I have always been fascinated by department stores: thousands of perfumes that pervade you as soon as you enter the ground floor, the lights, the organization and variety of merchandise but , above all...the escalators ! I wish it could never end !
A throwback to my childhood, when I used to go to a very small “Upim” with my mom to buy all the supplies for school and some small fashion accessories (yeah... already fashion addicted).
How great was that magical world in my child's dreams. I saw many fantastic department stores during my travels: Paris, London, New York, United Arab Emirates, Tokyo... But here I want to re-evaluate what we often don't consider because it is “just around the corner”: our most important department store La Rinascente
Do you know the origin of this special brand name " La Rinascente"= rebirth?
Everything started back in 1865 in a lively and full of innovations Milan. Here the Bocconi brothers
committed to launch a new concept shop selling packaged clothes following the Parisian "Le Bon Marché" example.
After this first building destruction due to First World War, a smart local enterpreneur, Mr Borletti, had a brilliant intuition to commission the rebuilding to several variety shop offering high quality garments with affordable prices.
But how was he suppose to call that store? Its name is owed to Gabriele D’Annunzio’s brilliant mind, who advised it to his friend Borletti in his poem "5000 Lire", to give the idea of resilient building reviving from its ashes, similar to a phoenix. So romantic.. don't you think?
The innovation lies in the arrangement of the garments to be sold, put for the first time on shelves and visible from the shop windows: a brand-new way of shopping!
Its success is striking; as Milan keeps enlarging, Rinascente grows, opening many stores in Italy and increasing the facilities it displays, among which: a bank, a post office, a hairdresser for him and for her and a tea room with its private orchestra.
Since then, Rinascente’s ownership swifts to many entrepreneurs, among which the Fiat Group between the 60s and the 70s, years in which the shop adds little by little many enterprises in its spaces, such as furniture shops and restaurants.
Today, after 150 years of history, Rinascente group can number a network, a concept store and 11 stores in the most relevant Italian cities; its historical flagship building in Milan now spreads over 10 storeys and features a wide range of facilities.
Many of the most famous luxurious fashion brands such as Armani, Bulgari, Burberry, Dior, Dolce&Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent and many others chose to sell their products in its luxurious spaces where it’s also possible to buy lingerie, home interiors and design objects, as well as indulging in a beauty treatment.
After the opening of the Rome store and the renovation of the Turin one, it's finally time for La Rinascente in Florence !
The driving concept of re-styling is based on craftsmanship, the real treasure of Florence.
Keeping its original retail concept, we still find here the best cosmetics, fashion, food and design, with the precious addition of new handmade products according to Tuscany and Italian tradition and to taste typical flavours in the rooftop terrace , with a breathtaking view above Piazza della Repubblica, our elegant shopping district with its old-fashioned carousel , locals favourite meeting point.
The new fourth floor of the Florence store opened on February and it cancels the borders, ready to cohabit together women's clothes, handicrafts and traditional Tuscan food.
An amazing journey through the five senses that redesigns the department store in a new way: it will be possible to find, next to each other, timeless tailored dresses; intimate and beachwear; the resort collection; fragrances for the home and a selection of gourmet items.
I'm in LOVE with this floor in particular: from the "Timeless woman", a great boutique corner where you can rediscover the traditional Made in Italy labels – to the newest area where browsing new iconic designers such as Dries Van Noten, Marni, Rochas, Isabel Marant, N. 21, Missoni , Erika Cavallini, ForRestlessSleepers .... How to resist to this alluring shopping experience ?
The "Craft Gallery" section allows you to enter a real room dedicated to crafts: 60 square meters where you can learn about local and international excellence that stand out for their technical skills and attention to detail. A glamorous flower designer corner complete such temptating journey.
Central is the restaurant and café, designed according to the concept of Tosca & Nino. Which also satisfies those who live in a hurry: the gastronomy is also take away sealed in recyclable food paper trays to make you taste wherever you want.
The restructuring of the whole building, just started from 4th Floors down to the basement, will be completed in October 2020.
In the meantime, waiting for the entire new La Rinascente, why don't you step in, during your local shopping&lifestyle experience for a fashionable tip, to sip a glass of prosecco while admiring historical rooftops from a different sightseeing spot?