This match made bridal shopping heaven.
Less is undeniably more in the 14,000-sq.-ft. space, repurposed from a storage and office area on the top floor of Hudson’s Bay’s Queen Street flagship and headquarters building. The once dark, dreary space is now a spacious, airy, contemporary showplace that elevates the product and experience beyond customer expectations. Minimalist displays and a layout that gradually reveals options allow shoppers to consider their picks among 600-plus bridal gowns, including more than 50 dress samples in plus sizes. Brides use the store as a lookbook, tagging styles before narrowing their choices in 14 oversized fitting rooms and a VIP fitting room. The uncluttered space provides ample space for twirling, avoiding tears in the dress but enabling the bride and her guests to get the full gown experience (emotional tears allowed).
The feminine and inviting setting evokes immediate emotion and beauty—hallmarks of a bride on her wedding day. Store elements accommodate services such as a “wedding concierge” to make the bride feel luxurious, pampered, and special throughout her shopping experience. The re-opening of the building’s original windows, skylights, and a new patio bring natural light into the space. White-washed wood floors, mixed metal fixtures, contrasting details, residential-inspired furniture, and lux touches transform the sparse space into a regal, elegant environment. A mauve-colored curved wall invites clients into the dress salon, while softening the hard lines of the existing open ceiling architecture. A lit drywall bulkhead casts light on the dresses, which are displayed on a continuous brushed-brass hangrail, drawing the eye to follow the curvilinear wall.
A soft color palette ensures that the wedding dress is the showpiece and dress detailing is the focus of attention. Variation comes in the form of mixed materials and textures, from the brushed-brass, shimmering wallcovering and antiqued mirror finishes to white-washed woods and soft shades of gray and mauve paint. White ceiling beams with inset contrasting black lights offset the softness of European white oak floors. The only departure from the neutral palette is found in the shoe and accessory department, where modern and richer shades are used for seating, such as the hot pink mohair chair.
Large-format wood parquet serves as a feature at the entrance of the dress salon, and a herringbone pattern in the fitting room vestibule adds interest and character to the space. The 9-ft.-high sandblasted oak double doors with a soft-gray-wash finish and oil-rubbed bronze hardware give fitting rooms an Old World feel that evokes a feeling of grandeur. A 10-ft.-long “look” table with a bleached walnut tabletop showcases the latest styles in the accessory area. Product is nestled in gray velvet in soft gray lacquered drawers with custom brushed-brass pulls. All elements were carefully chosen to bring to life the high-end products, encouraging shoppers to “say yes” to them. “Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay is the new standard in bridal retail in Canada. We’ve raised the bar by delivering unprecedented access to world-class designer gowns, the highest standard of service excellence, all in an absolutely stunning environment.” —Liz Rodbell, president, HBC Department Store Group
Already the top bridal registry in Canada, Hudson’s Bay’s exclusive rights to Kleinfeld brings the world’s largest luxury bridal retailer to Canadian soil. The host of TLC’s hit show “Say Yes to the Dress,” Kleinfeld has an existing customer base in Canada, with 10% of its New York customers from north of the border.
A.R.E. Design Awards 2015 – Gold Award