SSENSE MONTRÉAL blends the reciprocity of commerce, culture, and engagement inherent to ssense.com and extends this interchange into physical space.
MONTRÉAL, April 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ - SSENSE, the global fashion platform known for its directional retail mix and original content, announces the opening of SSENSE MONTRÉAL, a flagship concept reimagining the conventions of retail. Committed to celebrating the rich culture and legacy of its home city, SSENSE MONTRÉAL will open to the public on May 3rd, 2018.
Located at 418 rue Saint Sulpice, and representing the first building in Canada designed by world-renowned David Chipperfield Architects, the expansive 13,000 sq. ft. five-storey historic 19th century building is directly adjacent to the city's iconic Notre-Dame basilica. The space houses an in-situ concrete structure — a building-within-a-building — where the concrete architecture is transparently expressed and explicitly exposed while preserving the original historic facade.
Conceived as the spatial counterpart to ssense.com, SSENSE MONTRÉAL is an epicenter of activity where creativity, interactions and experiences are at the forefront powered by an underlying injection of technology. Creating a seamless interface from online to offline, an appointment-based personal shopping model facilitated through a proprietary interface (montreal.ssense.com) and stylist app — both custom-built by the SSENSE technology team — allows for over 20,000 products available on ssense.com to be entirely accessible for clients to try on within 24 hours of scheduling an appointment on the website. Featuring two levels and eight spacious fitting rooms wholly dedicated to hosting personal shopping appointments, SSENSE stylists are available for consultation via appointment and merchandise bookings facilitated through the website.
Designed with exacting precision, a 60 centimeter grid system is embedded throughout the unforgiving concrete structure, determining the formwork and placement of a hidden convertible socket system for all mechanical, functional, and technical elements. The grid system enables flexibility and agility, adapting to the change of pace and simultaneous activities occurring in the space at any given time.
A Vertical Lift Module (VLM) — typically used to optimize industrial space and improve warehouse management — is an essential technology for delivering and storing appointment orders, providing inconspicuous muscle for front of house activity.
Site-specific projects within SSENSE MONTRÉAL are as ambitious as they are diverse. Committed to providing a platform to amplify the voices of today's most relevant talent, SSENSE MONTRÉAL extends this capacity beyond ssense.com to support and create original content in physical space.
The inaugural project, Arca / Tormenta for Prada & SSENSE, is a site-specific performance-cum-installation commissioned by Prada and SSENSE. Exploring the integration of splintered self-states, Tormenta is framed in three distinct and interdependent rituals that converge to exercise the permeable connective tissue separating the once-repressed and the manifest, the embodied; a strengthening of the thin film between self love and self harm. Following the live performance at SSENSE MONTRÉAL on April 26, the aftermath and detritus remains as a public installation, creative directed by Arca and Carlos Sáez, on view through June 3, 2018. The interactive live performance was also captured in a voyeuristic, multi-camera perspective, now available to view at tormenta.ssense.com.
An exclusive four-piece Prada capsule collection, in collaboration with Arca, will be available at SSENSE MONTRÉAL and online at ssense.com. Prices range from $295 USD to $745 USD.
Upcoming programming at SSENSE Montréal includes original projects by: Virgil Abloh, Moncler, Wales Bonner, DIS, Berlin Community Radio, Heron Preston, Kwaidan Editions, Vejas Kruszewski, and Amnesia Scanner.
"SSENSE MONTRÉAL is the physical manifestation of everything we stand for at SSENSE. It is backed by 15 years of insights gathered on both ssense.com and our previous retail location and I am confident we have established a blueprint for retail in the future," said Rami Atallah, co-founder and chief executive officer of SSENSE. "E-commerce enables scale but is suboptimal in important ways, especially fostering human connection. A seamless integration with physical spaces fills the gaps in the customer experience. I am so proud to launch SSENSE MONTRÉAL, a space for our community and a space for Montréal."
Among the creative pursuits within the space, a café offers a relaxed yet inventive culinary experience with seating capacity for 34 people and an ever-changing market-fresh menu developed by Montreal-based restaurateurs, Jason Morris and Kabir Kapoor. The café's glass ceiling spans the entirety of the space and offers an unobstructed view of the sky above.
SSENSE MONTRÉAL is a concept space in perpetual beta. Translating the company's ethos into physical form, the space is an expression of 15 years of rigorous testing, analysis, and iteration.
To download imagery of SSENSE MONTRÉAL click here.
SSENSE is a Montréal-based fashion platform with global reach. Founded in 2003, SSENSE is pacing the vanguard of directional retail with its mix of luxury, streetwear, and avant-garde labels. Currently serving 136 countries, generating an average of 53 million monthly page views, and achieving high double digit annual growth since its inception, its field of focus has grown beyond that of a typical e-commerce entity as it explores the nexus of content, commerce, and culture. More than just a retailer, SSENSE is becoming a cultural protagonist in its own right.