Discover New is a curated pop-up retail experience that offers New Zealand brands the opportunity to launch into the Australian market. Located within Australia’s largest retail precinct, Chadstone Shopping Centre, and operating for two weeks, the timing could not have been more serendipitous, with the launch of Discover New and the trans-Tasman bubble aligning.
Discover New was driven by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), with the intention of enforcing the trading relationship between Australia and New Zealand. Australians know and love Aotearoa for wilderness escapes with a Pinot Noir flourish, however the Discover New retail experience sought to present a curated edit of the finest New Zealand fashion, accessories and lifestyle brands. The goal was to create a unique showcase experience that captures the essence of New Zealand.
The response began by identifying the user experience and how the essence of New Zealand would manifest within the space. To this end, treasured New Zealand landscapes and scenery became an influential force. Very simply, iconic New Zealand landscapes became a constant reference point and source of colour palette swatches.
In parallel to this exercise, the spatial planning and retail experience were interrogated. NZTE required a platform to host a multi-brand / multi-category point of sale. Three retail categories - apparel, accessories, and lifestyle - naturally informed the spatial planning and set a clear defining tone for each experience.
Drawing back to the New Zealand landscapes, pigmented colours within the landscapes were used to inform the design direction for each category or zone within the space. Every touch point told an Aotearoa story.
Apparel, located within the entrance zone, was the first experience. Drawing on the volcanic sandy beaches of the northern west coast, the apparel experience was dark and moody. Looking closely at the essence of a garment, the concept was driven by the deconstruction of tailoring and pared down to its very structure: textile. Panels of James Dunlop charcoal fabric were suspended to create a ‘second skin’ and blur the existing shop fit-out while defining the showcase zones. A curated edit of collection pieces sits on a plinth base, elevating the product to an editorial experience.
As the pop-up space was required for two weeks’ operation, colour became an efficient design strategy that defined the different zones. We move from the darker volcanic sands to the rugged alpines, forming the accessories zone. Bold colour application was used to neutralise the existing shop fit-out as well as clearly defining the new zone and experience. Taking direct colour references from the Lake Tekapo plateau, the accessories sit on modular plinths – a gentle nod to the rocky terrain.
Full-scale colour application is continued in the final category – this time referencing the verdant valleys of the Mount Aspiring region. The colour palette is directly taken from the mossy greens and forms the final experience within the pop-up. The scale and intensity of the colour acts as an immersion – enforcing the strength of the Aotearoa touch point story.