No it is not yet another Prada store. The new stores in Changchun and Nanjing, as the first in each of these Chinese cities, mark another milestone of the Group’s long-time collaboration with Roberto Baciocchi since 1988, when the Italian architect first gave a Miu Miu store the graceful, classic environment that lasts still today.
Prada Group‘s repeatedly going back to Baciocchi never results in boredom; and there is a reason why the sparkle between the fashion guru and world’s best known luxury retail designer never goes off. On one hand, Baciocchi gave a Prada pop-up store on Place Beauvau in France a circus-like trompe-l’oeil look in 2009, with a facade covered in a collage of imagery and an awning resembling the famous Mirabeau bridge. On the other hand in Sydney he geared up Prada flagship store with a large entrance surrounded by a black marble cladding allowing for a view of the store’s interior.
And these two new stores in China are no less rhapsodic.
The one in Changchun in North-Eastern China enters the upscale Charter Shopping Center. The façade inside the mall features an elegant Marquina black marble cladding arranged in a regular geometry enclosing the store’s two entrances, several windows and light-boxes. Inside, the women’s bags and accessories area is defined by a black and white chequered marble floor, furniture in crystal and polished steel with a thin frame, pale green fabric backdrops and marble trays at the base. The two other rooms, dedicated to women’s ready-to-wear and footwear, feature green fabric wall-coverings, attractive display cases in perspex, niches with pale green fabric backdrops, beige carpeting and green velvet sofas that help to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Black and white chequered marble floor also makes the men’s area peculiar.
The amazement of the two-storey Nanjing store in the Deji Plaza Mall starts from the storefront – which pays tribute to artist Carlos Cruz-Deiz and features a black marble base framing two windows on one side and two wide light boxes on the other. A structure made of backlit gold-coloured aluminium and polished steel panels runs all over the height of the façade to create an unusual kinetic effect. The storefronts looking on the Mall’s inside are embellished by black marble cladding and light polished steel profiles that enhance the store’s two entrances, several windows and light boxes. An elegant staircase in black Marquina marble, with pastel-green fabric walls and ceilings, leads to the upper level, where a stylish polygonal room – strongly characterised by marble on the floors, walls and display niches – offers the women’s and men’s travel and accessories collection.