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ITALIAN CHARM: Harvey Nichols has teamed with Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development and the Italian Trade Agency to launch its “Britalia” campaign, a nod to the country’s style and culture.

The campaign focuses on Italian beauty, culture, drink, lifestyle and style. A film created by Adam&EveDDB, a communications agency, includes a well-known scene from Luigi Pirandello’s play “As You Desire Me.”

The scene shows an Italian couple heavily engaged in conversation. Subtitles edited by the agency show they are fighting about how the store is “taking” the best of Italy’s fashion, food and drink and beauty products.

Stacey Cartwright, chief executive officer of Harvey Nichols, said the store is mounting the campaign because “Italian culture is experiencing a renaissance at the moment.”

The retailer has also worked with Opinium, an insight agency, and found that U.K. shoppers have either incorporated or gifted Italian items during the holidays, such as Panettone, olive oil, biscuits, chocolates, Prosecco and Italian wines.

In addition, the retailer has said it’s seen growth across its Italian offering of fashion, food, beauty and drink. Last year, the company saw a 13 percent increase in Italian red wine sales, while the concierge team reported a rise in interest and requests for Italian fashion labels.

“There could be no better time to celebrate Italy,” said Shadi Halliwell, creative and marking director at Harvey Nichols.

“All aspects of Italian culture are experiencing a renaissance and our recent sales data show that Italian products are the gifting items our customers turn to. We’re delighted to be celebrating ‘Britalia’ and expanding our Italian fashion, food, drink and beauty collections to provide our customers with the most stylish edit of luxurious gifts.”

The campaign will be promoted through a series of windows, partnerships, events, and installations. The retailer will be launching limited-edition items and emerging brands. It will run globally across all stores in the U.K. and Ireland as well as Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and on its web site and social media channels.

The retailer’s windows, unveiled today, feature mannequins opulently dressed in designers such as Versace and Prada, with some showcasing an Italian spread of Panettone, Prosecco and Italian wines mixed with British touches such as Christmas crackers.

The set inspiration was Italian renaissance architecture and opera, with special lighting techniques used to illuminate the windows, reflecting daylight and nighttime.

In addition, a theatrical display was created in an all-white setting using 700 hand-painted stars, 100,000 balls to create candelabras, chandeliers and clouds, as well as 109 gallons of paint for its hand-painted columns.

“It has been an exciting challenge to transform the store’s façade with marbled panels inspired by the Italian renascence architecture to bring Italy to our U.K. and Ireland sites this year,” said Janet Wardley, head of visual display at Harvey Nichols.

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