#DGMontenapoleone: A bridge between past and future

Introducing the spearhead of Dolce&Gabbana’s retail revolution

With the opening of the new boutique on Via Montenapoleone 4 in Milan, Dolce&Gabbana unveil an evolution of the concept of flagship store.

“We opened our first boutique in Via Montenapoleone: a dream that wasn’t in our initial plans, but it’s a challenge for us, an honour and a responsibility. We saw the store when empty, and we fell in love instantly… we wanted a new boutique, different, strong, but recognizable. The idea was to explore our DNA with a technological approach with true creative freedom…”
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

 

It is this creative freedom which ushers in a new era in luxury retail, spearheaded by Dolce&Gabbana. The Via Montenapoleone boutique is not only the crowning glory of the 30 something brand’s retail spaces in their home in Milan on the most exclusive street in the capital of Italian fashion, it is also the cornerstone (literally) of a new concept in luxury retail.

Everything in the boutique revolves around two elements: green marble and briar-wood. The choice of the colour green, which is unusual for Dolce&Gabbana, comes from a long study of colours and their emotional impact. Green is the colour of chlorophyll and a symbol of rebirth that maintains its original connotations. Briar-wood is a symbol of strength and stability which does not change with time. And all of these elements and symbols can be projected onto Dolce&Gabbana’s new retail strategy.

 

The Via Montenapoleone boutique, in Milan, and the recently opened store in Aoyama, Tokyo, mark the end of the concept store philosophy, with one model for the entire world, in favour of a new formula where emotion, dialog, diversity and cultural exchange come together in spaces that are stages, not shops, where experience and storytelling are the protagonists.

Milan, Porto Cervo, Capri, Tokyo, St. Barth, London, Brussels, Monte Carlo, Venice, Beijing, Los Angeles, and Dubai: the boutiques in these modern hubs for travel and international shopping will change radically. The idea of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana is to take customers on a Grand Tour, following an ideal path on an imaginary journey where aesthetics and brand values are combined with the unique features, elements of excellence and cultures of each city. This creative input has been handed to five architecture studios: Storage Associati (Milan, Italy), Gwenael Nicolas’s Curiosity (Tokyo, Japan), Steven Harris (New York, USA), Marco Costanzi (Imola, Italy) and Eric Carlson’s Carbondale (Paris, France). The two designers initiated a dialogue with them to create radical and unusual perspectives for the brand and the location where the one-of-a-kind boutiques will stand.

 

“The new Milan boutique was designed to connect the different personalities and spirit of Dolce&Gabbana, from past to future. The space represents a dialog between two worlds: the energy of the Baroque and the clarity of Modernism. Much like what happens in a modern art gallery, the soft yet extraordinary mood of the ambiance reawakens a sense of discovery and renewed curiosity.”
Gwenael Nicolas

For the Milan boutique Gwenael Nicolas, founder of the Curiosity Architectural Studio, was asked to interpret the different souls of Dolce&Gabbana and to bring them to life with technological and creative spirit in one of the most prestigious 19th century aristocratic palazzos of Milan. The space blends baroque style and the sleek simplicity of modernism: this contrast becomes the ideal scenario for appreciating the sophistication of each garment and accessory on display. The white ceiling, reminiscent of the ‘60s, features lighting that illuminates the collections on display, making each garment unique and defining a strong contrast between the green marble and onyx. The lava stone floors are a classic Dolce&Gabbana element. The ceiling on the top floor blends technology and classicism: three-dimensional metal panels create a pattern and descend with an automated mechanism to form special rooms within the space.

The 1,600 square meters boutique has two floors for the womenswear collections, accessories, fine jewellery and watches, and one floor is dedicated to menswear. An imposing green marble staircase leads to the first floor, which is dedicated to menswear, and to the second floor that is home to eveningwear and jewellery. Green and onyx marble dominate the space, covering the floors and walls in two different shades of the colour and blending with the precious stucco reminiscent of the motifs used for Verdi opera sets. Large mirrors and gilded baroque furnishings are stunning elements that make an impact in the rooms.

 

Photo Credits: Alessandra Chemollo

Video by Fashion to Max

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