It’s the first time ever that Bologna has appeared on our radar, and it’s for a good reason. Nestled deep in the historic heart of this Italian city, a recently opened, splendorous retail space raises the bar in luxury shopping for the entire Emilia Romagna region and beyond. It’s called FR boutique, and is a collab effort of Folli Follie and Ratti, two family-run businesses that have dominated this neck of the woods for two decades with a broad palette of high-end offerings.
The initiative aims to provide next level shopping by not only providing the goods, but also a matching environment, one that’s easy on the eye and incites to splurge. The location, Folli Follie’s original boutique on via Clavature, a prominent pedestrian thoroughfare, has been transformed into a statement flagship store, courtesy of Italian architect Roberto Baciocchi. The premises, measuring over 1,000 sqm., features a number of interconnected spaces, some with awe-inspiring lofty ceilings, and has two separate entrances for both the men’s and women’s sections.
The design objective has been to create alluring spaces, but with an inviting, homey feel at the same time. The interior design makes clever use of the buildings’ exceptional proportions, inspiring the architect to use a rich palette of materials and an equally diverse range of custom-made furnishings and fixtures. FR boutique targets an in-the-know clientele, but one of all ages, including the most challenging demographic of all: finicky millennials.
Now more than ever, the store has all it takes – including the prerequisite, non-intrusive top service that defines many a leading store – to seal the deal with any client that walks in. The brand list is lengthy and varied, featuring well-balanced mix of both luxury brands and leading names in streetwear, and not surprisingly, reads like a who’s who in the world of fashion, including names such as Dolce & Gabbana, Nike, Pleats Please Issey Miyake, Prada, and Dior, which by the way, has been given a dedicated room on the premises.
Design: Roberto Baciocchi
Photography: FR boutique