LOS ANGELES — Shoppers walking inside 9536 Wilshire Boulevard will feel as if they’re stepping into a slice of Rome. The address is the home of Battistoni’s first U.S. flagship, located at the bustling intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, which opens today.
“For me Rodeo is a conduit of all the streets. It’s like the center of Rome. Beverly Hills with all the streets around, [it’s] very similar,” honorary president Gianni Battistoni told WWD. “Battistoni is like a mood and we’d like to transfer that mood to our customer.”
The 6,500-square-foot store’s entrance is a reproduction of what one would find in the company’s Via dei Condotti boutique in Rome. The store utilizes walnut, travertine stone, leather and bronze throughout the space with antique furniture brought in from Rome, including a 400-year-old table near the entrance. The boutique in Rome is a collection of different art pieces and furniture brought in from various members of the family in a mixing of periods and styles that interior designer Philip Vergeylen aimed to re-create in Los Angeles.
“There’s never been a designer in [the Rome boutique],” said Vergeylen, who handled the Los Angeles store’s design. “It’s a complete jumble. Half of it is falling down. Somehow this whole jumble creates a level of sophistication you can’t get from one person with a pen. It’s all about reinterpreting things and of course remembering we’re still in Los Angeles.”
The store carries both men’s and women’s wear. Two VIP rooms stand in the center of the boutique — one for evening wear fittings and the other for day. There’s also a VIP room for tailoring with bolts of dress shirt and suit fabrics lining the walls. Shades roll down to cover the windows facing Wilshire and Rodeo that say “Tailoring in Process.” A tailor will be on site with full bespoke suiting options that can be turned around in about a month.
Los Angeles is now the third Battistoni store aside from Rome and London and is seen as the start of growth for the brand. It chose Los Angeles for the first store Stateside because of the company’s Hollywood clientele and history dressing celebrities such as Marlon Brando, Francis Ford Coppola and Humphrey Bogart.
“We started to dress the Hollywood celebrities. They came to Rome to do movies and this is a little bit [of] coming back for Battistoni,” Battistoni said. “Before, Hollywood celebrities came to Rome and now Battistoni came down to Hollywood. It’s our main customers.”
The brand is eyeing New York and Miami for future stores, he added.