4ever Men

Location

Docklands, Melbourne

Year

2011

Cost

$1.4m

4ever Men is a flagship department store of international labels developed especially for Australia. As such, it presented a blank canvas for the products it sold, the image it portrayed and the demographic it targeted. The client’s brief for the 1200 sq. m. area was to appeal to the style conscious yet financially savvy youth market by offering different brands of high quality, young male fashion at mid-range prices. As the site is situated on the first floor (above the main retail spaces) of Harbour Town at Melbourne Docklands, its exposure was restricted. The new store needed a draw card to make it the destination rather than part of the journey. A perfect, if somewhat surprising, fit for this was a modern icon of style and fashion – apple computers. Once inside, the customers are presented with large graphic panels, strategically placed to lure them deeper toward a large central feature which incorporates the stores branding and a seating area. The store has been arranged to create a ‘maze’ of spaces, continuously exposing new areas and products to be explored luring the customer through. We wanted to hide the structural columns within the retail space. Barrisol’s translucent material provided us an opportunity to create fully illuminated ‘glowing’ columns which are juxtaposed against dark colours and materials of stone, tiles and timber’’. Lux levels have been almost halved (320Lux) to set it apart from the traditional department store and to save energy costs. Spotlights have been introduced to create areas of light and shade which further increases the mystique of the shopping experience.  In an age where ‘wearable technology’ is fast becoming the norm, 4ever Men blurs the line between a clothing store and a computer shop by presenting them both in a homogenous, modern, stimulating environment. The store offers no demarcation between products. Just as customers are invited to touch, feel and fit their shirts, pants and jackets, they are also invited to do the same with their iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. Custom made shop fittings in gloss white, charcoals and chrome take their inspiration from the products they display. In keeping with the innovative nature of the products, conventional display benches were turned upside down and suspended off the ceiling, creating interactive spaces while producing an open, sleek and clean ambience. In addition, a ‘Genius Bar’ has also been incorporated to serve as the place for technical product support. Presented with the task of enticing, capturing and retaining a sometimes fickle customer demographic, the fitout’s design uses visual tools such as lighting, colour and design to captivate and stimulate its target audience.