MILAN — Culti, the Italian design, beauty and spa brand, is readying the unveiling of a flagship in the U.S.
The brand will open the doors on a 1,000-square-foot store in Chicago in September. Located on Michigan Avenue, the space will showcase all of Culti’s lifestyle categories, which encompass furniture, interior design, clothing, fragrance and beauty products.
Culti’s founder, Alessandro Agrati, said he specifically picked Chicago to springboard Culti’s presence in the U.S. “We believe it is a great, effervescent city to start with,” he said. “Obviously in the future we will roll out to other big American cities. Our showroom will be able to communicate better the Culti world to American customers.”
The Chicago location will mark the fourth company-owned store for the brand, which also has flagships in Milan, Saint Moritz and a shop-in-shop in London’s Harvey Nichols department store.
In addition to the Chicago flagship, Culti also plans to open a 1,500-square-foot store on London’s Sloane Street by yearend. Culti’s global distribution totals 800 points of sale, and in the U.S., there are sales corners in Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.
Agrati launched Culti almost 20 years ago with home fragrance diffusers. Constructed from a glass flacon containing scent and wooden sticks that disperse the perfume into the air, the diffusers were an instant hit and remain one of Culti’s best-selling products.
Since then, Agrati has built up an Italian-flavored lifestyle concept for the brand that combines fashion, perfume and interiors in what he described as a “project of the senses.”
Culti’s total retail sales hit 7.5 million euros, or $11 million at average exchange, in 2008, a 25 percent increase from 2007. A further 3.5 million euros, or $5.1 million, in Culti’s revenues last year came from interior design contracts.
Culti’s beauty and well-being arm of the business includes eight fragrances, a 30-stockkeeping-unit face and body line called Spa Mareminerali, as well as a Culti flagship spa in Milan.
Culti Day Spa Milano underwent a 2 million euro, or $2.9 million, refurbishment last year in which a men’s spa, a hair spa and beauty and nail area were added to the top floor of the combined 12,000-square-foot space. Downstairs, the spa boasts 15 treatment cabins, a steam bath, sauna and a lounge area. Details of marble and smoked glass are used as decor downstairs, along with light-colored wood and Botticino beige-toned limestone. Signature treatments utilize Culti’s Spa Mareminerali line, which is formulated with thermal water and algae sourced from off of North Britain’s coast.
“We made our Milan spa extraordinary,” said Agrati. “It used to be a car shop.”
Agrati is also developing a new Culti spa concept to be integrated into the brand’s one-year-old hotel — La Sommita Relais Culti Hotel located in Taranto, in the southern Italian province of Puglia. The 2,000-square-foot space is scheduled to open in December.
Culti also plans to expand its spa concepts through collaborations with other hotels, which Agrati said were still in early development stages.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast