Case study: Miu Miu – achieving a uniform retail exterior and interior in gold stainless steel
Miu Miu is the aristocratic brand owned anc created by Prada, led by Miuccia Prada with its headquarters in Paris and stores all around the world. Miu Miu is a diminutive of Miuccia, a nickname for the iconic designer from her family. The Bejing store follows a precedent as the first Miu Miu store opened in Shenzhen in 2009.
Gold, gold, gold
The interiors of Miu Miu are designed by Roberto Baciocchi who heads up a design studio Baciocchi & Associati, based in Arezzo, Italy and with no less than forty technicians and assistant interior designers.
Roberto Baciocchi has been designing for Prada for many years. There is an exception to Baciocchi’s exclusive reign over the Prada interiors and that is the store in Tokyo by the Swiss design studio Herzog and Meuron.
Enhancing the merchandise
Although the Miu Miu interiors might appear overpowering, they do actually enhance Miu Miu’s ready-to- wear leather goods, footwear and accessories collections.
The regular, linear shapes of the interior enhance the curves of the merchandise. Indeed the handbags and shoes create the only sinuous curves present. All else is strictly recti-linear. The only exception is the seating ing which is either of a highly formal nature or as un-bouncy as can be achieved. There are boxy shapes abounding and the seating is either very firmly upholstered or a classically-designed Louis XV bergère.
Each handbag occupies its own palace in a gold-lined pigeon-hole. In the images, the merchandise appears as dots of colour. In reality, in 3D within the store, each item takes on a special lure of its own,
The sense of opulence is paradoxically partially created by the restrained display of actual merchandise.
The overall sense is of abundance. Luxury is the word. Gold, abundance and a joyful uplifting ambience – just the atmosphere to represent the brand and to attract customers willing to spend $1400 on a handbag.
The sense of richness is accentuated further by the mirrored surfaces, reflecting the merchandise and enhancing even further the shimmering gold surfaces.
Even fabrics on stools and seating have been matched to the greeny-gold tones of the surfaces and have been upholstered in sheeny silk velvets.
Flooring is either glossy and reflective or a carpeting that, again, matches the greeny-gold tones. Linen-fold treatment to the wall cladding making it appear as draped gold and the real curtains, if there are any, continue the theme of rich draping. Although there may be curtains, there are no visible interior windows – only mirrors creating a sumptuous world uninterrupted by any street reality.
The design team within Miu Miu clearly love gold as they had a huge golden arch over their Spring Summer 2016 catwalk.
Consistency of quality and finish, exterior and interior
The challenge was that all finishes within the store and its exterior had to match exactly.
The quality of the fit-out had to seamlessly represent the quality of the products on sale and the exclusivity of the Miu Miu brand.
The design brief demanded a consistent colour finish across a variety of surfaces, fixtures and furniture.
- Display tables and counters
- Wall cladding – interior and exterior
- Wall display
As the Miu Miu interiors always pays subtle homage, reference and respect for the country and location so this is followed through in the appointing of suppliers within the country. ISG specialise in luxury store fit out and finding local suppliers to fulfil the design specification whilst maintaining a consistent brand internationally. ISG dedicate a Design Development Engineer to the project and he specified Double Stone Steel PVD coating in Champagne SS04 No 4 brushed for all the fixtures and furniture. For the exterior a slightly denser coating was used in the same coloration. This created a seamless colour finish throughout.
For accentuating and contrast, PVD finished stainless steel is used against polished natural-colour stainless steel – the gold and silver coloration somewhat like a Rolex watch (which incidentally are made using PVD)
In the Bejing store there was a rare departure from the overall boxiness with the sinuous staircase, also clad in PVD stainless steel.
Quality was of the essence. With PVD providing the backdrop for an up-market store attracting exclusive clientele every piece within the design scheme had to pass a strict Quality Control test.