Valentino's inspired new Italian store
Valentino is "taking control of its destiny" with its new Rome flagship store.
The fashion house's major new shop is on the iconic Piazza di Spagna and covers 15,876 square feet. Although the opening of any store is exciting for the company, this one is particularly thrilling because Valentino is so intrinsically linked to Rome.
"Piazza di Spagna has an ulterior meaning, as it is the reference city of the brand and of Chiuri and Piccioli [Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo, creative directors], and a source of inspiration for them," chief executive officer Stefano Sassi told WWD.
"It’s symbolically positive for Valentino, which takes control of its destiny, and it is above and beyond any usual store."
Chiuri echoed the comment, explaining the "symbolic value" of the area is what most appealed to her and her design partner.
The shop opened late last week, but things aren't official yet. That will happen in July, when the label will host a major haute couture fashion show for 700 guests to launch the venue.
"It’s like we are finally inviting everyone to our own home," Chiuri enthused.
The two designers helped come up with the design of the flagship alongside an architect, with their initial plans first aired in 2012.
Accessories are on the ground floor, which makes sense as they make up around 50 per cent of the company's sales. Men's and women's pieces are then accessed via huge marble staircases, but are kept separate.
It was important for the pair to ensure their plan fitted in with the aesthetic of Rome, so nothing stands out as too modern. In fact there are arches which are sanded using an antique process specifically because of this. The duality of the historical look of the shop with its up-to-date vibe is what Chiuri and Piccioli like, as that is how they have approached their work at Valentino.
"History enters our daily life," Piccioli explained.