10-04-2020

SLOWEAR18: mixing clothes and cocktails

VisualDisplay,

Alessandro Saletta for DSL Studio – photography,

Milan,

Bar,

Interior Design, Refurbishment,

Visual Display, the creative branding and interior design specialist founded by Giorgio di Bernardo is behind a versatile project that brings together two worlds for the sustainable use of one the rarest resources in our cities: space.



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SLOWEAR18: mixing clothes and cocktails Our cities are full of eye-catching fashion retailers with impeccable interior design whose doors close at the same time as the shutters go up in the latest go-to bar, just a couple of metres down the road, to welcome more or less the same clientele as the boutique to enjoy a drink and a relaxing evening with friends. These venues too have a strong visual identity because they need to stand out from the competition.
So, in essence, we have two apparently different worlds that share a common denominator: they both strive for beauty, focus on details and rely on great visual communication.
This Slowear Venezia is a leading all-Italian, multi-brand retail concept offering menswear and accessories with an elegant, modern and handcrafted look alongside a fin selection of Made in Italy homeware and lifestyle accessories and products also reflected on this paradox, together with the creative team from Visual Display. Visual Display is known for its branding and interior design work and responded to the challenge by delivering a concept store with a fluid and unexpected identity. combining a mixology bar & café with a clothing store, which includes both the men’s and women’s collections of the brand.
A dynamic and sparkling coexistence between two complementary and elegantly integrated businesses, where you can indulge yourself with two different experiences at two different times of the day, optimizing the use of space, a rare commodity in metropolitan centres like Milan. The solution lies in the decor that is transformed after hours: the store closes at 7 pm and from then until 9.30 pm, the space turns into a mixology bar where you can order a selection of spirits and cocktails from a nonconforming menu. It’s based around the theme of the typical Italian aperitivo, and the bar also serves gourmet snacks to go with the drinks, a nod to the brand’s Venetian origins, where establishments called cicchetteria serve hors d'oeuvre-type appetizers. 
The project by Visual Display for Slowear18 revolves around a real stage machine, which switches from a fashion display system and chandelier by day, to a display case and bar counter for patrons at night, an iconic piece that stands out both inside and outside the store. 
The space designed by Visual Display is inside a traditional, thick-walled Milanese palazzo and communicates with the urban context through three arches on the facade. Sharp architectural features define the functions of this hybrid environment, where the bold juxtaposition of classic symmetries and high-tech materials provide a continuous interplay. Natural and manufactured, material and synthetic, we encounter a clever combination of solid colours, transparencies and reflections. The bar counter and floor are made of the same green resin, here offset with brass details and bolstered by a dramatic backdrop of turquoise mirrors, which supports the large bottle display, while at the same time reflecting all the details of the store.
Slowear18 by Visual Display is a real first for Milan, and for our cities in general because it enables the most intelligent and sustainable use of commercial spaces where product innovation, fashion and customer services mix in perfect harmony. Killing two birds with one stone...

Christiane Bürklein

Project: VisualDisplay
Location: Milan, Italy
Year: 2020
Images: Alessandro Saletta for DSL Studio – photography

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