MILAN — Hogan feted the relocation of its Milan flagship on tony shopping street Via Montenapoleone, 5 to coincide with Milan Design Week, running April 17 to 22.
The old space, a few blocks away, is now under renovation to accommodate the Milanese Balenciaga store.
Hogan’s new opening marks the worldwide unveiling of the brand’s augmented reality experience. The AR, which is set to land in other Hogan boutiques by the end of April, mimics the journey of a photographer seeking for inspiration around Milan’s hot spots, along with a group of friends.
The concept, which already rolled out in the Beijing and Shanghai units, was conceived by London-based design studio Checkland Kindleysides and it was inspired by the work of Umberto Boccioni, one of the Italian artists who shaped the local Futurism art movement.
The idea of movement inspired the space set up. As Sergio Azzolari, the brand’s general manager, said, “[This is] an aesthetic code, which is often associated with the brand. Actually, [the new store concept] is also a branding operation,” he explained.
The 2,152-square-foot unit features wedged display isles, which recall the shape of a running sneaker, while the modular ceiling allows different store set ups and arrangements. The side walls are accented with led lighting projecting different graphics, while behind the counter the “Winged wall” brushed brass installation serves as a shoe display.
To stress the idea of movement, the implemented AR experience brings the customers on top of a Milanese building and on a longboard run, for example.
“Customers are savvy. We wanted usable, interactive spaces, to target generation C, the ‘always connected’ consumers. We wanted to leave behind us our comfort zone,” Azzolari explained.
The executive emphasized the new concept falls under the brand’s strategy to keep up with a more digital-oriented customer. “Different [business] fields are not that divided anymore. We have been working on growing the on- and off-line businesses, the next step is an omnichannel approach,” Azzolari said mentioning the “Hogan by You” customization project.
Marking the opening of the new location during Design Week, the store hosted the exhibition of paper cards designed by Milan-based design studio Cartèa celebrating the city’s most iconic monuments.
Most recently, also Balmain, which opened its first Italian flagship in Milan, introduced a unique virtual reality experience conceived by the brand’s creative director Olivier Rousteing.