THE HISTORY - Inspired by a trip to the UK capital in the sixties, Elio Fiorucci opened the first Fiorucci store in 1967 Milan, followed by two more in London and New York. The predecessor of today’s concept store, Fiorucci was one of the first to mesh clothing, furniture, art, drinks, music and pop culture under the optimism and carefree attitude of the disco era’s heyday. With the likes of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Jackie O frequenting the New York store – also known as the ‘day-time Studio 54’ –Fiorucci stood more as a place to hang out in, or go dancing in the windows, rather than a mere shopping destination.
NOWADAY - Following the closure of the original stores in the late eighties, the brand’s recent re-launch sees its first brick-and-mortar outlet in London’s Soho neighborhood. In collaboration with the Wilson Brothers, with whom they have realized projects before for Supreme and Foot Patrol, Brinkworth reimagined the interior as a simultaneous celebration of the brand’s heritage and of its future.
The rich visual archive of original material, including photographs, posters, logos and pieces of clothing sourced the designers with plenty of inspiration for the new space, which nods to Fiorucci’s iconic cheeky imagery with an excess of textures, colour and reflections. Built as a theatrical environment, the two-story location combines fashion, culture, music and cocktails in the spirit of the original stores.
A ceiling infrastructure on the ground floor allows the space to adapt to various occasions, mobilizing a set of curtains, lighting tracks and panels to form either an open or closed plan. Fioruccino’s, the café run by Palm Vaults and serving glittery pink lattes sits on the same space, blurring the boundaries between retail and hospitality, while the Customization Hub invites visitors to personalize their purchases. On the upper floor, a red circular sofa, mirrored ceilings and a large hanging palm tree partly made of neon tubes add a more domestic feel to the space, while the in-store cocktail bar references the look and feel of seventies discothèques.
The legacy of the original store, like that of many places during its prime decade including the notorious Studio 54, is that it offered a space for like-minded people to hang out and escape the outside world. Approaching the brand’s relaunch with a similar typology almost fifty years later is surely an interesting experiment and it remains to be seen whether generations growing up in a different era will respond to Fiorucci’s cheerful optimism and engage with in-store activities that go beyond shopping in the same way.
Location: 39 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9UD, UK