MILAN — Fausto Puglisi opened his first flagship on Wednesday, which he describes as “small but cozy,” located in Milan’s luxury shopping street Via della Spiga. The venue has a special meaning for the Sicilian designer, who presented his first namesake collection at Dolce & Gabbana’s store next door in 2010. “I like to say I was born in that corner,” Puglisi told WWD.
The 540-square-foot space was previously occupied by Italian shoe brand Sebastian, which also holds the license for the production of Puglisi’s footwear. The designer recalls how he dreamed of having his own unit, ever since spending time after school in a little fashion store in Sicily as a child. “I like the attitude in a classic Italian shop, and in this place you can feel the authenticity of a small Milanese boutique.”
Puglisi worked hand in hand with childhood friend and architect Paolo Rizzo on the interior concept to blend his Italian roots with modernity, resulting in a store that resembles a Roman Domus. “Sicily was first dominated by Greeks, then by Romans, so it’s something that I really feel and breathe,” he said, adding that the Greek roots inspired the matte black-and-white geometric marble mosaic at the entrance, representing his signature symbol, the sun.
Dressing rooms are entirely in lush blue velvet, lit up by slim and minimalistic golden lamps. The clothes are presented against a backdrop of white and black mirrored walls, dangling from a vertical system of hammered bronze chains, which were created by artist and sculptor Alfredo Sasso. Sasso contributed to the making of the world’s largest bronze casting, The “Bellerophon Taming Pegasus” statue in New York.
At the entrance, the designer’s belts catch the eye, wrapped around a turbine, framed by golden brass walls and black lighting installations. Also available in the store are the shoe collections on black mirrored shelves, as well as a capsule collection of 150 garments in black and white, with just a few touches of red and graphic prints.
“It’s a collection for real women that work, because I’m tired sometimes that people assume that I only do sexy, rock ‘n’ roll and celebrities. I don’t want to be in that box,” he said. Part of the capsule are masculine long shirts, mini and midi skirts, T-shirts and jackets.”They are all pieces of a real life wardrobe, but with my touch,” he said, adding that each week the selection in the store will follow a different color concept.
For Puglisi, who has dressed Katy Perry and Madonna on their tours, there was no question that Milan would be the first location for a store, since his operations are based in the city. After all “I am Italian,” he points out. The designer envisions stores in London and the U.S. “I don’t want to lose my American dream, so a store in New York on Madison Avenue would be the perfect spot,” said the designer, who moved to the U.S. after high school. But Puglisi is also realistic about the future. “I am not owned by a group and I want to be independent,” he said, adding: “I want to open soon, but that doesn’t mean tomorrow. Let’s see Milan and the new store project should be in about two years.”