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‘Make up for your alter ego’, declares a neon message in Illamasqua shops. It’s a hint that we’re not dealing with a middle of the road brand here, which is the last thing you’d associate with the company’s owner, who is none other than Joseph Corre, of Agent Provocateur fame.

Corre’s company, Illamasqua, initially commissioned Amalgam’s Carole Cobban to help with design layouts and joinery fittings for new concessions in Selfridge’s London and Manchester stores.

“The client had already come up with a very strong visual concept for the spaces and components,” says Carole, “and working together closely with the fit-out contractors we produced an extremely successful design scheme.”

Evocative creative vision

Brilliantly eye-catching and unique in the market, Illamasqua’s visual branding flows from an evocative creative vision.

“It’s roots stem from the dark and illicit 1920s club scene, and combine with the rich heritage of the manufacture of make-up for film and theatre,” says Carole. “It also takes inspiration from members of various ‘alternative’ scenes, for whom self-expression is paramount.”

With each new project — two stand-alone shops have since opened in Liverpool and Leeds, plus concessions in Sheffield and Glasgow — the client has introduced new display elements. Disembodied arms, dramatically painted masques and mannequins have now become part of Illamasqua’s growing brand vocabulary.

It’s catching on — Carol is now working on design concepts for new overseas concessions, for Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bangkok.