The premium contemporary label, founded and designed by Alessandro Dell’Acqua, has left its offices in Milan’s Piazzale Susa to install its headquarters in a 16,146-square-foot building on Via Archimede.
“We were really attached to the old offices, because everything started there, but there was not enough room for everybody, we couldn’t move without stepping on something or someone,” said Dell’Acqua. The new location is familiar to Dell’Acqua because it used to house the offices of cashmere label Malo, where the designer served as creative director from 2008 to 2009. “We really felt the necessity to have a real headquarters in Milan to keep together the company’s different departments,” he said.
The building, which features a black facade, was renovated and redesigned by architect Hannes Peer, who also developed the brand’s store concept.
A metallic mesh front door embellished with brass rings welcomes guests into the building, which has a sumptuous entrance where different kinds of marble are combined. The offices of the different departments — including design, commercial, communication and administration — are located on the first and second levels, while the showroom, showing a black-and-white marble floor with industrial concrete details and decorated with Le Corbusier and Artemide design pieces, spans over the third floor.
The last level is occupied by dell’Acqua’s office, with a high ceiling with a big skylight. Mid-18th century design items, as well as plants and carpets, contribute to the cozy, home-like attitude of the room.
No. 21 is produced by Italian manufacturer Gilmar, which also holds a 30 percent stake in the label. The brand is distributed by Milanese showroom Riccardo Grassi and is available in more than 500 multibrand stores in the world. In addition, No. 21 operates three flagships in Tokyo, Milan and Hong Kong, as well as a boutique in Changzhou and five shops-in-shops in Korea.
With Japan accounting for 25 percent of the company’s total business, No. 21 is expanding its retail presence in the market with the opening, on April 20, of a store in Tokyo’s Ginza Six Department Store. Last December, the Italian brand also inaugurated a store at the Tsum department store in Moscow.
Although financial results related to 2016 are not yet available, the company expects to close the fiscal year with double-digit growth. In 2015, the company generated revenues of 24 million euros, or $26.6 million at average exchange rate, up 55 percent compared to 2014.