The 5.000 sqm lifestyle store White Gallery, based in Rome’s EUR area, is ready for its next evolution toward street and urban fashion. CEO Marco Cesetti explains how this creative hub opened in 2009 and the concept of hosting impressive design elements to offer a multisensory shopping experience to an always wider and most transversal clientele. Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini

Marco Cesetti, CEO of the White Gallery
Marco Cesetti, CEO of the White Gallery
Can you describe the concept of your store and explain what its current bestsellers are and why?
White Gallery is a multisensory location subdivided into well-identified spaces in order to recall our visitors’ attention. Every area has its own mood and a specific brand list, so we don’t have any absolute bestsellers. In addition to luxury fashion brands, the most appealing and successful brands from our upper casual and sportswear offer are Jacob Cohen, Stone Island, Golden Goose and Incotex. In general, we also sell well Givenchy, Jimmy Choo, Giuseppe Zanotti Design, Marcelo Burlon, Moncler and MSGM.

Do people buy according to their favorite brand, style, or impulse?
We are not based in a commercial area, though we are a destination point. Our customers come and visit us for spending their time at best. First of all they expect to find quality and – also important –they expect an adequate brand list that coincides with our store’s own identity.

The White Gallery offers luxury as well as urban fashion
The White Gallery offers luxury as well as urban fashion
Who are your regular customers?
Our store offers a wide selection of products as for instance, fragrances, womenswear for everyday life, streetwear for the youngest up to tailor-made apparel and high-tech products. Every area has a specific clientele even if our customers love to visit the different areas according to their taste and specific needs.

How do you inform yourself about trends?
Our staff is always travelling all over the world throughout most relevant Fashion and Design Weeks and we are developing a network of relationships with the major trendsetters and opinion leaders in most different sectors. This helps us to keep up to date with times on a daily basis.

How do you select the products you offer your most affectionate clients?
We think our clients are looking for added value products. For this we don’t want to simply provide them a clothing item or an object. The products we sell are chosen to arouse sensations, emotions, happiness and satisfaction and are also in keeping with the experience the customer lived in our store.

How do the collections you offer for next fall/winter look like? What are the most important trends, in general?
An important trend for next season is the “urban” one, which is not purely street-minded but collects all habits, tastes and interests of the youngest generation. This can be either a bomber jacket or speakers, in any case some “must have” items. For the adult ones, technical items will always gain more space. Technology is always the best solution for bettering everyone’s quality of life.

Impressive staircase in the White Gallery
Impressive staircase in the White Gallery

Are you thinking to renovate your store in its aspect or concept? Will you add any new label or niche to your assortment?
We will soon start a new “urban” area.  Its name will be “Native - Urban Oriented” and it will have a strong impact on the young market – both on our online page and in the brick-and-mortar store. The project is made up of a 50-meter-high platform where people will be able to sit through its whole perimeter and will create some special urban passage giving people the opportunity to experience a different sense of space and perspective when compared with the regular store. “Poor materials” such as construction yard wood will be used. The platform will end with a "half pipe" and behind it there will be a DJ panel that can be used for events or as shelf space on regular days. Three exhibiting elements will characterize the space and will also be projected in order to host different activities inside the store such as, for instance, reading magazines, listening to vinyl records, video watching and book sharing. The new area will also host a space for presenting or preparing urban art performances from both local emerging and established artists. The new space’s objective is to host different upcoming cultures and ideas and share experiences or projects among artists and visitors. Among some of the new brands this area will be hosting are BBC (Billionaire Boys Club) and Germeii.

High ceilings in the White Gallery
High ceilings in the White Gallery
How does your store differ from other stores?
This is exactly the difference. We are not a store. We are a hub presenting different worlds that are in harmony with each other. Here people can move around and live a unique experience without necessarily spending money.

What do you like about your customers?
Their variety. Celebrities, culture or politics personalities, street-minded young guys, managers and simply curious people visit White Gallery. It is simply the fact that anyone can enjoy such a multifaceted and multisensory shopping experience that can make the store special and attract different types of people.

How important is the interior, the atmosphere and the whole package?
They are fundamental. Our store is based in the EUR area of Rome, inside the Palazzo dell’Arte Moderna, a building built between 1939 and 1943 in the Museum Pole of the former Piazza Imperiale, today re-named as Piazza Guglielmo Marconi. The district, most renowned for its rationalist architecture, was built in 1942 for the International Registered Exhibition. Today our store hosts unique furniture pieces and a marvelous light installation, in glass and steel, renamed “Fluxus”, made by designer Karim Rashid and Michela Vianello, art director of Italian lighting brand Andromeda. The structure has a hanging fluid silhouette that conveys the idea of a flowing energy flux and employs 80.000 “Knit” Murano handmade glass elements, carrying 5.000 halogen lamps. Producing “Fluxus” required two years of research and seven month work. The spaces of White Gallery are characterized by a unique atmosphere together with more usable and metropolitan areas, such as the soon to be completed Urban space. Our world is a truly unique one which lifts the shopping experience to a moment that goes beyond the purchase of an object that in this context acquires an even more important value.

Store address:
White Gallery
Piazza G. Marconi 18/19
00144 Roma
+39 06 54277400