As everybody knows, Florence has a long-standing relationship with the fashion industry. The first Italian high-fashion show was held right here, on February 12, 1951, in the cottage of the Giardino Torrigiani. Nowadays the city is home to designers such as Gucci, Enrico Coveri, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Patrizia Pepe, hosts Pitti Immagine – one of the major trade event – and includes some of the most exclusive boutiques in the world. Among these, Luisa Via Roma stood out over the years for prestige, commercial success and innovative strategies.
Opened in Florence in the early 30’s, Luisa Via Roma is the brainchild of Frenchwoman Luisa Jacquin, and started its activities as a women’s hats boutique. Thanks to the work of Lido Panconesi, Luisa’s husband, the business developed gradually in the following decades. In the late 60’s Andrea Panconesi – nephew of the couple – began to take care of family business, heralding a series of unconventional strategies, which has since become the brand’s hallmark. During his first trip to Paris as a buyer, Andrea met the young Japanese designer Kenzo and got intrigued by his creations. Kenzo’s 1968 autumn / winter collection exhibition, the first to reach the European market, was presented for the first time at Luisa Via Roma.
Since then, the global reputation of the Florentine boutique has grown exponentially. Luisa Via Roma is now identified all over the world as a cutting-edge brand, aware of young talents and of the possibilities offered by new technologies. At the beginning of the 2000s, in order to face a growing demand, Panconesi launched the e-commerce luisaviaroma.com. The website offers customers around the world the possibility to shop online, providing the same services and quality of a visit to the physical store, but without limits of space and time. To date, the online store includes high fashion garments for men, women and children realised by established designers such as Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Chloé, Dior, Dsquared2, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Lanvin, Rick Owens, Roberto Cavalli, Saint-Laurent, but also the creations of avant-garde designers such as Thom Browne, Mary Katrantzou, Charlotte Olympia, Peter Pilotto, Gareth Pugh, Anthony Vaccarello and Alexander Wang.
In 2005, aware that its customers are looking for experiences, not just products, Luisa Via Roma started to organize events in collaboration with brands such as Nokia, Fiat, Puma, Adidas, Missoni, Lacoste, Levi’s, Tim, and Coca -Cola. Five years later Andrea Panconesi launched See it First, Buy it First, a unique project which offers consumers the opportunity to buy outfits presented at fashion shows immediately after the event, both online and in the Florence boutique. Also in 2010, to celebrate 10 years of online activities, Luisa Via Roma inaugurated Florence 4ever … It’s magic, the first convention to gather the most influential world’s fashion bloggers. The event, now in its 13th edition, has become a can’t-miss event for professionals in the field.
The next edition of Firenze 4ever will be held from 13 to 17 June 2016 in Florence, and will concern the crisis of migrants. As part of the convention, “The Bridge of Love” will be realized. This is an installation by architect Claudio Nardi which consists of a floating bridge between the two banks of the Arno, as a metaphor of meeting.
I will attend, it goes without saying! Will you be there?
Luisa Via Roma is located in Florence, Via Roma 19/21 red. On luisaviaroma.com you can see and buy the whole collection presented in the Florentine boutique.
Do not forget that Luisa Via Roma was also the set for my wonderful video presentation!
Your beautiful Miranda Gristly