood. In fact, much of the display background has a white exposed brick wall backing. The ruggedness and age of the material implies the nature of the merchandise, and the experience that goes into making it. Besides these implications, the use of white as a back drop and display surface ensures that the only element standing out is the merchandise. Sections of the display have wood paneling, whilst flip flops are displayed on a mesh framework instead of the brick wall.  Additionally, the exclusive formals get a red exposed brick wall as the display background.

Columns for most part of the space are clad in a glossy rich wood texture, which lends warmth to the space. All the display units are 4x2 wood planks or simulations, while the display niches are set in white portals with an inner curve.

Explaining this medley of the retro and the contemporary design theme, Stuart Richard Simon, CEO, Restore Solutions says, "While this gives the units the retro look, care is taken to make the display functional and contemporary.” He further adds, "The lighting for these displays is carefully done so that the product is always in the limelight. Warm lights are used to display the products as the textures and grain of leather products are best seen under warm lighting.”

Other iconic visual elements such as a classic motorcycle, a jazz artist, an elaborate dressing table and traveling bags accentuate the mood and ambience besides throwing the merchandise into spotlight.

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