To create a bold new fashion boutique in Hong Kong, the flamboyant designer took inspiration from classic Italian architecture – as interpreted by the surrealist painter Giorgio De Chirico.
HITGallery is the first in a chain of boutiques that bring together all the brands of Ittierre, the Italian group that manufactures and distributes clothing for some of the globe’s premiere fashion houses, including Pierre Balmain and Karl Lagerfeld Paris. To create its Hong Kong shop, Ittierre enlisted Fabio Novembre, the Milan architect and designer famous for his dramatic interiors and sensual products.
In creating a retail concept, Novembre was inspired by Giorgio De Chirico’s paintings, which feature the archetypical Italian piazza from dramatically skewed perspectives. Against a powder-blue canvas (complemented by the black-and-white zig-zag flooring that sets a neutral stage for the various brands), Novembre devised backlit arches along the walls of the 100-square-metre store. These dramatic display cases show off clothes and accessories, while some feature mirrors that multiple the arcade effect.
Novembre also erected two symmetrical display towers – resembling gargantuan faceless busts – in the centre of the shop. Both are made from panels of wood slotted together to create shelving for smaller items. He enclosed the back of the store, where the cash desk is located, in a piece of micro-architecture resembling a section of the Colosseum.
As a whole, the dialogue between the forms and the palette of HITGallery conjure a distinctly de Chirico feel – while also emphasizing Novembre’s flair for drama and sensuality.