Canali relocates New York flagship as part of new brand direction
Sometimes the slightest movement can make the greatest change. After ten-plus years at its former Madison Avenue location, luxury Italian menswear brand Canali has moved catty-corner to a larger space befitting its new brand execution. On hand in New York representing the 89-year-old family-owned business was Stefano Canali, who came to oversee the relocation and host a dinner to celebrate the retail gloss up. He spoke to FashionNetwork.com about the fresh approach.
"It's a hybrid of a store and Milanese home. I want it to feel like an Italian home," said Canali adding, "He [the customer] is not just here to purchase ready-to-wear garments or book a made-to-measure experience. Still, he can have other experiences to understand the lifestyle approach."
As a demonstration, the executive pointed to a colorful mirrored artwork on display by the artist duo Goldschmied & Chiari, which will let the space also serve as an art gallery at the evening's cocktail reception celebrating the opening. He also envisions wine tasting and similar events to engage their clients.
To set the tone, the 3,000-square foot store includes Italian Pietra Serena stone floors that evoke a Milanese palazzo, curved and fluid walls in hydraulic-carved marble contrasted with wooden ones featuring geometric metal accents and lighting is diffused, yet properly lights the clothes for color accuracy. Italian leather furniture, books, photos, and even a terrarium add to the inviting aspect of the space.
Canali said the ingredients that came together to envision the new design were the convergence of a new store concept, a new space to lease, and a fresh approach to the brand's made-to-measure business. 'Me by Canali' is the brand's made-to-measure business that has been expanded beyond suits, jackets, and overcoats in response to customer demand.
"The made-to-measure service we are now calling 'Me by Canali' has increased by 80 percent in the first nine months of 2022 compared to 2021," he explained, offering a reason. "People are interested in getting something personal made just for them. In addition, a sustainable solution made just for you allows the company to produce less and be more sustainable."
The offerings have increased to include knitwear, pants, outerwear, and leather goods.
To that end, the new space includes a VIP client room that consists of a bar, conference room, couch, and private dressing room. The executive envisions that top customers can use the space while shopping to make calls, use Wifi, have a drink or something to eat, meet with the on-site tailor but most importantly, shop privately.
While the room is discreet, the new location is anything but.
"Visibility has increased so much by being just 50 meters away. If you are standing on the northeast and southeast corners, you really see the signage outside," he said, referring to the backlit 'Canali' on the building's façade.
"Many customers hadn't realized we were on Madison Avenue before."
Canali revealed some upcoming plans for the next new store concept to open in China, Chengdu precisely, partially a result of the brand buying back half of the brand's directly owned stores. He also hinted about an upcoming sustainability approach soon to be launched.
"Our approach is a specific plan for sustainability. If you want a plan of action substantiated by the benchmarks to be effective, you first have to take measurements of what your impact is," said the CEO.
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