MILAN — Luisa Beccaria wants to show what her world is all about through her newly renovated boutique in Milan's artsy Brera district.
The boutique now carries all of the brand's product categories, from its wedding and evening gowns to the new innerwear, beachwear and costume jewelry divisions. The designer has added a new line of home accessories, ranging from hand-made glasses and carafes to towels and home linens embroidered with the same lace used in her dresses. Beccaria also has expanded her children's wear, footwear and accessories divisions, showing new pieces such as ballerinas and bucket bags that reemploy materials used in the ready-to-wear.
"A lot of research goes into the materials and I personally choose and apply the colors to the prints," said the designer. "For this reason, I believe in spinning the same fabrics as much as possible across different product categories."
Accordingly, Beccaria said she's also thinking of creating a small collection of shirts and boxers for men and boys using the same rtw fabrics. Beccaria's collections are manufactured by artisans and outside factories under production contracts and not under licensing agreements.
The new one-story, 4,320-square-foot boutique more than doubles the original store space. The boutique first opened 15 years ago.
The designer is eager to invest in her own retail chain. Last month, Beccaria opened a boutique in Moscow, modeled after the Milan concept store, and is actively scouting for a location in New York. In the U.S., the brand is available at Neiman Marcus, Linda Dresner, Ultimo and Stanley Korshak, among others. The list of celebrities donning Beccaria spans from Uma Thurman and Halle Berry to Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker and Charlize Theron. Following New York, the designer would like to open stores in London and Paris.
"The next step is to really grow and make a big leap, perhaps even with the help of an investor, because now I believe I've fine-tuned the product," said the designer.
That said, Beccaria also wants to expand her product category with a new, younger line and said she is in talks with "American groups" to support the project. She declined to provide details, but Beccaria said she would rely on her daughter, Lucilla Bonaccorsi, 22, to help as she constantly supplies "fresh" ideas for the new categories presented in the boutique: flower-printed T-shirts, broderie anglaise miniskirts and marine-patterned swimsuits embellished with tiny colored beads.Beccaria was actively involved in the design of the store, together with architect Nathalie Jean and artist Chris Ruhs. According to Beccaria, the Milan boutique is now "less of an atelier" and more of a "boutique with a touch of glamour." The original white and cream walls are now painted in mother-of-pearl and wisteria shades, and the wooden floors are covered with layers of iridescent resin and flower petals, which were subsequently sprayed over with paint. The effect is similar to that of a pool of shiny, icy water. Beccaria commissioned dozens of Murano glass chandeliers and wall lamps with crystal drops. The designer said the crystal drop is increasingly becoming her logo. The drops replace the door handles and stand out on stuccoed walls as an open-work decoration.
The boutique is located near Beccaria's showroom and show venue.
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