Seeing a grouping of little wooden artist mannequins shading their eyes as they look up towards three lights hanging above them make me *chuckle*. I think a little “cuuuute” escaped my mouth as I came down the escalator and gazed at the little group standing on a table inside The Space at a mall in Cape Town. The wooden figures remind me of the little characters from the movie ‘9’ produced by Tim Burton in 2009. It is this grouping of little figurines that pulled me into the store to look around and fall in love with the glorious space filled with delicious eye candy.
The unique interior design grabs your attention with a red branded pattern floor decal and floral canvas light box that draws your eye into the depth of the store. The lighting in the store is by far my favourite detail. In the window, three basket weave ceiling lamps hang elegantly composed above a table filled with an assortment of creations. Soft blue tulip shaped lights hang off-centre to the red floor strip like an upside-down bed of flowers. Inside the pink changing rooms chandeliers hang in front of large gold framed mirrors and there is an interesting gnu-head coat hook.
On my left, three tailor mannequins dressed in black and grey present themselves and my eye notes how the outfits fit onto their form. Here I felt that lots more could have been done with the trio and I would have liked to see more layered and fitted styling on the mannequins and much more accessorising. Long sleeves on tailor mannequins need to be pulled or stuffed and pinned into place and certain trouser legs need more shape to add form so that they don’t appear too flat, as this is unflattering and undesirable to shoppers. A few steps further in are two more tailor mannequins dressed in soft flowing floral dresses and my eye swims over the luxurious folds in the fabric. I am very happy to note that the product adjacency for this grouping is in place. On my right the same dress is available on a rail in different sizes only a step away from the dressed mannequin. Looking at the boutique rail I notice the variety of designer labels offered. Each area on the boutique rail is distinctly marked with a designer specific sign and on each garment there is a designer specific label and swing ticket attached.
The Space is not only offering clothing to shoppers, it is a lifestyle offer. This is a place where you can find a music booth with an interesting collection of cd’s, as well as books, notepads, chewing gum, shoes, felt brooches, candles, cushions and Oh-So much more. It is a space filled with ideas for yourself, for your home, for your family and for your friends.
The two windows clearly tell the passing parade what discoveries wait for them inside The Space. “Oh, for fashion sake!” is the crafty line that an illustrated visual communicates and on the other side there is a table filled with an assortment of cultured creations to draw shoppers in. It has a 100% local feel and the vibe is poetically musical with a hint of media and modern art. It attracts both young and old, fashion forward and main stream, the shy and the outgoing. The Space is a retail environment that offers an artistic representation of South African society and our multi-cultured heritage. The store concept seeks to connect people to art and artistic sensibility by presenting a mix of creations in a public retail space in a manner that people can relate to in a universal way. This new type of retailing involves, appreciates and values the shoppers experience by considering the emotions and aesthetic sensibilities of the shopper. The Space has succeeded in creating a retail environment that can be understood by people across a mix of cultures, languages and life experiences. Bravo!
To find out more about The Space visit their website.