About 300 top clients were invited to tour its sumptuous shopping suites, set within a grand apartment boasting a sprawling rooftop terrace, an in-house chef, and scores of exclusive products, from tri-color crocodile Ricky bags to the $50,000 Automotive Skeleton watch with its unusual burl wood bezel and see-through mechanisms, not yet available in any store.
This story first appeared in the September 28, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Clients were also invited to place orders on Lauren’s spring 2016 runway collection, which was presented on live models in the palazzo’s courtyard earlier in the day for editors who might not have attended New York Fashion Week.
Resembling a home more than a store — and designed to forge personal relationships with its VIP customers — the club is accessible by appointment. Most of the women’s clothes and accessories — skewed to exceptional pieces and exclusive items, including fine jewelry — are tucked into wardrobes.
The Purple Label men’s area resembles a bespoke atelier, offering made-to-measure suits in a range of exclusive fabrics, or bespoke blousons in vegetable-dyed Louisiana alligator.
The furniture and hurricane lamps on the terrace, all from the Ralph Lauren Home collection, are also available for purchase, or to enjoy during specially curated cocktail events, lunches or dinners.
To make way for the posh new concept, the company discontinued the lease on its multibrand format store on Via Montenapoleone, as reported. It is understood Lauren could duplicate the hyper-luxurious shopping concept in other key fashion capitals.
The designer called Milan “a unique city where people appreciate refinement, quality and style,” and said the club would offer “custom experiences” in a romantic and glamorous setting.
The building, built in 1941 in a Rationalist style and known as Casa Campanini, boasts 12,000 square feet of space versatile enough for trunk shows, craftsmanship demonstrations and other private events.
Members of the club also receive priority reservations at Ralph Lauren eateries, invitations to special events and other personalized services.