To bolster its longstanding presence in its hometown of Montréal, Mackage is refining its brand experience by reinterpreting its architectural heritage along the city’s prime retail artery. In the last four years, the Canadian outerwear brand has been building a network to include 30 new stores, aiming to develop its presence on the ground in many of the world’s most important cities. Since the launch of their first store, the initial vision for the urban ski chalet encapsulated its brand ethos and fueled its growth. The launch of the latest Mackage store in Montréal, designed by Toronto-based Burdifilek, presented an opportunity for the brand to further evolve its iconic design, setting it apart from its predecessors.
Every touch-point was re-examined in the development of this first freestanding flagship. On the heels of a retail revitalization for the high street of Saint Catherine, in conjunction with the implementation of a new logo and brand graphics, the store concept evolved to suit. Upon first glance, the handsome elegance of its architectural facade gives little away to suggest revitalization, yet the interior becomes a contemporary reference to the brand’s spirit. The architectural framework is protected by retaining original details and reinstating elements to highlight its lasting beauty. Volumetric articulations respect the rhythm and structure of the historic building by sitting quietly as a backdrop for products to shine. The old world charm is personified through the warm, textured layers of noble materials to impart an uncompromising quality and elegance to the new interventions.
To instill a sense of intimacy within the large volume of space, the new concept is designed around the principle of compartmentalization. The space transforms into a gallery for the brand collection, with large windows showcasing a series of boxed vignettes punctuating the space, set at differing heights to play with scale and create visual interest. Stepping inside each vignette to shop collections creates an intimate, cocoon effect for shoppers to experience the brand promise, while the nobility of the finish palette provides a warmth reminiscent of a modern ski chalet.
The European nero marquina herringbone floor set against the existing stonework in the heritage building, exposed structural beams, and lightly wire-brushed oak plank elevates the style sensibility with a quiet luxury. Splashes of black nero marquina marble, oversized mirrors, and brushed bronze and dark metals add a quiet sophistication to the palette. Purposefully manicured compositions grace the neutral space, where rich hues found within the striking photograph of a flipped iceberg by Alex Cornell floods the space with warmth. The juxtaposition of old meets new sets the tone for a shop experience that reflects the refined approach of the Mackage experience. With an atmosphere designed to flourish on the high energy of its prime location, with many brands creating outposts along this street, Mackage aspires to become a landmark in the retail epicenter of the city.
Photography by Ben Rahn, A-Frame Studio