Thanks for taking the time to consider my proposal.
I've put together this rough visual guide in order to help you understand the transformation I would be bringing to this space. Our store's aesthetic is inspired by the design principles seen in high fashion boutiques and showrooms in both Paris and Antwerp - filtered through the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, or the beauty in the natural age and/or imperfections of a space. The pallette of gentle, matte whites with hand-applied grey concrete accents provide a clean framework and/or canvas in which the clothes can be the focus.
Fashion of this price level is already intimidating enough for customers [especially the uninitiated]. A pillar of my retail philosophy is the lack of pretense, with a strong focus on dismantling the traditionally status-focused environment of this world of design. This is accomplished through design elements in conjuction with product selection and my signature style of warm, welcoming, and casual customer service.
I have been working in this field as an entrepreneur for over 10 years, and have garnered a respected reputation among the global high fashion community - on both the production side, and client-side. After building up our online business for the store safely in our 1903 heritage home-based showroom for the past three years, I'm ready to focus on building up Calculus as a local cultural institution - the likes of which Canada [and much less, Victoria] has never seen.
*Please ignore the grey-cast appearance of the entrance in this mock-up. All entrance-way / store-front framework will be painted white, I just lack the time to colourize this image in any more convincing fashion than shown.
*All photos [aside from the first image above] can be clicked and zoomed if you want a closer look at any details.
Above we see the entrance of my current space - our c.1903 arts & crafts character home in Oak Bay.
Our lights were manufactured to our specifications by a fantastic company in China; self-contained LED lights with three-way adjustable mounting system [hanging, flush-horizontal, or flush-vertical], all ordered at 4100k colour temperature - the scientifically ideal temperature to show the clothes in their most natural / precise colour.
The floors were done by myself, using a specialized product that is applied by hand, sanded gently by hand, and sealed with a matte, water-based sealer to give it that soft sheen which provides the space with just the right amount of satisfying specular highlights and space-expanding reflective properties.
I intend to apply these same floors in the extended display areas that surround the entrance, with a single flush-to-ceiling mounted LED light in each. This will create a uniquely intriguing facade for the store which should pique the curiosity of passers by - and provide ample opportunity and ideal conditions for various display-case merchandising and/or promotions.
Above we can see the easternmost half of the current showroom.
Again we see the concept of a reflective surface [here in the form of a hand-made 8' x 4' mirror], expanding the space and offering a satisfylingly generous surface for viewing oneself trying on garments.
One disadvantage of my current space is the lack of basic square footage, as well as vertical height - limiting the amount of white-space between items, necessary to maximize the "canvas-like" effect which is ideal for presenting work of this level and/or nature.
I intend to paint the ceiling of 712 Cormorant white [currently painted black], in order to further emphasize the egregious vertical clearance of the space - complemented by hanging LED lights to imbue the store with a sense of grandeur, wonder, and awe.
Above we see some examples of our rail system, constructed from blackened steel piping suspended from the ceiling and secured against the wall. I will apply this same concept at 712 Cormorant, adding a slight industrial touch to the space whose grey accents complement the colour scheme of the hand-applied concrete floors in the store's entrance.
Any furnishings decorating my current showroom are either legitimate antiques [the c. 1812 chaise lounge from England seen above-right], or made by hand by myself from reclaimed materials. The main display table [seen above-left] is made from 115 year old barn-doors from my old garage, whereas the coffee table is made from a 115 year old solid wood arts & crafts door.
Above-left we can see an example of the blackened steel pipes used for the hanging rails applied also to the handmade tables' frame systems.
Above-right we get a look at our clothing hangers, ordered from a custom maker in Brooklyn, New York. I coloured these with the same watered-down paint process [read: white-washing], and then finished them with paste wax to imbue them with a gentle, antique sheen.
Considering the larger size of the space at 712 Cormorant, I have secured an antique 1920s made in Canada upright piano to white-wash and use as another key furnishing in the new store. This will serve an aesthetic purpose, as well as a functional one - as I play piano myself and plan to host evening events focused around natural wines, music, and visual art.
- I have big plans for Calculus, and this location will serve to realize those plans infinitely faster than is possible in my current showroom
- I am approaching 13,000 followers on Instagram, and a subscriber count nearing 1000 on the store's newsletter / mailing list
- Calculus is already considered one of the best independent high fashion stores in the world by the global fashion community, and this space will provide me the opportunity to build up our image similarly here in Victoria itself
- Moving forward we will begin working with more local makers [Rachel Saunders Ceramics, Viberg footwear, organic self-care products from my upcoming in-house brand called Abacus.], as well as begin producing our own handmade to order line of clothes for men
- Beginning with SS19 [next January / February], my buying begins to focus on more unisex designs, which will mark the beginning of my transition towards selling both men's & women's products
- With the burgeoning community of wealthy and tasteful adults moving to the city, and district, thanks to new and recent construction developments around Pandora, Douglas, and Yates, I firmly believe Calculus will bring a cultural identity to this neighborhood the likes of which no Canadians have ever seen