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Simons to open at Les Promenades Gatineau

13 Aug 2015

Installation by Quebec-born artist Julie Tremblay and featuring Ève, a new in-store café 

Simons, the 175-year-old, family-owned fashion retailer from Quebec City, will open its tenth store in mid-August 2015 just as Les Promenades Gatineau unveils its complete mall redevelopment.  The 80,000 square foot location will be centrally located on the north side of the shopping centre along Maloney Boulevard West.

“Les Promenades Gatineau is undergoing an impressive transformation to create the kind of shopping centre where Simons belongs,” said CEO Peter Simons. “We look forward to serving our loyal customers from this area as well as introducing new customers to our unique shopping concept that mixes distinctive merchandise with compelling store environments.”

Renowned firm Lemay Michaud has, for the first time with Simons, led both the architecture and design of a new store. Inspired by fabric, the exterior reveals a Prince of Wales pattern – a nod to the retailer’s Scottish heritage – against clean, white precast concrete, complete with a thread of Simons’ green. At the main entrance a square structure of polished glass protrudes from the building to create an illuminated canopy visible from the boulevard, inviting shoppers inside.

Anchoring the store’s inspiring interior is Julie Tremblay’s Morphodynamique, a two-piece sculpture of aluminum mesh that appears to spill down, out of the central skylight. As the name implies, Morphodynamique appears to be in constant transformation. Varying densities of mesh, some raw, some painted yellow or blue, are folded again and again to bring life and movement to the piece. Although it appears delicate and light, the form is actually quite hard and very sharp. Born and raised outside of Quebec City, Tremblay now lives in Brooklyn where she is primarily a sculptural artist whose works offers a new perspective on nature.

To help shoppers navigate the store, Lemay Michaud uses contrasts in colours and materials to define each department while maintaining a cohesive design that ‘weaves’ the sections together – another connection to fabrics.

Bright pink, red and orange accents are prominent in Twik creating a vibrant space for young female shoppers. Icône for women is modern and graphic using black and white with highlights of saffron yellow. Colours transition to neutrals in Contemporaine, where women’s fashion will include a selection of designer labels like Moschino, Denis Gagnon, Sea by Chloé.

For young men, the Djab area is industrial and edgy with large scale prints of Rémy Pelletier monkey paintings and an installation of ladders defining the service desk. Le 31 for men is very masculine with black tiled floors and textured walls with pops of orange. This sophisticated area is where shoppers will find men’s designer labels like Helmut Lang, T by Alexander Wang and Junya Watanabe.

Simons’ extensive collection of accessories sits in the middle of the store, acting as a pivot point connecting each fashion section. The store also features Miiyu, an intimates boutique and iFive, active wear for men and women. A mini-apartment welcomes shoppers to Maison for its selection of home fashions.

An entirely new concept at Les Promenades is Ève, a Simons owned and operated café. Inspired by Simons’ French-Canadian roots, the menu will include fresh casual items like Montreal-style bagels, French onion soup, chicken fricassee and treats like beignes. Ève is located adjacent to MAISON and can be accessed from the store or the parking lot. The 45-seat café has a clean, classic French diner feel with small white bistro tables and a combination of banquette, chair and stool seating.