BACK IN ROME: Antonio Marras has opened his namesake brand’s first store in Rome, which kicks off the distribution boost promised by the company’s new owner Gruppo Calzedonia.
Located in the luxury shopping street Via dei Condotti, the store marks a return to the Eternal City for the designer, who almost 30 years ago presented his first Alta Moda couture creations in Via Margutta, a stone’s throw from the retail space.
“It was right and proper to be back here,” said Marras about the store, which quietly opened at the beginning of the month and will be officially celebrated with an event on Thursday.
The unit carries both women’s and men’s ready-to-wear collections and accessories, as well as the designer’s artistic home objects and ceramics. These are flanked by books, drawings and portraits that Marras sketched exclusively for the store and that punctuate the location, further amplifying the feeling of stepping into a house rather than in a retail space.
A series of black-and-white rugs realized by a Sardinian craftsman based on Marras’ designs cover the marble flooring, while essential displays, wooden furniture and brass lamps finish off the interior concept.
As reported earlier this year, the brand was previously mainly distributed through the wholesale channel and Gruppo Calzedonia’s chairman Sandro Veronesi is committed to building a retail network. For one, Veronesi plans to emphasize the importance of the designer’s atelier in Alghero, in Sardinia, aiming to double the space of the boutique there and to refurbish it.
A store in Italy’s resort town Forte dei Marmi in early June and one in Venice will follow the opening in Rome. Other units opening in the fall might involve Florence or Naples, while a retail space in Milan is planned for early 2024.
Based in Verona, the hosiery, innerwear and swimwear group Gruppo Calzedonia acquired an 80 percent stake in Marras’ namesake brand last year, since then providing its retail and production experience, in addition to its financial muscle, to develop the label. The group also includes the Calzedonia, Intimissimi, Tezenis, Falconeri, Atelier Emé and Signorvino brands.