Dolce & Gab­bana Venice

Just a hun­dred me­tres from St. Mark’s Square in Venice lies a new Dolce & Gab­bana boutique that epit­o­mises a new de­sign strat­egy and holds its own as a cul­ture des­ti­na­tion.

Bespoke - - THE CONTENTS -

Most fash­ion la­bels have a care­fully crafted iden­tity that they repli­cate in ev­ery one of their out­lets across the globe. In so do­ing, they hope that shop­pers will find re­as­sur­ance in fa­mil­iar sur­round­ings, no mat­ter if they’re in Tokyo, Lon­don, Mi­lan or Abu Dhabi. In­ter­est­ingly, Dolce & Gab­bana has cho­sen to buck that trend and are now of­fer­ing unique re­tail ex­pe­ri­ences that re­flect each set­ting’s in­di­vid­ual cul­ture and con­text, all the while keep­ing the brand’s iden­tity at the very heart of each space. This het­ero­ge­neous ap­proach started with their flag­ship store in Mi­lan, then con­tin­ued in St. Barts, and has now cul­mi­nated in Venice. Opened just six months ago (in which time the brand has ren­o­vated a fur­ther store, in Lon­don), the Ital­ian boutique on Calle Larga XXII Marzo is set be­tween Gucci and Tod’s, in a mag­nif­i­cent neo-vene­tian re­nais­sance style palazzo. The his­toric struc­ture, which dates back to 1880, was orig­i­nally de­signed by the ar­chi­tect and sculp­tor Giuseppe Tor­res to house a ground level bank and a sec­ond level pri­vate res­i­dence. But, fol­low­ing an ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tion by the Amer­i­can ar­chi­tect Eric Carl­son and his Paris-based firm Car­bon­dale – sup­ported by Save Venice and the Vene­tian Her­itage as­so­ci­a­tions – it is now a stun­ning two-storey Dolce & Gab­bana tourist at­trac­tion. “I was asked to de­sign a store, but Venice is not a shop­ping des­ti­na­tion like Paris or Mi­lan, Venice is a cul­tural des­ti­na­tion,” ex­plains Carl­son. “Vis­i­tors from all over the world come to dis­cover the city's ur­ban­ism, his­tor­i­cal ar­chi­tec­ture, the art biennale – my vi­sion was to cre­ate a cul­tural des­ti­na­tion for Dolce & Gab­bana’s store in Venice.” From the mo­ment you en­ter through the metic­u­lously re­stored façade and step through the en­trance you’re greeted by a ma­jes­tic en­try hall that’s a cel­e­bra­tion of Vene­tian ar­ti­sanal crafts­man­ship. There are in­laid mo­saic floors, mar­ble pil­lars, in­tri­cately carved

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