Fornarina global retail expansion

Fornarina, the women’s casualwear brand owned by Italybased Fornari, is understood to be on the verge of a major global expansion bid which will see it diverge radically from its current interior design concept.

It has appointed Londonbased consultancy Camouflage to create its new-look stores, which will begin opening in September. The design group is also handling the graphics for the fresh store formats.

Fornarina stores are known for their epic, highly designed interiors. The company has 35 stores, 12 of which are flagships. Of these, five are authored by Italian architect Giorgio Borruso, who is known for his use of organic shapes and strange textures – the brand’s Carnaby Street store in London, designed by Borruso, features a five tonne metal staircase which appears to float in the middle of the space.

However, the company has hinted that to make its rapid expansion attempt successful, the new store designs must carry a more realistic commercial price tag than Borruso’s work.

Camouflage was appointed following a four-way pitch involving Italian consultancy Delabo, UK-owned Me Him and Her, and a third Italian design group.

The consultancy has been briefed to come up with a new concept that will continue the legacy of Fornarina’s highly designed approach without breaking the bank.

‘The Borruso designs are legendary in the world of interiors,’ says Cam ouflage managing director Alex Keane.

‘They’re basically a ret ail designer’s dream. The problem is, they are extremely expensive to produce.’

The new designs, which will be replicated all over the world, will be based on the idea of ‘rock-chick chic’ and will appear in both standalone retail spaces and ‘shops in shops’. The consultancy was given references including Gwen Stephani and Lenny Kravitz, and asked to come up with a youthful lifestyle concept featuring dynamic, tactile materials and lighting. ‘It’s a very exciting brief – Fornarina wants to avoid any of the white box material associated with high street stores,’ states Keane.

The new designs will be on display at the Louvre in Paris on 12 May at Fornarina’s Urban Beauty Show, an annual event featuring fashion and music taking place in different locations around the world.

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