Sheridan&Co designed and developed a global retail proposition for celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D, to be rolled out in 26 UK Debenhams stores nationwide this year.
Kat Von D Beauty is the eponymous cosmetics line launched by tattoo artist Kat Von D, owned by Kendo. Beginning with a four-shade lipstick collection for Sephora in 2008, the flourishing brand has exploded in popularity, now producing an extensive line of expressive colour cosmetics, makeup tools and a signature fragrance.
Kendo enlisted Sheridan&Co to develop a global retail identity and retail strategy that expressed the brand's values clearly, provided an engaging environment for consumers to explore and experience the brand's products, and would also fundamentally support strong brand building and global recognition through rolling out the design in several national and international locations.
Taking inspiration from Kat's tattoo style, the brand's aesthetic is bold and rebellious, referencing traditional tattoo style typography and intricate patterns in black, deep red and antique gold.
"We needed to develop an overall aesthetic that was identifiably Kat; we needed to juxtapose a rebellious 'hardness' with the softer and more emotive side of the brand identity," commented Michael Sheridan, chairman and founder of Sheridan&Co. "We drew inspiration from the brand's graphic identity, which is representative of the many facets of both Kat herself, and the Kat Von D Beauty brand. With a cursive font that echoes medieval calligraphy, a mood of gothic romance, magic and mysticism is conveyed. Within the retail space, we wanted to make this something that was tangible using materials and tools that played upon the ying and yang theme of contrasts and contradictions."
Detailing was based on classic gothic and baroque styling. Oversized 16th century cathedral-style arches feature heavily within the space and, inside, glossy black lacquered tables with curved legs showcase ornately detailed product testers - a gothic playground of richly coloured makeup. Crisply illuminated arched mirrors line the consultation tables, enticing visitors to sit down and try the latest shade. Gold-framed baroque-inspired mirrors and photos clad the walls, hung on a bold red wallpaper with a custom-designed pattern by Kat (a damask pattern layered with skulls).
"Working from sketches provided by Kat, our design team developed a stylised combination of scrolling and skulls heads, used as a surrounding detail for furniture elements and the framing of graphic areas such as light boxes, headers and even down to table leg detailing," continued Michael Sheridan. "The table legs are cast metal and nod to the ornateness of Victorian design furniture. Most components are black with gloss red being used to highlight product areas within wall bays and on table tops. The sites utilise architectural and furniture design that differentiates the KVD brand from its competitors - a powerful tool in the marketing chain. The gazebo design utilised for the Dublin store is a first in the context of beauty site concessions in Debenhams and, looking across other sites, you can see the diversity of the design which has outstanding brand presence but also has the ability to morph without losing anything of the overall identity."
The final effect is bold, with the gothic romance of the brand inherent in the retail design, while still staying relevant to modern tastes with refined edges and clean lines.