Replay Flagship Store

The new Replay store in Milan is the first flagship store to be completed using the concept that was first tested at the Replay store in Piazza Duomo, Florence. The principle inspirations are the same, but the store’s skin has been adapted to the context, allowing it to sing. Once again, emotional research is the focus, meeting point between the design team of Studio 10 and Replay. The location is in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, just a few steps from the Duomo where the  Milan retail stores are concentrated. Here, the relationship with the location is complex. On one hand, there is a rich history and architectural legacy, and on the other there is the contemporary urban culture that blindly hurries forward without cease. The first important choice was to create a physical and mental island in the hustle and bustle of Milan’s most renown shopping gallery, interrupting the continuous shop window along the street. The idea was to empty the existing space and create a internal garden, a vast space that welcomes people walking by, offering them shelter and respite from the city. Whereas the market dictates that all merchandise must be densely compressed into a store, based on the notion that only that which can be seen can be sold, the Replay Milan store proposes a different approach. A waterfall flowing along the entire length of the store plunges customers into an immersive experience, cut through 11 meters high monumental green walls where merchandise is regarded as part of the iconography connecting man to the elements. Nature has reclaimed man-made space with an impetuosity and a softness that is achieved in harmony with the spaces it inhabits. These visual and tactile elements are the starting point from which to build, or rather rebuild, the relationship between man and the natural world allowing one to experience wonder and amazement across the senses. To access the main retail space, you have to cross the garden along a suspended walkway. This act of passing through the void reiterates the sensation that you are venturing forward into the store out of a curiosity to discover more. Arriving in the main retail space, the interior ambiance evokes an archaeological journey through a history of industry where the heart soars in awe. It is an environment built with wood and steel, natural materials sculpted by industrial processes, where items are displayed in library walls more than six metres high. The floor texture changes depending on the context, like an external urban environment, and light filters through to the basement floor below which becomes unusually well-lit, far from the ordinary conditions of a gloomy underground space. A vast wall of denim displays the wide variety of models offered by the brand, celebrating the intelligence and discernment of the craftsmanship that has always characterized it. At the rear of the store is a steel wall that displays the shoes made by the brand. The theme of the wall is a recurring one: green wall, water wall, walls of wood and of steel. The wall in steel at the Corsia de ‘Servi entrance to the store appears to crumble as if it were made in lumps of stone, a matrix that changes face constantly and is never the same.