Aura appointed Dalziel & Pow in late 2009 without a pitch on the basis of its credentials, having also been in talks with Fitch, The Brand Union and two local design groups. ’We liked that we were dealing with Dalziel & Pow’s London studio rather than a regional office, and could talk directly to designers rather than account managers,’ says an Aura spokeswoman.
Aura aims to fill a gap in the Middle Eastern market for midpriced, fashionable homeware and lifestyle products. ’Ikea takes about 40 per cent of the market, with luxury stores taking the rest, so there is not much catering for young professionals in Saudi Arabia,’ says Dalziel & Pow associate director, graphics, Simon Parkes.
The brand palette is magenta, deep plum and cyan blue, creating a ’deep, glossy and stylish brand’, says Parkes. Entering the 900m2 ground- floor store in Riyadh’s new Panorama Mall, the customer encounters the livingroom zone, then the dining-room, bedroom and bathroom zones.The store features a grey ceramic floor, fabric dividing screens and a central white glass structure where Aura’s Iconic range sits.
This key line aims to unite Eastern with contemporary Western design. Aura aims to open seven stores in the Middle East in five years, working with Dalziel & Pow. The first Riyadh store opens in October.