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MILAN — Buccellati has found a new home in New York, where it will introduce an updated store concept by the end of October.
This story first appeared in the June 9, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Positioned in a five-floor townhouse in a premium location on Madison Avenue, among such brands as David Yurman, Graff, Chopard and Girard-Perregaux, the venue will cover a total of 6,480 square feet, of which 3,240 square feet will be dedicated to commercial space. Haute joaillerie, the bridal engagement and silver collections, bespoke watches and a VIP area will be available over three floors. The fourth level will house a showroom, and the top story will be a space dedicated to parties and events.
The new concept has been designed by Vudafieri Saverino Partners. Architects Tiziano Vudafieri and Claudio Saverino are known in fashion circles for creating concept stores for brands including Tod’s, Roger Vivier, Moschino, Emilio Pucci and Jimmy Choo, in addition to restaurants in Milan such as Pisacco.
“It’s the perfect location,” said chief executive officer Thierry Andretta, explaining that the prime positioning “accelerated” the decision-making. The new store will also allow the brand to expand, as the current space, also on Madison Avenue, at 1,404 square feet, is too small, he noted.
“America is the most important market in terms of notoriety, visibility and affection,” said Andretta. “There has always been a particular attention to us.” The brand has been available in the U.S. since 1952 and today the U.S. accounts for just less than 40 percent of total sales — for which a figure was not provided.
Americans are also among the main customers in Europe, along with shoppers from Russia, Japan, China and the Middle East.
Retail accounts for more than 50 percent of the company’s sales and Andretta said there are no plans to change this balance, continuing to highly select distribution. “Our development passes through highly identified and personalized stores. The positioning is so high that the brand needs to be explained and described,” said the executive, citing as an example how the engraving of a ring takes from eight to 28 hours.
The new store concept blends tradition and modernity, said Vudafieri, and “tells with subliminal messages” Buccellati’s history. For this reason, the architects maintained a number of “signs” from the previous concepts, such as traditional panels in damask fabric and the classic golden glass showcases, while bringing the brand forward.
The combination of tradition and contemporary design, said Vudafieri, includes a dark oak wood floor set in a classic Versailles pattern, vertically striped walls in smoked molten glass alternated with strips of brushed oak and new “superminimal” display cases on which classic Buccellati golden bronze capitals are mounted. The furniture, chairs and sofas are from storied Italian furniture and design firm Giorgetti.
Andretta said the store will be associated with the arts. The first artist selected is contemporary artist Riccardo Beretta, incidentally also chosen by Fondazione Prada for its latest exhibition at the Venice Biennale. For Buccellati, Beretta is creating panels worked as paintings in inlaid and chiseled wood to be displayed on the ground floor of the boutique and in its VIP room. “It’s a very sophisticated concept with an equally sophisticated artisanal quality,” said Vudafieri, noting the closeness to Buccellati’s own craftsmanship.
Andretta said the idea is to create “a warm welcoming space, such as a home.”
The company is set to open a second store in Bal Harbour, Fla., covering almost 700 square feet. “It’s very important as an access to South American customers,” explained Andretta of the location. Coming up soon: a space at Neiman Marcus in Palm Beach, which will grant “visibility to tourists.”
There are two existing stores in London, and units in Milan, Paris and the luxury resort town Cala di Volpe in Sardinia. In the U.S., there are venues in New York, Chicago, Aspen and Beverly Hills. Gradually, each store will be revamped. The New York blueprint will not necessarily be replicated globally. Andretta said the company is looking for “the right” location in Hong Kong, given its “strong growth.”
Private equity firm Clessidra SGR acquired a majority stake in Buccellati last year, with the namesake family still maintaining shares in the firm. As part of its new course, the brand is also launching a new, modernized logo. Creative director Andrea Buccellati is now flanked by his designer daughter, Lucrezia.