Manganese is the new Black: Kordas Architects enrich the brand palette of BSB fashion stores with an opulent powder coating color ― 

BSB is a leading Greek women’s fashion brand, with a story spanning more than 35 years and a retail network covering many countries, all over the world. Continually refining the brand color palette for its stores, BSB concluded in a minimalist black-and-white scheme: As a rule, the typical BNB store features a white interior, containing black furniture and fittings, such as display racks, ceiling track lights, and window frames, usually coated in the RAL 9005, “Jet Black” shade.

When Athens-based Kordas Architects undertook the redesign of BSB stores, in collaboration with the clients, they took the joint decision to enhance and finalize the brand color palette with an additional, new black, as a third color in the brand color scheme: Manganese (YW280F), a powder coating color by AkzoNobel belonging the Blacks effects, was introduced as a signature brand element to highlight luxury and style, with its special color properties. Jet Black (RAL 9005) is a black color with a standard tonality, simply contrasting to white. Manganese, on the other hand, is a black metallic color featuring in the AkzoNobel Futura Collection, with a much more interesting materiality, and special effect. Alluding to a natural mineral, magnesium, Manganese is a black color with metallic special effects, highlighting curved metal surfaces, a relatively matt sheen, and a smooth texture. Compared to the flat, deep black of RAL 9005, its tonality is slightly browner, with almost imperceptible hints of gold.

Keeping with the black-and-white color scheme, the new BSB stores feature Jet Black (RAL 9005) in prefabricated, pre-coated elements, such as ceiling track lights. Manganese, with its interactive properties, is a new black, applied to all custom-made metal elements, such as display racks and stands, counters, and mirror frames. Those architectural elements are brought closer to the customers’ observation and attract them as they examine the clothes from a close distance. Remaining consistent with the overall BSB black and white, those blacks which are materialized in Manganese are closer to the body, easier to touch, and enhance the color scheme with an immersive experience. The Interpon D2525 superdurable technology, suitable for outdoor applications, is now brought indoors, in interior design elements which are exposed to frequent use, guaranteeing durability, and excellent color retention over the years.

The use of Manganese brings the BSB brand manual to three-dimensional, architectural space: Without altering the black-and-white color scheme, Manganese, as an architectural, material black, adds its color properties to the BSB narrative, suggesting tactility, interaction, and elegant luxury, as a showcase color for the company clothes. In this case, powder coating becomes itself a “dress”, for metal architectural components.