Nickolas Gurtler has crafted an elite made-to-measure store for Brent Wilson and his discerning clientele – the kind of sophisticated gentleman that respects tradition but embraces technology and the future.
October 24th, 2022
Inside Sydney CBD’s Strand Arcade is the brand new, made-to-measure retail store Brent Wilson, who crafts high end suiting and tailored menswear for elite and celebrity clients.
It’s not just any store though; this space features the expertise of Nickolas Gurtler Office, bringing heavy-hitting luxury retail experience in visual merchandising for brands Gucci, Chanel and Tiffany & Co.
“The Brent Wilson business is unique in that it is part-retail showroom, part-tailoring atelier. This required us to develop a plan for the customer experience that felt seamless – from the initial arrival experience all the way through to the tailoring process and retail transaction,” says designer Nickolas Gurtler.
He deferred to his global catalogue to help understand the Brent Wilson DNA – namely the converted workshops in the Garment District of New York City, and the iconic Saville Row in London.
“To us, the Brent Wilson man is a sophisticated gentleman who respects tradition but embraces technology and the future. I really responded to the sort of ‘modern James Bond’ brand archetype,” he says.
From the street, the old restaurant and now heritage-listed tenancy features large windows overlooking the Pitt Street Mall and heritage buildings from the late 1800s.
Its olive green timber and glass doors feature a window display made from ceiling-suspended black steel, while simple gold foil numbering reinforces the traditional and industrial nature of the business.
Once inside, a monolithic counter made from slabs of leathered Black Caviar marble is flanked by pillars clad in smoked mirror and aged brass light fixtures.
“The leathered Black Caviar marble is probably my favourite element – the leathered finish is so incredible in person and really adds some dimension. The natural stone throughout the spaces adds an air of masculine sophistication and reinforces the luxury element,” Gurtler says.
Lighting is also a big focus.
To the right, clothing racks with integrated LED strips gently illuminate the textures of the garments. And to the left, a sawtooth mirror installation reflects light and materials as a place for clients to take photos to share.
“Typically menswear stores are often super bright and over-lit and we wanted this space to have a slightly more moody and exciting atmosphere. The mirror wall in the shoe area is almost like an art installation with its interesting angles and light reflections.”
Behind the counter, three tailoring rooms are separated by custom glazing and white linen drapery, designed for private appointments. Custom steel racks provide space for samples or completed jackets, whilst tailored desks covered in more Black Caviar leather act as the tailor’s workbench to display fabrics and the tools of the craft.
Again, lighting comes into its own. Each tailoring room contains different wall lighting from Australian makers including Lost Profile Studio, Henry Wilson and Thomas Maxam.
The final touch is just as important as creating a contemporary brand experience and celebrating the historic craft of tailoring – Gurtler cleverly uses design as a tool to increase sales.
For example, the dedicated shoe ‘parlour’ contains custom made bench seats crafted from mixed materials including chrome, walnut and velvet.
“Clients are invited to sit comfortably here while waiting for appointments, a place to enjoy a glass of Scotch Whiskey whilst observing the beautiful shoes – an item they may not have considered at first,” he explains.
Nickolas Gurtler Office
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