Behind The Design: Our First Store
What does it take to launch the first-ever MAISON de SABRÉ store in Sydney’s iconic Pitt St Mall? Let’s just say: one very determined MDS team, a little help from Sony, a healthy sprinkling of grit, and a whole lot of flowers (trust us).
That’s right: we officially have a new home in the heart of the city, with Pop-Up MAISON (as it’s affectionately known around here) opening its doors in mid-May 2021—a move that marked a world-first milestone.
Here, we take you behind the design of our new store in an exclusive conversation with our Co-Founder and Creative Director, Omar Sabré, who reveals how our world of colour came to life.
When it came to envisioning the store, what actually inspired you to take the leap and create a physical space for the brand?
Omar: After a year of restrictions and lockdowns, nobody’s really been able to experience anything, and so the whole point of us having the store was really to have a space for our community to come in and interact with the brand in a way that’s actually physical, and no longer just restricted to the digital realm.
As we edge closer to a post-COVID world, it’s so important for people to feel free again and like they have a ‘destination’ to go to, or just something to enjoy that’s new and innovative. It’s all about wanting to go out again, to rediscover again—especially to rediscover their own backyards again—and that’s what we’re aiming to do with the store: get people to rediscover the city, connect with us, and fall in love with the brand again.
Where did you find your inspiration for the aesthetic? Did you have an idea of what you wanted right from the start or did it take a while to come together?
We planned the whole store around multiple key words, initially. Those words were: ‘digital’, ‘optimism’, ‘colour’ and ‘quality’.
In terms of ‘digital’, we wanted to ensure people knew we were a digital-first brand, and we wanted to create a true omni-channel experience in-store. With ‘optimism’ and ‘colour’, those words relate back to how we reference colours from nature and how we wanted nature to basically ‘flood’ the store, giving people a real sense of freedom through the design elements we incorporated throughout the space.
‘Quality’, for us, underscores everything, from the build all the way through to the product. We knew we had to get the structure right to ensure the product was displayed in the best way possible, because we know that the product works—it’s been working for the last four years—but it needed to be showcased in a ‘snapshot’ moment.
From the moment you walk in, you understand the idea that we’re a quality-centric brand and we really care about these things.
What’s something about the store you think will surprise people who haven’t visited yet?
I know that there’s two things in particular that people really love because I’ve spent quite a bit of time in-store. The first one is our Sky Arch Wall. I personally love that as well, because the silhouette for the arch is actually inspired by the side profile silhouette of our business Card Case, so it’s a really cool, subtle reference to that. The rationale behind the sky as a motif stems back to that ‘optimism’ element. We want people to always feel like they are looking ‘up’ to something bright, and incorporating the sky thematically really integrates with our #MakeYourMark values as well.
The second thing people have been connecting with is our augmented reality display. This was a dream idea that came up on the whiteboard as soon as we found out we were going to have a partnership with Sony. This display is our way of connecting digital and physical, as we wanted to ensure the digital element could be represented in-store. That is probably my personal favourite part of the display, because you can see our entire collection of colour with the personalisation that you want, which is really special as it focuses on crafting something specially for the individual, opposed to the masses.