Retail is Art
The new concept for Tuscan brand Braccialini draws on cartoon-like imagery to create a black-and-white backdrop for its colorful products.
After Tuscan brand Braccialini was acquired by Arezzo Graziella, Studio Svetti Architecture was asked to create the template for a new global store concept, starting with its 646-sq.-ft. flagship in via Frattina, Rome.
Its approach was inspired by the idea of the Diary of Braccialini, represented by a block of white sheets to be filled with ideas, sketches and drawings, culminating in a final draft of the work—the shopping experience. The space was originally conceived as a large black-and-white checkered notebook, able to accommodate the products as if they were in a colorful and irreverent drawings, in keeping with the brand ethos.
In store this takes the form of a huge 3-D sketch in black and white, outlined by black borders, which simulates the gesture of an artist. The Rome flagship was created as a place where the play of contrasts between the white background and the black of the contours stands out between soft lines and rigorous geometries.
To reinforce the concept, Studio Svetti Architecture chose custom furniture to recall the world of stationery. Within the store, pencils lean vertically to support new season bags, while free-floating glass holds up lines of t-shirts and accessories. The cap of a Bic pen is used to exhibit a line of bags and a padded bench looks like a giant eraser and the case a pencil sharpener.
Principal Emanuele Svetti reflects: “I love to harmonize different elements and surfaces, creating ‘anti-conventional’ mixtures, able to create sophisticated environments, without neglecting design coherence. The new concept is made unique by its own essentiality, because the space is at the service of the brand: there are few stores in the world that can celebrate the product without first self-celebrating.”
Of the design he says: “The white surfaces of this small corner space in Rome are only slightly marked by the black lines that characterize the space, like sketching an idea with a charcoal on white canvas. This design philosophy highlights the details of the high leather goods, creating an unexpected effect of attraction towards the product.”