The second boutique in Italy for the inventor of the modern handbag, 3000 styles and a 190-year history
From Brussels to Rome with the Magritte bags: Delvaux, the oldest maison of luxury leatherware in the world (official purveyor of the Belgian Royal Family since 1883), inaugurated its new flagship store in the heart of the Eternal City, in a historic building in the exclusive Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina. A tribute to the artist René Magritte in a new collection that continues the consolidated collaboration with the Fondation Magritte, and makes reference with eccentric allusions to the artist’s most iconic works: The Man in a Bowler Hat, The Promise, The Lovers and The Golconda. This is the second store opened in Italy after the boutique in Via Bagutta in Milan, confirming the primary importance of the Italian market for the brand founded in 1829. The interior design project was developed by the first Vudafieri-Saverino Partners in Milan, which since 2012 has been responsible for the international concept of the Delvaux boutiques: over 42 in the world, of which 15 located in Europe, 7 in Japan, 17 in other Asian nations and 3 in North America.
An essential stop for luxury shopping: a warm and cosy boutique, filled with references and quotes that accompany the guest to discover the collections and the Belgian identity of Delvaux, which since its foundation has created over 3000 different styles and was the first to patent a handbag style in 1908, thereby becoming the inventor of the modern handbag.
The concept of the boutique relies on the language of interior decoration to celebrate the creativity of the maison in a different way for each store, depending on the city in which it is located. Just a few steps from the Louis Vuitton store, designed by Peter Marino and inaugurated in 2012, Piazza di San Lorenzo in Lucina is illuminated by this new space, which for the inauguration organized a cocktail party in the boutique and an exclusive dinner at the prestigious Palazzo Torlonia. Jean-Marc Loubier, President and CEO of the brand, invited famous actresses Ornella Muti, Laura Morante and Isabella Ferrari to attend. Young Italian cinema was represented by Laura Chiatti, Claudia Zanella, Irene Ferri, Rosa Diletta Rossi and Silvia D’Amico. Rome and the world brought together by fashion, which is both heritage and craftsmanship, traditional and contemporary: for the opening a party with the Roman “nobility” and “aristocracy”, and with leading figures in Italian and international art and culture.
For the flagship store in Rome, the theme was the Domus Romana: the concept of the boutique arose from the correspondence between the plan of the space and the configuration of homes in Antiquity
The Delvaux collections are thus divided between the Atrium, Tablinum, Peristilum and Triclinum, «in a sequence of spaces that from public become increasingly intimate, for a shopping experience that provides a progressive sense of exclusivity», explain the designers. Upon entering the boutique, the client is greeted in the Atrium and the Tablinum, enhanced by an original Venini chandelier from the 1970s. «A rare piece composed of 500 glass pendants in the shape of snowflakes with irregular sections, that lights a precious painted and inlaid game table from the Italian seventeenth century, a decorative element worthy of a museum collection. The entrance floor, say the designers, is made of precious Navona travertine marble, and decorated in a diamond pattern with brass inlays, to give the spaces an additional touch of richness». Towards the back is the Peristilum, the most private section of the Domus. The room is distinguished by the original white cross-vaults of the palace. The columns are clad in a special wallpaper designed by Vudafieri-Saverino Partners, in which Piranesi’s ruins are reinterpreted in a pop contemporary style, with a touch of irony.
In the Roman flagship store, the Delvaux armoire, an iconic piece of furniture featured in all its stores, and reinterpreted in every location with different shapes, colours and relationships of volumes, was redesigned borrowing its inspiration from the Baroque architecture of Borromini. A choice that, along with the use of a gold backdrop, is a veritable tribute to the Eternal City. The shopping experience continues in the Triclinum: the Roman-era dining room was reinterpreted as a sort of “VIP-room”: a space dedicated to fostering a deeper relationship with the visitors and clients who desire something special. The guests are greeted with vintage sofas and armchairs upholstered in grey velvet and a 1950s coffee table by Fontana Arte. On the wall are moulds from the 1950s used to cut the parts of the handbag, and arranged to form an abstract composition.
Palace Party. For the inauguration of the boutique (May 29), upon arriving at Palazzo Torlonia the guests were transported into the extravagant universe of the maison, with the courtyard leading up to the Palazzo illuminated by lighting in shades of blue. From Belgitude to La Dolce Vita, the Maison was proud to define Rome as a new home. The guests at the party were also presented with a small gift: a pouch, made rigorously out of leather, with the heading “gentili signori della Città Eterna”.
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translation by Olga Barmine