Furla’s new flagship store in New Bond Street designed by Hosker Moore & Kent is the culmination of the group’s six-year working relationship with Furla founder Giovanna Furlanetta.
During this time, it has played a leading role in helping reposition what was a wholesale handbag business into a retail business with several hundred shops worldwide.
HMK initially won a four-way pitch against three Italian designers to re-energise the brand as aspirational, yet modern, accessible and easy-to-wear.
‘It wanted to be thought of like Prada or Gucci – as an important Italian brand,’ says HMK director Louise Hosker. ‘Furla was trying to attract a younger market while keeping its core market.’
First HMK developed prototypes and rollout manuals for small retail outlets, updated the graphics and then two years ago, refurbished the wholesale showroom. Its latest work has been to create a more aspirational retail presence and has resulted in a 279m2 store in Rome and the 111m2 London outlet, completed this summer. It has consulted on Furla’s advertising and product selection and is currently redesigning the company’s corporate literature.
Here, HMK has created a sleek and sophisticated boutique. The front of the space is conceived like a gallery with bags displayed on tables of graduating height. Wall display units line both sides of the space and lead to the shoe area at the end. Smaller accessories are displayed in glass cabinets. The dominant colour is silver in the form of sandblasted oak merchandising units and display tables treated with silver powder. This effect is furthered by silver reflective film applied to clear glass panels on the backs of cabinets, by the mirror-polished stainless steel finishes and by the Petra Laro grey limestone floor.
‘It gives a very watery, translucent and soft feel,’ says Hosker.
An art glass projection screen in the window shows Furla advertising and news e-mailed from their headquarters in Bologna.