Mimco’s New Chadstone Flagship Store by Studio Doherty Marks a New Era for the Iconic Australian Brand

The stripped back palette, bold architectural curves, intricate detailing, and layered materiality coalesce into a retail space that pays homage to the brand’s heritage and evolution

The design is an exercise of harmonious duality - this is no more apparent than in the sweeping double storey ceilings that are offset by the human-scale display shelves and plinths; formed to best show off the intricacies of the Mimco product. Studio Doherty worked with the client to develop a timeless architectural language. The store design marks a change of direction for Mimco, who wanted a new approach that was equal parts bold, dynamic, and sophisticated. The store also needed to manifest a sense of calmness and restraint, which allows the rotating and ever evolving product range to take centre stage.

Curved, sculptural form is used to great effect throughout the design. The curve aesthetic is particularly apparent when first approaching the store – the grand, sweeping green arch to the store façade immediately demarcates the space from the busyness of the surrounding tenancies and the knee height rendered plinths piercing through the storefront glazing provides a taste of what awaits inside. Undulating walls are punctuated with rounded plinths, a gesture that extends to the entire perimeter of the store and is used as means of gently guiding the customer through the space. The plinths were highly considered architectural forms that were designed so that they could easily double as display opportunities for bags and accessories.

The customer experience was central to the design process. Both Studio Doherty and the client wanted to create a boutique space that had different moments of interest peppered throughout. The jewellery display, complete with lowered bulkheads and eye height mirrors are designed in a way to create an intimacy that eschews the grandness of the entry to the store. This deliberate demarcation is evident throughout the store displays, which were all extensively considered and designed to show off a wide range of product, from the minute sterling silver jewellery to large overnight bags. 

Sculptural form is woven throughout the architecture - this is particularly evident in a fixed display situated towards the back to store, which consists of tiled column piercing through floating display plinth, complete with winding display rail. This sculptural insertion is punctuated by a curved recess to the ceiling (which doubles as a light feature) directly above, both work together to act as a visual anchor in the store, which both draws customers in and encourages them to meander around the display. The height of the tiled column is in direct contrast to the lower plinths dotted throughout, which only adds to the allure of the feature and the products it’s highlighting.

Materiality was integral to establishing a sense of serenity within the space. Extensive research into the heritage of the brand and product was undertaken to ensure the palette complimented – rather than competed with – the Mimco merchandise. Studio Doherty collaborated with the renderer to develop a custom pale green wet-look render, which forms the ‘skin’ of the store. The glossiness of the finish creates a dynamism that is amplified with considered placement of lighting. The handcrafted finish also compliments the earthiness and rich tones of the product. Matt finishes were introduced to offset the glossy render, which is evident in the stucco kickers, skin toned floor tiles, blush 3D tiles (to the base of the jewellery display and tiled feature column) and mosaic tiled display plinths. These matt, warm toned finishes were not only selected to juxtapose and contrast the coolness of the green render, but also tie in with some of the core heritage colours of the brand. Translucent resin display tables add a final layer of texture and materiality to the space.

Moments of surprise are dispersed through the store, such as the custom designed Jordan Fleming wall lights. Affectionately named as the ‘Hinge Lights’, the fittings are a direct nod to heritage clasp details that have been an omnipresent feature on Mimco bags. The approach to these fittings reflect the wider design ethos that was implemented by Studio Doherty – to create a retail experience that is atmospheric, enticing and ushers in a new era and exciting direction for the Mimco brand.

Words: Emily Leung & Nikey Cheng
Photos: Timothy Kaye
Published on October 04, 2023