Levi's has opened a new 600-sq.-meter flagship store in Rome. The store, one of the brand’s biggest retail spaces, is located in the very center of the main shopping areas of the Italian capital, in via del Corso 479, and is one of the major investments planned by Levi's as part of its major retail push in Europe’s key shopping capitals.

“Throughout its 156-year history the Levi’s brand has demonstrated its strength and authenticity in emerging stronger from tough times. There’s no question it’s still a very difficult market out there, but our continuing investment in the brand, maximizing our size and scale, puts us in a strong position to grow when the market improves,” said Levi’s John Anderson.

The store design is rooted in the utilitarian origins of the denim brand. It leaves much of the 1930s brickwork exposed, using a stripped down, modular shelf and hook system to effectively showcase the collections. Meanwhile, the materials used throughout the store are inspired by the iconic elements of Levi's product design – denim, metal and leather. The store has been designed to facilitate the task of finding the perfect product for each customer.

“Retail is a key growth strategy for the company,” said Armin Broger, President Levi Strauss Europe, Middle East and North Africa. “We’re focusing on creating bigger, better stores in key cities around the world, where consumers can interact with the full range of Levi’s collections and accessories. The Rome store is unique in Europe and demonstrates our confidence in the Italian business. We will continue to invest in company-operated stores, with further openings planned in Italy and across the region in 2010,” he added.

Specifically for the Rome store opening, the brand joined forces with its long-term partner Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili to produce an exclusive limited edition 501 jean treated by hand, blending vintage techniques with fruit-inspired color pigments in unseen shades of plum, avocado and blackberry. It also screened a short movie by up-and-coming director Marco Ponti (David di Donatello Award winner for Santa Maradona).

—Maria Cristina Pavarini