In 1999, Antonia Giacinti opened her first accessories boutique on Milan’s Via Cusani in the arty Brera district. The store, which quickly became popular for its hyper-glam selection of shoes and bags from international brands including Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana and Balenciaga, was so successful that Giacinti and her husband, Maurizio Purificato, opened two additional doors, one for women’s ready-to-wear and another dedicated to men’s fashion.
This story first appeared in the October 28, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
After more then a decade, the couple, which also oversees the creative direction of Coin Group’s Excelsior Milano department store, in September moved to the other side of Via Cusani into a larger 5,382-square-foot space consolidating accessories and apparel for women and men in one store.
Architect Vincenzo De Cotiis, who designed the ground-floor shop in the recently restored Palazzo Cagnola, incorporated contemporary elements, including sleek glass and metal displays, in the overall classical space, showing late 19th-century plasters and capitals.
“We didn’t want to delete but exalt the DNA of the palace, keeping the colors of its époque,” Giancinti said, referring to the white-and-gray marble floor and distressed walls.
Women’s accessories include a wide selection of bags and shoes on low-rise displays and tables, while a cozy brown sofa accommodates women trying on footwear.
Prices run from 130 to 1,500 euros ($180 to $2,070 at current exchange) and shoes range from Nike trainers, Isabel Marant boots and Saint Laurent booties to quirky Charlotte Olympia platforms, trendy Valentino styles and elegant pumps from Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik and Gianvito Rossi.
“Women are looking for comfortable shoes,” Giacinti said. “Even if I’m addicted to high heels, I had to make the pained decision to buy more medium and low heels, as well as flats, because those who used to buy 5.5-inch heels now buy 4.5-inch heels, and those who looked for 4-inch heels now wear 3-inch heels.”
Bags from Saint Laurent and Delvaux leather styles to colorful crocodile Paula Cademartori items round out the selection.
“There is a little bit of a lull in the bag segment because it has been a while since fashion brands launched new iconic styles,” Giacinti said. “Anyway, the trend is toward small bags.” She said additional accessories categories are also performing well, including Bernstock Speirs beanies, Maison Michel hats, along with Jennifer Behr hair bands at 1,500 euros ($2,070). Edited by Milan’s niche optician Punto Ottico, a special selection of Mikita unisex sunglasses is also available at the store.