Sometimes a song is enough to inspire a retail project. The expansion of the Milan cult store L’Arabesque — replete with a café-restaurant — was triggered by owner Chichi Meroni’s passion for the late singer and composer Lucio Battisti and, in particular, his words “sitting in that cafe, I wasn’t thinking about you.” Meroni quotes the verse from one of her favorite Battisti songs, “September 29,” which coincidentally marked the opening date of the first version of L’Arabesque back in 2010.
However artistic Meroni appears to be, she is also an entrepreneur who knows what her customers are looking for: thorough product research. “Discovering that each object — from a Twenties bijoux to an ostrich feather boa — was researched. Each object has a story and the retailer tells it,” said Meroni during a walk-through of the store, which is located in Milan’s Largo Augusto, a few steps from the luxury design and furniture stores that line Via Durini and the central shopping thoroughfare in Piazza San Babila. And, to be sure, L’Arabesque combines apparel and design — as an extension of those two locations.
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Photographed by Kuba Dabrowski/WWD
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