MILAN — Roger Vivier plans to open its first Italian flagship in Milan in February in an 18th-century palazzo.

This story first appeared in the December 17, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Located in a prime location on Via Sant’Andrea, off Via Montenapoleone and in the city’s golden shopping triangle, the store will cover 2,700 square feet on three levels. Offices and a showroom will be housed on the building’s fourth floor.

A spokeswoman declined to reveal the investment in the store, or provide sales projections.

Inspired by the brand’s Parisian boutique and by the founding designer’s own Quai d’Orsay apartment, the Milan flagship will also feature a mix of contemporary and African art and design and antique pieces. Large windows, Plexiglas niche displays, a crystal elevator and walls sheathed in beige matelassé Alcantara contribute to the light mood of the store.

“We want to bring the Parisian mood and Vivier’s Parisian DNA to Milan,” said creative director Bruno Frisoni.

Roger Vivier is a personal investment of Tod’s chief executive officer Diego Della Valle, who took control of the historic footwear brand in 2001 and tapped Frisoni the following year. The first collection created by Frisoni bowed in January 2004. “It took some time to find the right location, but we had to be in Milan, an international city of good taste and design,” said Frisoni, who is half French and half Italian.

The designer said the company is working on further visually rejuvenating the brand, with a new logo and new packaging, and that he is also expanding the product range. A collection of products will be specifically designed for the Milan boutique. The brand comprises footwear, handbags, small leather goods, jewelry, eyewear and a selection of objects for the home.

“Brand awareness is strong in Milan and elsewhere in Italy and we know there is a huge demand for the product,” said Frisoni. In addition to Paris, there are three other boutiques, in London, New York and Hong Kong. Upcoming projects include the opening of a store in Tokyo and of second stores in Paris and London.