Located in Milan on Via Bagutta, the 5,381-square-foot store is the first commercial space to open in 19th century Palazzo Reina, which was recently restored by a real estate firm.
“It’s exciting to see the synergy creating between the historic building and the Issey Miyake collections,” said Issey Miyake designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae, who highlighted that the Milanese flagship carries seven of the company’s lines, including the Issey Miyake label for both men’s and women’s, as well as Pleats Please Issey Miyake and Bao Bao Issey Miyake. “It’s a wide offering and it will be fun to see how customers will mix the different labels.”
Conceived by space designer and artist Tokujin Yoshioka, the stores spans over two floors featuring rooms dedicated to the different collections.
“We made sure to respect the building — for example we rediscover the original frescos on the ceiling — and we created simple installations to showcase the clothes. We wanted the generate harmony among the three elements — the building, the installations and the collections. They were not meant to compete in the space,” said Issey Miyake Europe president Tempe Brickhill.
On the ground floor, the flagship is also decorated by impressive suspended aluminium sculptures.
“The rounded floating sculptures are dyed with the same technique used for garments. The colors we chose — blue, orange and green — symbolize the energy of nature and they communicate a sense of translucence and projection into the future,” Yoshioka said. “The essentiality of design, harmonized with technology and manual work, characterize the space of the store, reflecting the philosophy at the base of Issey Miyake.”
The Japanese company’s consistent retail investment in Milan is supported by the fact that Italy represents the first European market for Issey Miyake.
“Italy accounts 50 percent of our total business in Europe,” said Brickhill, explaining that Italian clients, which are about 50, well receive the company’s extended use of colors and quirky shapes. “Northern Europe is our second market.”
Issey Miyake, which opened a store in Zurich a month ago, is also gearing up to debut a new shop in London, featuring a new concept, by the end of the year.