A respect for classic design defines optometrist Michael Holmes’ latest venture – a boutique store that opened this week in the heart of Auckland’s High Street.
With a crisp red to deep purple graphic identity complemented by dramatically enticing black, red and white interiors, the store is the perfect showcase for Michael Holmes’ beautifully made, high-end, designer eyewear. While the store has its own unique look, it’s the second one that owner Michael Holmes has established in Auckland. The first, in Teed Street Newmarket, emerged from a repositioning exercise undertaken in January 2010 by Richard Kerby of Met Design. The company was previously known as “the Eye Site”.
Kerby encouraged Michael Holmes to consider changing the name as one of the biggest drawcards to the store was Michael Holmes himself. “He only has technically the best glasses from places like Scandinavi`gla, Germany and Switzerland, so Michael Holmes is associated with the very best products. That’s how we started evolving the brand.
“Repositioning ‘the Eye Site’ to “Michael Holmes Premium Eyewear” creates a more serious, professional yet personal proposition. The idea you’re dealing with someone that backs their product and service 100% is a fantastic brand value and provides excellent brand opportunity. This value is made possible through the existing high value already placed on Michael Holmes’ name in the industry. So the progression seems founded.”
Once he’d produced the graphics, Kerby called on interior design consultant Liz Kerby of Workspace Design, who happens to be his sister, to confirm the graphics were headed in the right direction. Liz endorsed the design and paired it with an interiors concept that’s sleek and contemporary. Completed in a tight six week timeframe within the allocated budget, the High Street store pays homage to the old building in which it sits and the traditional streetscape of the inner city location.
Traditional details such as luscious, deep-buttoned upholstery, cabriole legs and classic Hollywood black and white portraits are juxtaposed against high gloss surfaces, mirrors and up-to-the-minute display systems within large black frames. Inspiration was drawn from the highly modern outlets of Switzerland and Germany but was reinterpreted for the High Street environment.
Traditional elements are presented in unexpected ways, for example, the glass balustrade leading from the street level foyer is overlaid with a whimsical black balustrade decal.
Within the store, distinctly different product ranges are presented in a complementary way and help draw customers into a basement retail space. The basement location had its challenges. A lack of street-front window display meant care needed to be taken with the entrance foyer. The use of striking colour and an inviting foyer display gives a glimpse of what’s to come. Interiors effectively blend couture with the clinical.
Michael Holmes Premium Eyewear not only offers an optometrist service and a range of lenses and frames. But it also carries the Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses exclusively in Auckland, famous since the 1950s for boutique designer sunglasses.