Portmans is one of Australia’s most iconic fashion brands with 130 stores in Australia and New Zealand. Red Design Group won a competitive pitch to reinvigorate the brand and we were delighted to have the opportunity to work on their new, high profile site on Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall.

The inspiration for the pitch concept was a seamstress workshop. As the design process developed, working closely with The Just Group’s VM Manager, the concept evolved into more of a New York loft space.

The existing conditions of the site were exploited by exposing the slab ceiling and concrete walls to give the space a rawness which contrasts with the softness and femininity of the clothes. With the Portmans brand defined as “fearlessly feminine – glamorous and playful” we wanted to reflect the richness of the materials while still maintaining a blank enough canvas for the VM team.

Limed oak flooring, painted bricks, the simple white organic forms of the hanging rails and the more formed timber encasements to the walls led to a natural palette rich in texture and warmth. The sealed concrete walls are softened by exquisite hand painted murals created by a local artist. Working alongside the VM team kept us focused on the Portmans girl who “can never be too feminine”.