Akris Milan boutique

Swiss women’s brand Akris inaugurated on Tuesday its first Italian flagship.

Located on Milan’s Via Spiga, the 3,767-square-foot boutique spans over three levels, showcasing the brand’s ready-to-wear and accessories collections, along with the offering of the sister contemporary brand Akris Punto. An Akris sales showroom is located on the third floor in the same building.

“The opening of this store is a dream coming true and we didn’t expect to reach this goal so quickly,” said Akris creative director Albert Kriemler. “I love Italy; I spend a lot of time here, between Como and Biella, where I meet suppliers. I like this country also for its culture and its incredible lifestyle.”

The store, featuring a cozy combination of natural materials and a light, warm color palette, was designed by Kriemler himself with an architect. “This was the textile showroom of Gandini Tessuti, which has actually been one of our suppliers for a long time,” Kriemler said. “As soon as they told us they wanted to close, I immediately tried to get information on the space and I tried to understand if it was possible to turn it into a store.”

Akris RTW Fall 2017

Akris RTW Fall 2017  Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

While no additional stores are expected to open in Italy in the mid-term, Akris is expanding its retail presence in the French market, where it already operates boutiques in Paris and Monte Carlo, with the opening of a flagship in Cannes in May. The St. Gallen-based label operates a total of 20 boutiques in the world.

The U.S. represents the biggest market for Akris. The brand is available at North America’s most prestigious department stores, including 55 Saks Fifth Avenue doors across the country.

Along with Europe, Japan and South Korea are interesting markets for the brand, which bowed in China a year ago. “We are also getting very good responses by Russian and Middle Eastern clients,” Kriemler said.

Last September, Akris, which is a regular presence at Paris Fashion Week, showed its spring 2017 collection for the first time in New York, where Kriemler was invited as Couture Council honoree.

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