Retail & Hospitality | USI, Patiala
Uni Style Image (USI) - a fashion brand aimed at the young professional, had planned multiple store renovations and several new stores across the country. The design intent was to rethink their in-store concept; Their production facilities were also scattered and wanted to combine design, production, and warehousing under one roof. The strategy was to create 6 strong ‘designed objects’ within the store. These would be flexible enough to be moulded to individual configurations, yet retain their character and help brand recognition. We also suggested incorporating the brand's philanthropic initiatives with the in-store design, to foster brand loyalty.
The 6 objects were:
1. The T-Shirt Wall – USI had a strong T-shirt market and we emphasized that by designing a wall panel that would comprise of several T-shirt fronts stitched together.
2. The Big USI Logo – An oversized logo carved out of wood, meant to be placed at a focal point.
3. The Store Window – The typical mannequin arrangement was eschewed in favour of strong brand imagery.
4. The Changing Room – The handles were designed as mini-USI logos and the spaces were made comfortable enough for two, eliminating the age-old problem of peeking for approval.
5. The Big Wall – A panel highlighting the brand’s philanthropic initiatives.
6. The Sheesham Furniture – Cash Desk, Gondolas, Accessory Stand, Mirrors, and Benches; were all designed and manufactured in Sheesham, a hardwood native to Northern India.
Several stores were executed with this approach, and the high level of component standardization meant that raw space could be converted into a bespoke design with 4 weeks. For their production facility, a complete audit of existing processes was undertaken and documented. The factory floor was then designed to optimize workflow and minimize inter-floor movement using the existing machinery and warehousing strategies.
These projects were executed while collaborating with Mad Cow Design, a design initiative by Ms. Sarika Grover and Ms. Rashmi Sethi.