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VM choice: Armani Manzoni in Milan

Armani‘s prodigious empire includes aspects barely glimpsed in the UK, where the Armani footstep is more of a small toe print compared to some other markets. In Milan, however, the Armani brand is much more apparent. Besides the fashion stores spread through the city, Armani stores fill the ground floor of the Armani hotel on Via Manzoni. These include Armani Dolci, which sells delicious confectionery and biscuits, and flower store Armani Fiori. With open-backed windows that link with the current global VM installation using white neon squares, the store is a perfect jewel.

A red-backed reflective foil, breaking diagonally through the white neon square, forms a shelf for a display of deliciously-packaged chocolates.

Add a neatly-trimmed fishtail palm, dried grasses, and a red peace-lily floral display for impact.

Armani Dolci sells one of the very best chocolate spreads in existence. It is truly an adult experience that has no resemblance to those chocolate spreads popular with children….

The Fiori window has a slightly more formal display with the only slightly-angled reflective foil forming two shelves for merchandise display.

 

A close-up of the display reveals the signature look of the Armani flower offer: sharp (in the Asian sense of the word), architectural, and sculptural. The happenstance of the natural world takes on the considered here, in much the same way that Japanese ikebana displays delight in the edited enhancement of nature. Displayed on the reflective foil, the tailored arrangements are opulently duplicated in their mirrored reflections.

The counter showcases chocolates under glass in a manner redolent of fine jewellery display, and indeed the chocolates themselves are created with a similar precision.

The in-store experience is very like the experience of Italy’s classical city squares: hard-sided, without softening trees, planting, or grass, not even the petanque courts of French squares. In this case every surface is shiny, and the mirrored back wall dramatically lit with spotlights, against which the cantilevered glass shelves display arrangements.

Very distinctive, very Armani.

Photographs: Marica Gigante 

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