The outerwear brand Woolrich has just opened its newest flagship store in Milan, the first of five others to be opened worldwide by 2020.
The new Milan shop hosts the brand’s vast collection and its various spaces are meant to involve consumers with Woolrich’s identity and international spirit.
The boutique, whose building cost have estimatedly come up to around €1 million, occupies the space that used to house Prada in Corso Venezia 3, in Milan’s golden shopping area. It measures about 650 sq. meters. At the entrance a long, light-filled large corridor leads from the street to an inner courtyard. “We wanted to lead customers through a journey that starts from the brand’s 1830 origins and urbanwear identity up to its next outdoor evolution,” explains Andrea Canè, creative director, Woolrich. “We want them to experience the different souls that are part of our history, identity and mix of nationalities.”
Visitors are currently welcomed by a small museum that showcases the brand’s history–although it will be converted into a selling area in the future. “For this debut in Milan we wanted to unveil our origins and history,” explains Canè. Key company memorabilia displayed includes the flannel checked shirt (Woolrich is very proud to have invented it in1830) plus woolen hunting jackets and unique period items, packaging, fabric archive elements and wool yarns it still produces.
After a coffee area is the women’s section, which also presents newly launched collaborations with New Balance and Smith USA, among others. Also available here are the brand’s made in the US authentic wool blankets, which can be personalized in-store with initials or other decorations.
Following the men’s area is another unique experience: “We built a special Extreme Weather Condition Room where we recreate real snow and cold temperatures from 5° to -20° in fall/winter, and wind and rain conditions in spring/summer as we want our customers to test how protective our clothes are,” Canè explains. Fittingly nearby is the brand’s entire selection of parkas, which will be expanded for f/w 2018-19 with a new outdoor collection born from the newly announced merger with Japanese specialist Goldwin.
The inner courtyard located at the end of the store hosts a garden and an exotic plant shop curated by plant artist Satoshi Kawamoto and owner of Green Fingers, a creative plant shop only selling in Japan, New York and now also in Milan.
The store offers free wi-fi, battery-charging areas and seating spaces with comfortable sofas and armchairs. "We will also offer a service of private shopping in dedicated private areas of the store but can also support, for instance, international visitors helped by personal shoppers in selecting their favorite pieces," Canè says.
“This is just our first store, though we want to open our next one in New York by end 2018 or beginning of 2019,” he continues. He adds that the company will soon start an overall rebranding project that will include a redesign of the logo. “We will collaborate with Paula Scher, a New York artist and graphic designer, and co-owner of prestigious design consultancy studio Pentagram who is renowned for having worked for many projects of New York City including The Public Theatre. We are proud of this collaboration as Woolrich is a 200-year-old brand that deserves respect, though, at the same time, needs to be refreshed–especially now that we will further develop it through a series of global projects."