Monday 25 Jul 2011


There was an opportunity that presented itself to the retailer when they relocated within the same mall to a larger location in a section with more traffic. Because of this Ruscio Studio had the opportunity to revitalize the Maska Boutique store concept.

From the initial client meeting it was established early on that the Maska Brand symbolized: Femininity, Freshness, Youthfulness, Fashion Forward.

The target market is a more mature yet youthful woman seeking career and evening wear from a collection of European prêt-a-porter brands. It should feel more like a personalized boutique where exclusivity and service reign.

A fashion boutique of this nature is really about the abstract and the absence of things traditionally found in a boutique, in this case visual materials would be a deterrent to the overall design concept. The store is also broken up with pilasters in between the merchandise creating vast "pause" stations between the merchandise, which is another important aspect to a higher end boutique that can't be ignored.

In a space that is white washed with subtleties of tone on tones lighting becomes crucial for the design as high lights and ambient lighting becomes the design itself. There are a total of 7 different light sources including 48 fluorescent T8 tubes creating indirect lighting. LED lighting, which has become more and more refined over time, is introduced over the mirrors. To add to the feminine touch, chandeliers with a softer light provide a more elegant touch.

Fresh means new, something original as a design, something distinctive as an image. This is certainly felt as the dominant yet serene white color found throughout the space dramatically contrasts with the vivid fuchsia accents found throughout, the tone on tone damask pattern wall covering on some walls, and the high polish sheen of the porcelain floor tiles.

The storefront of this boutique appears like a ‘beacon in the night', because of this the sign is very simple and understated using cut out letters applied directly on the glass. Because we limited the visual material we only focused on one single graphic, this image is eye popping taking up the entire back wall and as a personal touch the name of the boutique "Maska" is underlined with the mall name.

Since shoes and handbags are a complimentary item to the seasonal collection a two tiered brushed metal podium is found upon entering the store and showcases Italy's latest fashion footwear. Also in order to break up the long merchandised wall on the right side of the store a shoe section was created to showcase the one of a kind fashion items strategically placed near the cash and the fitting rooms making it hard to resist what's there!

From a design point of view the fusion of both classic architectural elements (moldings/pilasters) with modern off the wall elements (laser cut baroque silhouette mirror and modern acrylic wall sconces to simulate a traditional candle wall sconce) creates a modern Baroque style. Using vinyl film as not just a visual element but as a functional one as well, it served to not only add the vivid fuchsia accent found throughout the store but was cut out to expose items in the display table. Part of the innovation was being able to brand the store with the Maska logo on the table, mirrors and the wall graphic.

The fixtures are limited, however what we do have brings a touch of playfulness and function as the accent table takes on a traditional shape with a modern twist. Wall racks that span entire merchandised sections are reinforced and do not require a lot of flexibility. Simple high polished chrome fixtures add a touch of fashion yet is still elegant.

Ruscio Studio

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