SAJO celebrates its 40th Anniversary and invites you to read its book “Beginnings” to commemorate this Milestone.

In commemoration of its 40th anniversary, SAJO sought to tell the story of its journey through an illustrated text which would reflect its contribution and legacy to the world of design and the built environment as well as serve as a tribute to the brands that SAJO has served over its four decades in business.


To mark this important milestone, SAJO published its first book, entitled Beginnings – a collection of essays and associated graphics and illustrations which reflect the convergence of building, design, fashion, and art. It is primarily a work which attests to the creativity and philosophy of art inherent in the world of design and build. The stories which unravel in the pages of this compilation depict the source and evolution of product and space design which inspire the ever-changing landscape of the built environment. 

To commemorate SAJO’s initial start in the world of retail space, the first part of Beginnings is dedicated to the multiple faces of retail space through time and across continents. It traces the origins of shopping venues such as department stores, arcades, malls, fashion houses and boutiques up to modern day digital platforms.

The second part of Beginnings traces the origins of the fashion products themselves which influence if not drive the design of the spaces in which they are displayed. Here the insatiable human appetite for self-embellishment and the desire to craft an appearance of elegance and beauty comes into play to create the ever-present allure for apparel, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, and the like.

The third part of Beginnings tells the story of architecture and interior design through the ages and describes the many diverse spaces man inhabits- be it a private residence, a workplace, a commercial or social venue. 

SAJO is especially indebted to the McCord Museum of Montreal for its interest and collaboration in this project and for its participation in the launch of Beginnings which took place at the McCord Museum in June of 2018.

We hope that you will enjoy Beginnings as much as we enjoyed creating it and that you can gain fresh insight into the world of retail and the built environment through its unique perspective. 


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