By  on January 11, 2014

MILAN — Berluti this weekend is opening its first Maison in Italy carrying the brand’s ready to wear line, as well as footwear, luggage and accessories. 

Covering 1,836 square feet, the boutique is located on Milan’s via Sant’Andrea, in the city’s tony shopping district around Via Montenapoleone. “The venue incorporates our savoir faire; it’s a perfect arrival and starting point at the same time,” said artistic director Alessandro Sartori. “It’s very important to transmit our values, and this is a store conceived as a home, a place to welcome friends and ambassadors—a meeting point. I found out that customers generally spend an hour in our stores versus an average 22 minutes at competitors’ venues.”

It’s a coming home of sorts, as founder Alessandro Berluti, who established and developed the brand in Paris, hailed from the town of Senigallia, on Italy’s Adriatic coast. Designed by Tokyo-based French architect Gwenael Nicolas, the Milan unit mixes furniture from Franco-Portuguese duo Oitoemponto and vintage pieces from the Fifties, photographic prints from Elliott Erwitt and Phillipe Lamsden, and armchairs in leather that is hand painted using the same process employed for Berluti’s shoes and accessories. The company offers a palette of 100 colors in its leathergoods. Floors and ceilings are made of waxed wood recovered from stakes on the Venice lagoon, which have been dried for five or six years. 

Berluti has 46 stores globally, 12 of which are Maisons covering around 2,000 square feet each. In 2013, Berluti expanded its network of stores, including Maisons in Paris, London, Shanghai and Tokyo. In two weeks, the company will open a unit in New York’s Madison Avenue, followed by an opening event on Feb. 5.

Sartori revealed that Berluti will hold its first runway show on Jan. 17 in Paris, which will be followed by a performance. He declined to provide details.

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