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Simons to open at Park Royal in West Vancouver

15 Oct 2015

Installations by local artists Jody Broomfield, Bobbie Burgers and Douglas Coupland

Simons, the 175-year-old family-owned fashion retailer from Quebec City, will open its first Vancouver store on October 15, 2015. The Park Royal location is Simons’ eleventh store, the second outside of its home province of Quebec. The two-storey, 100,000 square foot location sits prominently in the redeveloped area of Park Royal South.

“We strive to create compelling, original shopping environments that speak to the local community. Nowhere have we achieved this more than at Park Royal,” said CEO Peter Simons. “We hope to inspire the Vancouver market through Simons’ unique shopping experience which integrates fashion, art and architecture.”

Leading the exciting design elements at the new Park Royal location are three impressive art installations:

Kayachtun, meaning welcome, is a sandblasted granite relief on the exterior south entrance of the store. Created by Jody Broomfield, the design pays homage to the Spakwus – meaning eagle – which symbolises great power, spiritual protection and carries prayers to ancestors in the spirit world. The wings represent the traditional Salish hand gesture of greeting and the perfectly symmetrical design demonstrates the connection between the spiritual and living worlds. Broomfield is a Coast Salish artist of the Squamish Nation.

At the core of women’s apparel is Bobbie Burgers’ ceramic wall sculpture, Innocence Disobedience, representing feminine rebellion. More than 50 flowers in brilliantly hued blues, greys, whites and black in various stages of decay float precariously off the wall showing their beautiful strength and resilience. Burgers is a West Vancouver painter and sculptor known for her exquisite floral interpretations.

Douglas Coupland’s Bow Tie sculpture fills the store’s two-storey central atrium. Two brightly coloured striped cones meet at a nearly imperceptible point, providing a stunning reference to fashion as well as culture and engineering. Douglas Coupland is a novelist, visual artist and designer based in West Vancouver.

The exterior of the building, created by architect firm Lemay Michaud, is inspired by the heritage of the Squamish nation, specifically Salish weaving. A traditional repeating chevron pattern appears on off-white concrete panels that are stacked like blankets – some vertical, some horizontal – to create the façade. Adding to the visual appeal of the exterior is the offset second floor whose Northwest corner juts out at the main glass atrium entrance.

In terms of the store itself, Designstead, the retail design firm behind Simons’ Park Royal store, artfully knit together a series of intimate boutiques to create one holistic shopping experience that is approachable, accessible, style savvy and filled with clever design details.

The main floor of the store focuses on women’s apparel. Dynamic corals, pinks, blues and greens dominate the design in Twik for young female shoppers with fun plush stools and benches throughout the space. Icône for women is warm with natural stone and wood finishes punctuated with green accents and fitting rooms. Welcoming features like area rugs, residential-inspired lighting and framed art differentiate Contemporaine for the established female shopper.

Miiyu, the women’s lingerie boutique, is set apart by brass framed portals leading into an intimate dark grey and blue space which features a feminine but fun canopy ceiling fixture composed of ping pong balls.

The men’s shopping experience comes to life on the second floor. For young men, Djab stands out as it appears almost unfinished. Wood walls and ceilings made of a plywood and exposed fasteners with oversized lighting add to the raw look. Dark wood tones and sleek modern fixtures create the masculine environment for Le 31 for men. Framed art and architectural drawings of shirts and suit construction add relevant cultural references to the space.

On each floor Edito boutiques house Simons’ bold selections from international designers including 3.1 Phillip Lim, Kenzo and Balmain. Wood backdrops and sophisticated black detailing help create a special experience for designer shopping.

Both men’s and women’s areas include activewear in iFive. Simons’ extensive collection of accessories acts as a pivot point in the centre of each floor. Dining and bedroom vignettes are interspersed throughout Maison where consumers can discover Simons’ home fashions.

Ève, Simons’ 50-seat café, mixes bright mosaic tiles with plaid banquets and orange chairs for a cozy, welcoming feel complete with a French-Canadian inspired menu including bagels, French onion soup, chicken fricassee and treats like beignes. With its second floor, south facing location, Ève offers views of Lions Gate Bridge and Ambleside Park.

Ève is also home to an exhibit of 15 pieces of student art from Arts Umbrella, a Vancouver-based not-for-profit organization where young people, ages 2 to 19, cultivate creativity through performance, visual and media arts programs. As part of its support of the local art community, Simons has made a three-year commitment to the Arts Umbrella Art Lending Program.