SAN FRANCISCO — Valentino will launch its 10,000-square-foot flagship at 105 Grant Avenue here Wednesday with a pre-party for the Modern Ball, the city’s major art bash benefiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
The Valentino-sponsored ball will be held April 30 at Yerba Buena Gardens in the city. On Wednesday, Valentino USA President Wendy Kahn, along with the museum’s Modern Ball Chair Christine Lamond, will welcome guests to the four-story flagship, which was designed by Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli in conjunction with architect David Chipperfield. Chelsea Leyland will DJ the cocktail party, which will be followed by a private dinner at The Battery.
Art patrons such as Norah Stone, Yves Behar, Sabrina Buell and Michael and Xochi Birch will get their first viewing of the unit, which has a graphic black steel exterior framing interiors inspired by traditional Venetian marble-chip terrazzo. The store carries all Valentino product categories, including women’s ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes and accessories. For the first time in the U.S., men’s ready-to-wear and accessories will also be available.
“We felt the need to define the space not only by the use of very specific materials and decor, but also by precisely translating Valentino’s DNA and iconography into a new aesthetic,” said Chiuri. “The idea was to generate a store with a domestic atmosphere that is more reminiscent of a residence than a shop, and with the feeling of a modern palazzo with a sequence of rooms rather than a showroom.”
Natural light fills the three levels, which have floors, door openings and walls of gray-and-white terrazzo. Dark-stained wood walls create a comfortable librarylike mood to show accessories. Collections are displayed on slender polished carbon-fiber racks and shelving around the perimeter. Walls with custom-designed panels of extruded gypsum plaster and borosilicate glass tubes give the effect of frozen curtains running behind the clothing. Custom-made Dama chandeliers throughout the store were assembled from optical lenses set in brass bezels.
Valentino has 12 stores in the U.S.