BRESCIA — What’s the key to success in the current fast-changing retail business? “Stimulating people’s curiosity,” according to Francesco Galli, chief executive officer of Italian luxury fashion retailer Folli Follie, which has boutiques in Mantua, Verona, Riccione and Bologna.
On Thursday, Galli unveiled his newest project, One-Off, a multibrand store located in Brescia with two units — one for men and one for women — born from a collaboration with another prestigious Italian retailer, G&B, owned and managed by Gianni Peroni.
“I strongly believe in the importance of teaming with colleagues to join forces and create innovative projects,” said Galli, who previously collaborated with the Ratti family for a luxurious retail project in Bologna and with Peroni for Lagrange12, a high-end boutique in Turin, which opened its doors in 2016.
Galli and Peroni’s new retail adventure, One-Off, will stand out from the crowd with its peculiar format, which will see both the men’s and women’s stores changing their look every six months.
“This strategy was specifically developed to make One-Off unique and special,” Galli said. “Both the men’s and the women’s stores have been designed with this aspect in mind.”
In particular, the architecture of the men’s store, which spans 4,306 square feet, was conceived by Tuscan firm Baciocchi Associati, which created an airy, masculine environment, defined by modular furniture developed in materials such as plastic, rubber and aluminum. The contemporary spirit of the store is highlighted by references to the travel business, including seats that recall those in airport boarding areas.
“Here, our customers can charge their phones and navigate our online stores with iPads,” Galli explained. While the first floor carries a selection of luxury brands, the lower ground level is more focused on contemporary and niche labels. The boutique carries a total of 80 brands.
A completely different attitude is infused in the women’s boutique, which is characterized by an eclectic style conceived by Milanese hip design firm Dimore Studio. The 8,611-square-foot space is distributed over five floors, each of which has a different look conveyed through the juxtaposition of several materials, such as plasterboard, latex, glitter carpeting and more classic wood.
The ground floor, with the cash register area dominated by an impressive metallic structure covered with platinum artificial hair — “we have to comb it every day before the store opens,” Galli revealed — offers an overview of the store’s offering. The lower ground level is mainly dedicated to accessories, while the second floor focuses on luxury labels, which also appear on the third floor, where they are mixed with contemporary names.
The fourth floor, covered with checkered linoleum, was designed to be a neutral box, which starting from June will house the pop-up shops of several international brands, which will create special products exclusively available at One-Off. “The capsules will only be available in store and at our e-commerce, TheDoubleF, only for three weeks,” Galli said.
One-Off will also develop limited-edition capsules for men, which will be presented in a dedicated area on the first floor of the men’s store.
“The choice of commissioning the design of the two stores to different architecture firms has been driven by market needs,” explained Galli. “Our local female customers are aged 35 to 45, they are young women with a kind of bourgeois attitude, while our male customers are significantly younger — they start from 15-year-old to men in their 40s. For this reason, we wanted to create environments which could really reflect the current reality of the market.”
In 2018, Folli Follie generated revenues of 160 million euros, up 14 percent compared to 2017. Last year, the company’s e-commerce, TheDoubleF, totaled revenues of 16 million euros, registering a 50 percent growth compared to 2017.
“The goal is to reach 31 million euros in 2019,” said Galli, referring to the online store’s performances.
The entrepreneur also mentioned the possibility of bringing the Folli Follie retail brand to major cities, including Milan.