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.
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