Boutique firm Brand Creative delivered the retail project Ixora recently. Ixora is a certified organic skincare brand and is brainchild of Dr Nader Sheasha, a pharmacist specialising in herbal medicine.

The firm was appointed to develop the brand strategy, brand identity, packaging, staff uniforms, social media strategy, photographic art direction and interiors.  Wanting to turn heads with a new approach to selling organic products, he requested an elegant and moody aesthetic with dramatic ceiling details, a feature wall composed of one of the key product ingredients and a trial area suitable for social media opportunities.  Other requests included a VIP lounge that serves herbal teas and fruit infused water alongside a demo room where product education and private skin and hair analysis sessions could occur.

Keeping the experience seamless and premium meant rethinking the point of sale area so that all forms of technology and clutter were cleverly hidden within joinery designs.  Integrating LED screens with meaningful video content was a key requirement for the educational component.  Screens are kept at eye level within product shelving to serve as useful points of information on ingredient origins, benefits and application techniques.  An overall sustainable approach to each and every design aspect was above all else key to the success of the project keeping in mind the client’s objective that a LEED classification would be required once the brand hits the international scene.

The Ixora retail experience is a modern exploration of ancient civilisations through the eyes of nature and science.  The 2000sqft boutique, located in Dubai Festival City, is inspired by the juxtaposition of natural materials and deconstructed architectural forms and agricultural methods from three historical periods – Mesopotamian, Roman, and Egyptian. From Mesopotamia – the concepts of agriculture and irrigation were explored.  To start the journey, we explored the brand’s namesake by extruding Ixora flower petals that adorn the storefront sidewall and continue onto the ceiling in a river like formation. The epoxy flooring features a custom abstracted petal design, also inspired by the Ixora flower, and leads customers through the retail journey in a similar flowing manner.

All joinery works utilised Arreis – a sustainable fibreboard (no added formaldehyde, recycled FSC wood fibre content) – one of the few brands available through a local supplier (reducing carbon footprint).  Locally sourced live edge wood was used for the floor display nesting tables.  Brand Creative worked closely with a lighting consultant specialising in the use of retail specific LEDs – proven to conserve energy. The lighting was not only efficient but also strategically placed with a suspended track system to reduce glare and lend a theatrical contrast to the merchandise.

Photography: Michael Kruger