A NEW GENERATION23rd November 2018
New Zealand is an island country renowned for its epic landscapes, clear blue waters and adventurous terrain. Principled and proud, it has also become a cultural leader of the modern world. The country's unique ability to embrace and honour its history as it puts into action its progressive ideals - politically, socially and environmentally - its an inspiring trademark that sets it apart.
This aspirational fusion of the old and the new is evident across the many layers of New Zealand life, from the attitudes of the people to the untouched beauty of its natural splendor. It is in this tradition that as a global representative of New Zealand, Rodd & Gunn proudly celebrates the heritage of its homeland as it boldly strides into the future.
The latest lodge by Rodd & Gunn, now open in Melbourne's fashion capital, Chadstone, offers a contemporary, contextual, and personal approach to retail. Designed first and foremost for the comfort and wellbeing of its guests, the space feels more like a welcoming home than a traditional store, a luxurious yet laid-back destination where the ever-evolving layers of the Rodd & Gunn lifestyle converge - hospitality and retail, nature and technology, tradition and innovation. The merging of the online and physical stores is yet another addition, with the e-commerce customer service for the whole of Australia now based in-store.
Whilst the functionality of the space is seamless, the atmosphere feels relaxed and immersive. This is not a traditional brick-and-mortar trading on monetary transations; it is an idyllic meeting place that invites you to come and experience the richness of the brand and the hospitality of New Zealand,
"In the past..." says Nik Rush, Rodd & Gunn's Visial Brand Manager."...every conceivable part of the shop floor was used for stock, but now you have to allow for elements that play to experience, not just product."
Alive with light, texture, and movement, the space lures you to let go and linger, like an art gallery. A large digital screen projects breathtaking live images of Queenstown as you walk in, immediately placing you in the context of the brand's spiritual home. Once inside, the building itself feels characteristically true of The Lodge style with its ceiling and wrapping of timber. However, in this latest incarnation of brass and steel, is free of the ornamentation and density of a traditional lodge, allowing for the innate qualities and honesty of the natural materials to shine, a stylistic approach that carries through the many layers of the store's interior.
"It's now about curating the experience on the shop floor and allowing for breathing space."
Subtle aromas of Wellington coffee beans fill the air, while texture and soft LED light guide your eyes to wander over reindeer and grey calf skins, chic woolen curtains, bespoke furniture, towering foliage, fine art photography by New Zealand's Jenna Smith, brushed plaster walls resembling the concrete of old farm houses and, last but never the least, to the bar. A stylish taste of the Lodge Bar experience, where wine, sparkling water, and nibbles are amongst the tasteful offerings, making you feel at home and welcome to stay. "Hospitality plays a big part in the store and a big part in our future..." says Nik.
The two Lodge Lounges, accompanying the private styling room and the adjacent fitting rooms, are the epitome of class and comfort, and the ultimate in experiential retail. Leafing through a book while relaxed on the sofa with a coffee or a wine is nothing short of a transportive experience.
Rodd & Gunn's latest lodge, as well as being an architectural statement of the brand's future, is a striking declaration of a commitment to challenge the traditional retail paradigm and create a multi-sensory customer experience.
Nik's meticulous attention to detail, and the brand's uncompromising passion for the fine art of elegant hospitality, is evident in every trimming, and epitomised in the introduction of the brands 24/7 global customer service. Quality, honesty and integrity remain the driving forces behind the evolution of Rodd & Gunn, and are a fitting tribute to its remarkable homeland. Kia Ora!