Mackage, Canada’s coveted manufacturer of highly tailored, fur-trimmed winter coats has over 1,000 points of sale worldwide including the world’s very best global department stores. Establishing their first flagship of an international rollout in their hometown of Montreal, the company engaged Burdifilek to create a unique physical presence.
Located in Carrefour Laval, Montreal’s largest enclosed shopping centre, and among the most high-end in the area, the concept was conceived in contrast to conventional rollout designs. According to Interior Designer and Burdifilek Creative Partner, Diego Burdi (who with business partner Paul Filek has designed luxury department stores around the world), “Our aim was to transport shoppers from the mall to a highly modern and youthful environment that mixes urban sophistication with a sublime feeling of the outdoors.”
An air of intrigue begins on the exterior, where an all black, opaque metal wall, marked only by the company’s backlit logo entices customers to see what’s inside. Crossing over a threshold of black-and-white Nero Marquina marble, visitors are quickly transported out of the shopping centre and into a luxurious, warm and atmospheric environment, lined with handsome, all-natural materials with noble finishes and custom-designed fittings.
Four zones, for accessories, men’s coats, women’s coats and the pay counter, compartmentalize collections, and establish a sense of intimacy and exclusivity. Within each, custom benches with built-in hanger racks allow customers to relax as sales people bring them the items they would like to try on or see up close. Backlit, wall-to-wall photography of Canada’s rocky mountains, sculptural marble displays in the shape of icebergs and trim black racks with thin marble shelves articulate each zone. Each coat is hung on a custom, notched rail to space the hangers at the optimal gap between the garments.
This helps highlight the silhouette of the jacket against the backlit photographs while also leaving enough room for customers to gaze the jacket fronts as they walk by. A marble catwalk, inlayed in the ceruse oak smoked flooring makes the mere act of browsing feel glamorous. Throughout, lighting is instrumental to picking up the details. Museum quality LEDs are formulated to work with the product line by accentuating the colour renditions and, at the same time, underscore the romantic, dramatic mood. In that way, the merchandise and the environment become one, and, as Mackage originally wanted from Burdifilek, the space doesn’t just facilitate selling coats, it creates a unified brand identity.
Speaking of the results, Elisa Dahan, co-founder of Mackage declared, “Burdifilek’s design expertly communicates the full vision of our brand — before the customer even sees the products on the racks. The space evokes the dramatic beauty of arctic winter landscapes, brought to life with luxurious, contrasting materials.”
Photography: Ben Rahn/A-Frame Studio