When it comes to modest woman’s fashion with a different approach to garments, such as the traditional abaya in the UAE, no brand quite dominates the scene like THE KAPE. THE KAPE takes a unique approach to women’s garments, especially the Abaya, a subtle but culturally significant garment. And with their boutique opening soon at the Dubai Mall, THE KAPE found itself needing a team of designers for an awe-inspiring interior that could stick with women throughout the UAE. Hanadi al Hawi is the founder of THE KAPE, approached SUPERFUTUREDESIGN* with a proposal to create a stimulating and engaging design for their store.

Planning Phase

Similar to other projects that the SFD* team has worked on before, the core focus of this project was the client’s products and their message. And after many meetings with the client, the design team was able to clarify what she had in mind for the brand’s image and how it could be channeled into interior design. The consecutive meetings allowed the team to better understand the project at hand and the client’s expectations.

Despite having only launched last year, the brand is gaining popularity for their distinct take on women’s fashion in the middle east. The audience adores THE KAPE’s edgy and experimental motifs, which sets them apart from other brands in the niche. The challenge here, for the SFD* team, was to align the store’s design with that of its collection.

Taking into consideration aspects of design like lighting, textures, color pallets, perspectives, and moods, there was a lot to unpack. This was by no means SFD*’s  first venture involving the Dubai Mall Fashion District. Nonetheless, the minds behind the immaculate firm have a reputation for developing exquisite retail spaces that exude the brand’s image without being imposing.                                                                                 

Setting up the Project

After putting the project together piece by piece, SFD* was able to think over every aspect of the project. And they nailed the look and feel of THE KAPE. In the end, THE KAPE’s boutique perfectly embodied the message of the products and garment design, exclusively embodying the modern minimalistic design that SFD was going for.

The New Extension of Fashion Avenue and SFD’s Influence

Along with their work on THE KAPE, the SFD* team was also working on extensions of the Fashion Avenue in the Dubai Mall. Having added THE KAPE to their portfolio, SFD*’s spatial design serves as a backdrop for major luxury brands throughout the region.

As one of the biggest and most profitable shopping centers in the world, the Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue would become the canvas for the firm’s magnum opus. As thousands of people visit the massive mall daily, SFD* designers had to make something instantly recognizable and memorable. And since the design would always remain constant, they envisioned a timeless spectacle that would enchant the audience every time.

The Incredible Lighting of THE KAPE

When it comes to boutiques, lighting plays a vital role in the perception that people have of the garments. And seeing how THE KAPE was a startup destined for greatness, SFD* was determined to embed its philosophy and concept in every facet of the Boutique and would ooze the incredible personality of the garments that they sell.

THE KAPE was a unique endeavor as the perfect balance between Ambient light and accent light was essential to the mood of the boutique. As the right blend of accent and ambient lighting would help attract more customers, we considered it as a major element when designing the Boutique. However, the lighting shouldn’t take away from the real star of the show, the garments.

So in order to make the lights in the boutique more of a supporting character than the protagonist, we placed all of the lights in a long white cover. This white cover allowed the lights to disappear into the ceiling, giving vivid lighting without any obvious fixtures.

While the ambient light was certainly subtle, the accent lighting was bold and shined right onto the garments. This particular lighting atmosphere catered very well to the incredible lighting of the Dubai Mall that managed to creep its way into the boutique.

We also put a lot of thought into the temperature of the lights and emittance in order to get the right result.

The Importance of CRI in THE KAPE

With their line of fashionable abayas, we knew just how necessary high CRI lights were to showcase the material, colors, and textures. Without saturating the colors exponentially, the higher CRI bulbs bring the colors to life and give them a more accurate depiction. 

Since there are no loud patterns at THE KAPE, the details lied in fine-tuning and balancing the colors properly. In other words, we had to make sure that the colors in the boutique were accurate and not overexposed or oversaturated. Therefore, good lighting that can accentuate the right elements,= is fundamental.

As for the entrance, we were hoping for a very feminine feel right in through the door. This was achieved with the help of a ceiling lamp made out of transparent grooved glass, that would give a nice silver accent upon entrance.

The boutique had a mesmerizing glass front panel that gave the boutique a much spacious feel. But since there was no place for proper lighting around the edges, we used floor lamps to perfectly accent the mannequins. The custom mirrors inside the fitting rooms give clients the ideal reflection thanks to the red and metal walls surrounding them.

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