In his teens, budding architect Ignacio Cadena handled the branding for firms run by his father’s friends. The younger Cadena later founded his own creative agency, producing retail concepts and branding for such fashion labels as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. When he launched a luxury fragrance line with his frequent collaborator, Héctor Esrawe, and another partner, Verónica Peña, they named it after an indigenous word for nose. (That’s pronounced “she-new.”)
“It’s like our son, because it needs a lot of care,” Cadena says, laughing. To hold each of the four unisex scents, formulated using New World botanicals, he designed a gorgeous clear glass vessel set on top of a totemlike stack of half-spheres in a sustainably sourced local hardwood. He hopes that customers will reuse the empty vessels, perhaps as bud vases.
He calls the brand’s flagship a secret garden, since shoppers must buzz a downstairs doorbell, then climb a darkened staircase to visit the sun-splashed top level. Overlooking a roof terrace fragrant with plants, the 1,700-square-foot shop was also designed with Esrawe. Cadena himself curates and arranges the huge display table that Esrawe refers to as “naturalist.” It’s
a singular combination of evolving inspirations, from illustrated books to glass blobs and fresh flower spikes.
Project Team: Cadena+Asoc. Concept Design: Berenice Hernández; Luis Medellín; Ricardo Bideau; Alejandro Peña; Alberto Yapor; Alejandro Flores; Hugo Ozuna. Esrawe Studio: Manuel Bañó; David Flores; Solana Lorenzo.