A woman, a lifestyle, a tradition. The house of Emilio Pucci evokes a legacy that blends glamor, nobility and luxury. The origins of these roots is a magnificent 15th century Palazzo that is today the source of a compelling retail concept. The shoot was art directed by Creative Director Peter Dundas and photographed by Adrian Wilson, a powerfully reinvented palazzo inspires the brand’s new flagship in Madison Ave in New York, creating the world’s largest Pucci store and igniting an ambitious global retail rollout.
Tapping renowned French architect Joseph Dirand to articulate his vision, Dundas’ store concept is a play on contrasts: sophisticated yet warm, noble yet modern, formal yet fresh. Informed by the classic codes first drawn by the Marquis, the store offers a youthful spin on the brand’s 65 year tradition of glamour and elegance, washing it with a new attitude and allowing the steaming heat of Dundas’ clothes to breathe freely.
“A modern take on the idea of an Italian palazzo was the essential starting point in conceiving the concept for Pucci”, says Creative Director Peter Dundas. “What I love about Joseph’s work, and the reason he was perfect for this project, is that he has a great gift for combining classical elements with hypermodern interpretations, so that something very traditional is given a young, sharp edge. At the same time, there is always a very sophisticated feeling to his spaces”.
With its serene, minimal architectural scheme, the new concept borrows from the fragile beauty of Italian palazzos, yet also boldly redraws it. The introduction to the world of Pucci starts on an exclusive corner of Madison Avenue where three marble covered windows create a ‘façade within the façade’ of a landmark building. An abstract 3D interpretation of Pucci’s maze-like Torre print from 1966, pattern unexpectedly emerges through graphic slicing. It is also recreated in the two-tone crushed marble Terrazzo flooring inside the store.
From brass-trimmed moldings to hidden brass lighting fixtures, the finishings are flawless. A palette of creams and soft greys are classically inspired by the Italian stone, Pietra Serena. Gold Art Deco mirrors hint at the opulence within. Sexy, unexpected twists cut into the refinement, adding a modern sharpness throughout. The distinctive purple-veined, Breccia dei Medici marble found in the Palazzo Pucci has been reconstituted in an irreverent aesthetic vernacular on custom-made cabinets and display cases conceived by Joseph Dirand. Pierre Paulin’s Ribbon chairs, a design icon from 1966, add a surprising pop of sexiness.
The spacious, neutral beauty of the surroundings is a natural fit for high-voltage product, where color and print are celebrated on a clean, timeless canvas.
“It was important to have a clean backdrop for the clothes that would frame the collection rather than compete with the colors, patterns and form”, says Dundas. “But it is still very visual, very sophisticated”.
The shape of the 250 square meter ground floor store has been beautifully cut, creating harmony and luxury as one room flows naturally to the next, visually connected by the geometric floor and intimately divided by wide cut columns.
The first entry room features ready-to-wear, signature Pucci prints. In a built-in grey matte lacquer accessory display with gold leaf and linen shelves the Newton handbag collection is featured. Cut-cornered marble cabinets and mirrors flank the entrance to the brand’s coveted daywear, effortless dresses and growing knitwear line. Glass top marble cabinets display a full range of clutches and the brand’s signature Marquise bag collection. A side room is fully dedicated to Pucci’s expanding categories: swimwear, kaftans, small leather goods, shoes, scarves, eyewear, gift items.
The story of the product unfolds with increasing momentum, hitting a crescendo with Dundas’ iconic eveningwear, in the far rear room. With its aubergine colored silk carpet and matching velvet lounge sofas, the space has the intimacy of a private club, an ideal setting for newly minted runway pieces, special one-offs and dazzling custom made jewelry. Oversized fitting rooms lined with pink velvet walls and purple satin carpet emit the magical tinge of a sexy, couture boudoir.
With the Palazzo store concept, Dundas’ creative vision for Emilio Pucci comes full circle. The synthesis of product together with new communications, packaging and retail strategies comes at a crucial time for the brand. The New York store is just the beginning of a complete overhaul that will eventually impact all 50 existing Emilio Pucci stores as well as string of new openings.
“This store represents the beginning of a new era at Emilio Pucci”, says Emilio Pucci President and Chief Executive Officer Alessandra Carra. “We are taking a 360 degree approach, looking at every aspect of the brand, both from an image and a business point of view. The evolution began with Peter’s new fashion direction, and then our first ad campaign which debuted in Fall 2012. The opening of this new flagship store sets the starting point for an ambitious development plan which is planned to bring significant growth into our Pucci retail network within the next twelve months, as well as an important expansion of our brand internationally.”
“The new concept screams sophistication, craftsmanship and luxury totally in line with the history of the House”, adds Emilio Pucci Vice President and Image Director Laudomia Pucci, “all of which are key Made in Italy values. But they have been considered through a very fresh lens. It’s a great moment for us, and a superb evolution for the brand.”
“I think the New York flagship truly reflects the atmosphere in which I imagine today’s Pucci woman”, says Peter Dundas. “It’s glamorous and sensual, but has a pulsing energy that speaks to something modern and new. It is more than just a store to sell clothes, it is the essence of the Pucci girl herself coming to life.”
Emilio Pucci Boutique: 855 Madison Avenue NY, NY 10021 Tel. +1 212 230 1135