The New Milan Replay Flagship Store
Designed by Roman and Williams Debuts a Special Preview on September 19th
Replay partnered with Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors to explore an expanded Retail experience, starting with the new 1500-sqm Milan Piazza Gae Aulenti Flagship Store unveiled on September 19, 2014.
The location of the store is in the hub of the city’s edgy new Porta Nuova district. Now definitely the place where it’s happening in Milan.
As a result of immersive sessions in the brand’s history and values, and factory visits to study the denim processes the architects duo conceptualized for Replay the vision of The Stage, inspired by denim’s connection to rebels of all kinds. Replay The Stage is the first time since starting their firm that Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch have seized directly on their own deep experience in set design and art direction in the film industry, developing the concept of the working soundstage as store, showcasing both the sets themselves and the spaces, equipment and back-of-house departments that together embody the filmmaking process itself.
The whole project revolves around the cinema/theatre concept. Indeed the structure is being developed as a real stage, where there are not fixed structures, but as in a cinema plot, everything changes. Guests will enter onto a rough-polished concrete floor, from which they will see a grid of film lights hanging from the blackened out ceiling above. The backs of ‘flats’ all around contain various stage sets within: a humble Midwestern house with vintage wallpaper, an abandoned American barn, at once sun-cracked and aged in the desert but mysteriously full of jeans, a proper 1928 Manhattan Tailor shop somehow transported to Milan. Each set allows for an element of surprise – the tornado is actually a swirling kaleidoscope of brass butterflies; the barn includes framed window views out across a dessert landscape to a scenic sunset that is actually an elaborately painted backdrop. On the reverse, the Tailor Shop in not merely a set but a working shop, where Guests can be measured and have a custom pair of jeans constructed. Artfully composed and well-lit sets highlight feature moments of the retail collection while the wide variety of product will cross the line between front-of-house and back-of-house stage spaces, invading the dense racks and shelving of the wardrobe department and the darker areas between the painted backdrops, featured at the front as well as the back of the construction of flats.
At the center of the space, Guests ascend a large, open, industrial steel staircase, and from the landing they will see the dense layers of equipment and elements that make up a true Hollywood stage – from catwalks and bands of cables to a camera on a boom rig and robust lights and ladders taking in the multiple worlds of an epic American story, an expansive narrative where even the propeller of the Titanic appears to fly overhead.
A preview of Replay The Stage has been presented to the press and to selected guests on Friday 19 September. Many celebrities took part to the event like FC Barcelona star Neymar Jr, Brazilian top model Alessandra Ambrosio, American actress Rosario Dawson and super models Coco Rocha, Stella Maxwell, Sara Sampaio and Daria Stroku. To celebrate the brand’s comeback Replay dedicated a special tribute to the city of Milan: Blood Orange and Chic feat. Nile Rodgers live acts.