Dr Nader Sheasha, a pharmacist specializing in herbal medicine, has dedicated an entire decade towards creating the Ixora skincare line.
He came to interiro design agency with a unique challenge - erase the notion that 'organic and natural' products can’t be luxurious or premium and create an immersive experience that would appeal to and educate the local consumer.
Brand Creative was appointed to develop the brand strategy, brand identity, packaging, staff uniforms, social media strategy, photographic art direction and interiors.
To do this, the team design weaved together the founder's personal journey - his Arab origins, study of ancient beauty formulations and his love of history - within the design.
The Ixora retail experience is a modern exploration of ancient civilizations from three historical periods – Mesopotamian, Roman and Egyptian - through the eyes of nature and science.
His requests for the 2,000square foot boutique in Dubai Festival City included 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 key elements were a VIP lounge and 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 playing meaningful video content at eye level within product shelving to serve as useful points of information on ingredient origins, benefits and application techniques.
To start the journey, Brand Creative explored 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.
The trial area includes recycled marble sinks from Altrock, made of 87 per cent recycled marble waste. To set the stage for in-store demonstrations, the carved feature wall behind the trial sinks emulates soil topography – each layer strategically designed to depict the multiple layers found in fertile soil.
The perimetre arches and main central dome were inspired by the Romans and used throughout the space to bring continuity amongst the various feature areas. The brand is particularly inspired by this civilization as it was a pioneering era for cosmetics and skincare, formulating much of the historical referencing in the product formulations.
An overall sustainable approach to each and every design aspect was above all else key to the success of the project, so materials were chosen with this in mind.
All joinery works utilized Arreis – a sustainable fibreboard available through a local supplier. The designer also worked closely with a lighting consultant specializing in the use of retail specific LEDs - proven to conserve energy.
Overall the aim was for the design to transport customers into the world of Ixora - a delicate balance of history, nature and science.