MILAN — Coccinelle’s new flagship here is quite unique in the city — a fun combination of elements reminiscent of both a pastry shop and a beauty parlor.
Designed by established architect Roberto Baciocchi, the unit, which reveals a new store concept for the Italian accessories brand, is located on the busy shopping street Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, opposite a Michael Kors flagship. Covering two floors, the store is mainly developed on the lower level, with bistro-like round tables, cocooning armchairs and soft poufs that look like cream puffs — all in a color palette ranging from powder pink to pastel green. The sugar level is balanced by sleek steel displays, Plexiglass columns and a ceiling with a white origami-like decoration.
Baciocchi, who has designed stores for Prada, Miu Miu, Pasticceria Marchesi and La Perla, compared the blueprint to “stepping into the brain of a woman. It’s a world unto itself, with a path that is unpredictable, not linear, like a woman’s diversified mind and thoughts.” To wit, columns are not round but multifaceted and there are several asymmetric niches. There are no edges, and the space is also made soft by some surfaces covered in eco-fur. Baciocchi said that, similarly to a pastry shop, the store can “gratify that adolescent side that all women have. I love to watch how women communicate, without hierarchies, and I love how they succeed in a very masculine world. This is like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the colors help materialize the emotions.”
Baciocchi worked in sync with the brand’s creative directors Eleonora Pujia and Vinciane Stouvenaker. “There was nothing like this before — you feel you step in a place of surprises and emotions, like a child in a pastry shop,” said Pujia. “It’s all about the senses, and tickling the senses.” Echoing Baciocchi, she said the store reflected a “feminine universe that is dynamic, a reference to the many faces of femininity.”
“This is a dreamlike world, where you feel anything is possible for a woman,” mused Stouvenaker. “The women’s universe is central here.”
The lower floor spans over 1,296 square feet, double the ground level.
Chief executive officer Fabrizio Stroppa enthused about Baciocchi’s “immediate understanding of the dreams the creative directors had about the store. He realized in the physical space what they had in mind,” said Stroppa, who joined the company in October.
Coccinelle is leveraging Stroppa’s years of experience at Coach, where he held the role of vice president of sales, Europe, and at Mulberry, where he served as global head of sales. Prior to that, Stroppa was brand manager at Donna Karan in the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton headquarters in Japan. He has also worked at Giorgio Armani.
The flagship is a gift for Coccinelle’s 40th birthday, said Stroppa, and marks the first step in a process of expansion of the brand. It brings Coccinelle to a total of 160 stores worldwide. The official cutting of the ribbon for the store was held on Dec. 8, which is an important festivity for Milan, as it celebrates Sant’Ambrogio, the city’s patron saint Ambrose.
Up next is the renovation of the Coccinelle store on Regent Street in London. Also this year, the company is planning to roll out 25 stores in China.
New headquarters will be celebrated in February during Milan Fashion Week as Coccinelle will move to a 14,040-square-foot space in a historical palazzo in Milan.
Coccinelle was founded in 1978 in Sala Baganza, near Parma, Italy, by the Mazzieri family. In 2012, the Korean E-Land fund acquired the company and the Mazzieri family exited.
Coccinelle is expected to report sales of almost 100 million euros in 2018, up from 65 million euros three years ago, and Stroppa said the plan is to double the 2018 figure in three years.