Simons Reveals Calgary Opening Date, Details and Store Renderings

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Quebec City-based large-format fashion retailer La Maison Simons has announced the opening date of its first Calgary location, as well as details and renderings of the new space. The unique store will span five floors in a heritage building, as well as in the adjacent downtown Calgary ‘The CORE’ retail complex. 

The store will be the second for the province — Simons’ first Alberta store opened in October of 2012 at West Edmonton Mall, and a second Edmonton store will open on August 24 of this year at Londonderry Shopping Centre. The Calgary store will be Simons’ 14th store in Canada, with plans for up to 25 locations in the country. 

Opening on Thursday, March 16, the 96,000 square foot downtown Calgary Simons store will occupy five floors of the nine-level circa 1919 Lancaster Building, as well as three levels of the adjacent The CORE shopping complex. The main floor of Simons will run an entire city block on 2 Street SW between Stephen Avenue and 7 Avenue SW, as per floor plans below. Local design firm McKinley Burkart led Simons’ architectural and design plans, with a vision to integrate the two buildings. 

The floor plans below show how the store is configured: 

“The key for Calgary was to bring Simons to the heart of the city in a way that pairs our contemporary style with the heritage of a historic building,” said Peter Simons, CEO of Simons. “The result is a five-storey, multi-building layout that creates an exciting shopping experience where customers can explore our branded environments; each with its own space and personality.” 

Art plays an important role in the design of all Simons stores, including the new Calgary location. Simons commissioned local Calgary artist Maya Gohill to install a three-storey painted mural which runs along the escalators in the Lancaster Building. Several other Calgary artists are also represented in the store, including a large graphic mural by Megan Jentsc, and a portrait (called ‘Poet #2) by internationally recognized artist Chris Cran

When entering the store from street-level, “a ribbon-like curved floor-to-ceiling windowscape,” will create “visual continuity around both buildings”, according to Simons. The store will feature Simons’ branded environments, including the following (with photos)…

Twik for young female shoppers, decorated in pinks and peaches with decorative panels of weaving and a large vintage inspired billboard sign,

Icône for the modern woman, featuring a design of edgy black and white graphics are reflected in fitting room wallpaper and as metal screens on wall fixtures,

Contemporaine, housing classic, elegant fashions for women, featuring warm woods with an art deco feel in its curved corners and eclectic furnishings,

Miiyu, Simons’ lingerie department, designed with soft, warm woods, blush pinks and organic patterns.

Djab, featuring young men’s collections in a department featuring a “raw feel with concrete walls, industrial lighting and cityscape graphics”,

Le 31, carrying sophisticated men’s designs in an environment of cerused wood and walnut, paired with ink blue ombre patterns — also featuring a small room called ‘The Brief’, carrying men’s underwear, 

iFive, with men’s and women’s fashions in a gymnasium-inspired space with natural plywood and black exposed ceilings, 

Edito, featuring both men’s and women’s international designer collections, defined with feature entrances and using elegant darker tones for a more luxurious feel. This department features some designer fashion pieces priced into the thousands, by designers such as Balmain, Martin Margiela, Moschino and DSquared2, and 

Maison — Simons’ home collection, housed in a warm grey environment with pops of bright green tiles, featuring kitchen, bath and bedroom vignettes. 
 
The new Calgary store will also feature Ève café, with a menu of hot and cold, sweet and savoury treats. The café will act as a transition area between women’s on levels one and two; and men’s on levels three and four. Simons described the café space as having “warm light wood paneling covering every surface – floors, walls and the ceiling, enveloping the café and creating a unique nook in the store,” with “dark green banquettes with bistro tables combined with high counters and bar stools providing seating for 40.”

The upper level windows of the Lancaster Building will be lined with softly lit drapery, to create a glowing exterior façade and a dramatic skylight illuminates the asymmetrical multi-floor opening visible from all levels. Tying the Lancaster Building together will be a set of walnut stairs that connect all five floors from Customer Service on the lower level up to men’s departments on the fourth floor. The staircase will feature a frame of blackened steel chevron rails that creates a dramatic focal point in the store, according to Simons. 

Simons is a unique retail concept, housing an extensive fashion-forward collection of its own moderately-priced, exclusive private label brands for men and women, as well as a variety of national and international designers. Simons also features home fashions for the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. It was founded in 1840 by John Simons as a dry goods store in Quebec City, and is now led by brothers Peter and Richard Simons. Other locations include: Quebec City (three stores), Montreal (three stores), Sherbrooke, Ottawa (two locations), West Vancouver, Edmonton, and Mississauga, Ontario. 

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