Scentence store by StudioVASE
Anticipating the voracious fashion consumption of China’s burgeoning middle class, men’s fashion startup Magmode was propelled into the retail landscape late last year. Led by Cai Chongda, the former editor-in chief of lifestyle and news magazines GQ China, Modern Weekly and China News Weekly, the company ambitiously launched with brick-and-mortar stores in key locations in Beijing, Chengdu and Nanning, in addition to a nifty App that keeps its following abreast with international trends. Magmode playfully mixes apparel items by local and Asian designers, artwork, homeware, decorative objects and books,
Scentence, launched by South Korean retail giant Emart, is a botanical whole beauty care brand that delivers the pure aromatic vitality of plants to the face, hair, and body. Offering both function and beauty, its products combine high purity elements extracted from plants with high quality fragrances created by globally renown master perfumers.
Scentence is comprised of various lines, each offering differing functions matched with a scent of its own. The brand name combining the words ‘scent’ with ‘sentence,’ refers to the self-expression achieved by using the brand’s products. Emart’s Brand Strategy Team, an in-house creative studio, commissioned and worked with StudioVASE in designing the store interiors for two locations, Hanam and Jukjeon.
Whole body care, scent, botanical; ideating around the brand’s keywords, bisque-fired pottery became the key inspiration for the space. Bisque-fired pottery, a pottery of unglazed finish, resembles the essential beauty of the natural body. The interior palette is a soft bisque coral providing a sense of calmness and warmth to the store.
The walls are sculpted with layers of matte-finish textured paint, which translates the raw yet organic look of the bisque-fired pottery. At the center of the store sits a large piece of stand-alone colored concrete. The concrete body seamlessly transforms into a wash basin allowing customers to test products and wash their hands.
It is casted in one continuous piece without any seams or joints, which highlight the concrete’s innate materialistic characteristics of mass, volume and weight. The concrete body of the testing zone is layered with custom-made ceramic trays. These pure-white glazed trays have been developed into various modules, which can be re-configured and utilized for multiple display purposes.
From the moment of entry, the visitors are greeted with a fragrance-testing zone. Each of the brand’s line has a scent unique to itself. This fragrance-testing zone showcases signatures scents in a bespoke glass dome welcoming customers to easily discover a scent they enjoy the most. The store can be sighted from a distance by the intricate floral installation on the ceiling.
Gradation of colors and fluctuation of volume lowers down to the concrete mass, a point of focus within the store. This inflated volume of the installation lends an intimate space for testing merchandise. Bundles of blossoming flowers suspended from the ceiling enliven the store into a botanical garden arousing a delicate aroma.
Photography: Woojin Park
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