The Milan-based company has inaugurated its first monobrand store, which is located at Shanghai’s new Golden Eagle shopping center operated by IFFG. In addition, two other flagships will open in China, as well as about 15 shops-in-shop within three years.
“Our brand’s business is actually growing in the Far East, especially in China, but also Japan is performing well,” said Tommaso Aquilano, who cofounded the fashion label with Roberto Rimondi. “I think this is motivated by an evolution of Chinese customers who now look for upcoming, more niche brands offering Made in Italy quality and design, rather than focusing only on major labels.”
China and Japan, followed by the U.S. and Russia, are currently the biggest markets for the brand, available at about 70 retailers in the world.
For the Shanghai store, Aquilano and Rimondi collaborated with Italian architects to develop a concept, which is “not rigorous, but essential,” as Aquilano explained. “There are Italian design lamps; walls consist of concrete blocks; there is wood and customized wrought-iron displays,” he explained.
In order to provide the flagship stores with adequate merchandising, the designers are also collaborating with suppliers to expand their offering of accessories. “You will see the first results with the next fall-winter 2018 collection….We like to do things step by step.”
Aquilano and Rimondi are also continuing to develop their AR.RT line, which made its debut last summer. Infused with bold prints and vivacious color combinations, AR.RT features more accessible design and prices — 30 percent lower — than the Aquilano.Rimondi label.
AR.RT will continue to be distributed to multibrand stores, but it won’t be available at Aquilano.Rimondi’s flagships in China. “We want to keep them separate in order to avoid any confusion,” Aquilano said.