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MILAN — Palazzo Kiton, the tailoring company’s new crown jewel, will be unveiled with a special event on Sunday, during Milan men’s fashion week, marking a significant step forward in the expansion of the brand.
This story first appeared in the January 9, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
A new showroom and commercial offices are located in the building that covers more than 47,000 square feet of Via Pontaccio 21. In November, the Naples-based firm acquired the edifice, which had housed the Gianfranco Ferré label for 14 years.
The first floor will host a tailor’s shop and a boutique expected to open within two years.
On Sunday, a multimedia installation will be presented on the main floor of the building, bridging the brand’s history, tradition and its future. Three sartorial booths will create a stately mirrored prism with LED videos recounting the story of the company and of Ciro Paone, who founded it in 1956.
The entrance foyer on Via Pontaccio, the mammoth main floor — where Ferré used to hold its runway shows — and the mezzanine will open this month. Subsequently, at the beginning of 2015, in conjunction with the opening of the Milan Expo, work will be completed on apartment suites on the top floor, as well as on a ground-floor bistro that will open onto the adjacent Via Fiori Chiari. There will also be an atelier open to the public and spaces below ground level.
Chief executive officer Antonio De Matteis said he was “extremely pleased” with the project. “The entire restoration has been executed with the utmost care and attention,” he said. On the main floor, architect Franco Raggi, who worked closely with Ferré in the past, refurbished the imposing skylight that provides natural illumination throughout the day, and also added a high-tech lighting system. The multicolored wenge wood flooring was recovered. The restored executive offices will include a space dedicated to the precious vicuña wool employed by the brand. As in a private residence, the floor is adorned by works of contemporary artists such as Mimmo Paladino, Lucio Del Pezzo, Manlio Giarrizzo and Lello Esposito.
Classic Italian decor and historic design pieces also embellish the space. All these items, collected by Paone over the years, will provide a backdrop for the brand’s men’s collections. The spaces opening onto Via Fiori Chiari will be reserved for Kiton’s women’s collections. In the atrium on the second floor, Kiton has also restored Del Pezzo works created for the Palazzo.
In a new project by architect Tiziano Barachino, the space that once served as a backstage area will be transformed into a multibrand showroom featuring all the Ciro Paone SpA brands: Sartorio, Svevo, K., Punto Rosso and Lanificio Carlo Barbera. MP Massimo Piombo will be the only brand with a dedicated space below ground level. The showroom will reprise the aesthetics of the Italian Rationalist architect and designer Franco Albini. Also, public relations activities will be housed in the building.
While the structure of the palazzo has remained entirely intact, all the technical, heating and lighting systems were modernized to comply with eco-environmental regulations.
The facades were cleaned with a new technique that protects against pollution and minimizes environmental impacts.