By  on June 13, 1994

NEW YORK -- The first freestanding Ralph Lauren store in Milan will open Tuesday, showcasing the Home Collection.

The store, which represents the launch of the designer's home goods in Italy, is owned and operated by Haas SpA, a company that sells fine fabrics and carpets throughout Europe. Haas has recently expanded its business to include specialty home furnishings and will be the exclusive retail distributor of the Home Collection in Italy. The new store is adjacent to the historic Haas flagship.

The new two-level, 1,700-square-foot shop at Via Verri 6 will be at present the only freestanding Ralph Lauren Home Collection store.

This isn't Lauren's first freestanding Home Collection store, however. The first Home Collection store opened in Palo Alto, Calif., in 1988 and closed a year later. The home merchandise was incorporated into a Polo apparel and home furnishings store in the same shopping center.

Based in a renovated limestone palazzo, the Milan store will feature bedding, fabrics, rugs, wallcoverings, furniture, towels, potpourri, dinnerware, flatware, crystal, giftware and table linens. The product mix includes new collections for spring, as well as some of Lauren's classics.

In addition, the Home Collection will be available in shops within Haas stores in Rome, Bologna, Florence, Naples and Bari, as well as some select specialty stores.

A Polo spokeswoman declined to give a sales projection for the Milan store.

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