The history of Hermès in Italy dates back to the 1950s, but it wasn’t until twenty years later that the first franchise stores opened in the country. Fast forward to 2016, and the luxury brand raises its profile in the capital Rome with a new flagship, in the downtown area of Tridente. It’s actually the third store incarnation in the city, but this one is by far the most prestigious. It has found a home at the so-called Palazzetto Arconati-Negroni-Caffarelli, an ornate mansion built in the late 16th century, and a structure that simply oozes history. At 630 sqm. set across a series of inter-linked rooms, the retail space is as such that it easily accomodates Hermès’ elaborate range of products.
Upon entering through one of two doors, either side of the arched portal, from the left into men’s silks, with a full spectrum of ties. The men’s section, to the right, offers ready-to-wear, belts, hats, bags, briefcases and shoes, all in a setting of cherry wood furnishings and walls in lacquered boiserie. Adding up to the exclusive men’s domain is a special men’s lounge replete with exclusive products, such as leather footballs made in the colours of local soccer teams Lazio and Roma. The sumptuousness of the interior is further defined by floors in Hermès’ classic faubourg pattern and a stretch of calacatta marble finished with the fashion house’s “ex libris” insignia in stainless steel.
Also to be found on the ground floor are sections for watches, jewellery, the iconic silk scarves and fragrances. At the back of the store a room full of bags is situated, furnished with a specially designed sofa and coffee tables that allow shoppers to sit back and take in the exquisite Hermès craftsmanship in a comfortable fashion. Another room presents accessories, small leather goods and more bags, as well as the full equestrian collection. It’s here where a staircase leads upstairs, opening out onto a glazed canopy, and lures mesmerized shoppers upstairs to explore more of the flagship. A series of intimate rooms unfold, furnished with specially designed pieces.
It’s here where the collections of women’s ready-to-wear, accessories, hats, belts and shoes are presented against a backdrop of walls clad in an luxurious mix of textile and mineral, achieved through layers of pigment which has been engraved, sanded and polished to achieve subtle but deep colour tones. Two other spaces showcase the home collection of furniture pieces, textiles, fabrics and wallpaper, porcelain, crystal, in addition to where a complete universe includes furniture and textiles, fabrics and wallpaper, porcelain and crystal, in addition to accessories for sports and leisure. Also on this floor is a homey library, replete with carpet and comfy seating. Especially for the store opening, dutch artist noa verhofstad has created a series of store windows, inspired by the Equestrian Worlds of both Paris and Rome.