Coach is planting retail roots in Milan. The New York-based fashion house will christen its first Italian store with a party on Feb. 21, on the eve of Milan’s women’s runway season. The 1,650-square-foot boutique, which was designed by Coach executive creative director Stuart Vevers in collaboration with William Sofield, designer and president of Studio Sofield, is located on the prestigious Via Montenapoleone in the heart of Milan’s Golden Triangle luxury shopping district.
The flagship will carry Coach’s women’s ready-to-wear collections and a wide range of bags and accessories for men and women. A Craftsmanship Bar will be available at the store, giving customers the chance to customize their purchases with monogramming. The corner will also offer a leather-care service.
“It felt important to evolve our store concept for Milan to create something individual and unique for our first store in Italy,” Vevers said. “So there are lots of special finishes and details that will be introduced in our Milan store that will sit alongside our more established, authentic elements — like iron spot brick flooring, steel I-beams and statement midcentury furniture.
My favorite part of the design are the features that Bill [Sofield] discovered when he went to demo the store before we started construction. He revealed windows, wall finishes and a staircase, all from different eras of the building, that we have honestly restored. I like that you know where you are while you are in the store — that you can see onto Montenapoleone, into the courtyard behind the store, that this store experience is special and you can only experience it in Milan. It’s about our stores feeling personal to their location.”
The cozy space includes walls combining concrete, vintage pink granite and exposed terra-cotta for a patchwork of textures, while lighting is inspired by art galleries. The decor includes bespoke wool rugs and leather and shearling seats.
“Italy is globally recognized as one of the world’s most style-savvy markets and Milan, one of Europe’s most important fashion centers,” said Coach chief executive officer Victor Luis. “We believe the sophisticated Italian market will recognize our elevated brand transformation and embrace Stuart Vevers’ modern luxury vision.”
Asked about Coach’s retail expansion strategy in Italy, Luis revealed that additional stores will open elsewhere in the country. “We are starting to build a presence in Italy and are excited by the initial response,” said Luis. “The Milan flagship will be a beacon for the brand and will be followed by additional stores in Italy, including a store in Florence this spring, as well as in Bergamo.”