On Tuesday, Italian advanced contemporary label Forte Forte is opening its first U.S. store on Melrose Place in Los Angeles.
The boutique was designed by Giada Forte and her partner, art director Robert Vattilana, on the buzzy shopping thoroughfare that also boasts Chloé, Balmain, Isabel Marant, Marni, Irene Neuwirth and LoveShackFancy stores.
“The original idea was to open first in New York, but then we had a chance on Melrose Place and we couldn’t pass it up,” said Vattilana, explaining how he designed the space with inspiration from Joshua Tree and Palm Springs, including naturalistic boulders, green onyx floors and polished brass fixtures. “Every location has its own approach from the surroundings,” he explained of the cheerful bohemian brand’s existing retail stores in London, Milan, Paris, Madrid and Rome.
The L.A. boutique is located in a 1930s building with shop windows that open to the street, floor-to-ceiling muslin curtains and skylights that pay homage to artist James Turrell.
The brand has 80 wholesale doors in the U.S. but sees potential for growth through its own retail channels, he said, sharing offering that the U.S. represents just 15 percent of overall sales.
Forte Forte in in the midst of a global retail expansion, funded by Style Capital, which in April 2017 acquired a 51 percent stake in the brand. Sales are projected to reach 30 million euros in 2022.