Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Spotlight on....Luisa Via Roma

Photograph copyright Louisa McKenzie.
Florence, Italy does not lack for designer boutiques. In fact, the via Tornabuoni is full of the usual suspects: Prada, Armani, Cavalli. Indeed, Florence gave the world both Salvatore Ferragamo and Pucci, something of a rarity in Milano-centric Italy. However, wandering through Florence on my annual pilgrimage last summer (well, actually, limping as I had just badly injured my foot), I discovered a gem of a shop, stocking harder to find, more edgy designers such as Givenchy, Lanvin, Alexander McQueen and D-Squared - all up-to-date collections. The buyers are extremely good. Indeed, at the moment, it is one place to pre-order some of the new, hotly anticipated bags which are the result of a collaboration between Mulberry and Giles Deacon (please see future post for more).
Situated just off one of Florence's main squares, the Piazza della Repubblica, in the via della Roma, just near the Duomo, it is open seven days a week.
A large space, set over several floors, Luisa Via Roma offers plenty of temptation for even the most jaded shopper. I have also never seen some of the stock anywhere else. Luisa Via Roma is more than just a clothes shop, it is more of a concept store. The staff are very friendly, very helpful and mutli-lingual. Nothing was too much trouble for them. There is also a menswear section upstairs. Indeed, the Florence shop was recently the location for the launch party of Lapo Elkann's new label Italia Independente.
There are two more Luisa Via Roma stores in Italy, the De Grillis boutique in Rome and LVRP, in Prato. However, if you are not intending to visit Italy soon, Luisa Via Roma has a comprehensive and well-designed website which ships worldwide.
Luisa Via Roma, via Roma 19/21 r, 50123, Florence, Italy. Tel: +39 (0) 55 21 78 26
De Grillis, via Campo Carleo 25, 00184, Rome, Italy. Tel: +39 (0) 6 69 29 31 18
LVRP, via Roma 24, 59100, Prato, Italy. Tel: +39 (0) 5 74 4018 40

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