Instead of hosting a cocktail at aperitivo time, the tireless Giorgio Armani celebrated the opening of the new Armani Casa flagship in Milan, on Corso Venezia, with an after-dinner event on Monday night, the inaugural day of the city’s design week.
“This store was quite a challenge. The space is really big and it’s difficult to create a certain atmosphere in large spaces,” said Armani, referring to the four-story flagship, the company’s biggest store in the world dedicated to furniture and interior design. “I’m happy with the final result, which is light and fresh. I really didn’t want this to look like a cold showroom.”
A relocation from the existing Armani Casa venue in Via Sant’Andrea, the new store, which covers more than 14,040 square feet and has 16 windows, occupies the space that formerly housed design firm and furniture retailer De Padova – a pillar in the history of the city’s design.
“I’ve always looked at De Padova and Vico Magistretti [the Italian designer who collaborated for many years with the Italian design firm]. They managed to create a store, which was modern, accessible and absolutely not extravagant,” Armani said. “Then, it went through a certain period of decline. I had the feeling that something got missed, probably Magistretti’s touch.”
Platinum metal mesh filters the light coming from the windows, all decorated with the silhouette of Armani Casa’s signature Logo Lamp, which was launched in 1982. Panels crafted from the same mesh divide the space inside the store, where products are showcased on minimal, clean wood displays. A sculptural staircase, made of oak wood in a warm, light tone and decorated with mother-of-pearl details, connects the different levels.
“This floor is dedicated to eclecticism,” said Armani, referring to the flagship’s first level that houses furniture pieces from the latest collection, as well as accessories and loungewear items, such as colorful velvet jackets and slippers from the Armani fall collection, which can be pre-ordered at the store.
The mezzanine carries accessories, wallpapers and fabrics; the third floor is dedicated to the carry-over pieces, while a selection of kitchens and bathrooms is available in the basement.
The Maçka Residences in Istanbul; The World Towers in Mumbai, India, and the Century Spire in Manila are among the Armani Casa Interior Design Studio’s most recent projects.