Dezeen Magazine

Who*s Who boutique by Fabio Novembre

Milan 2013: glass silhouettes of male and female figures reach out to each other across the tiled floor of this Milan fashion boutique by Italian designer Fabio Novembre.

Who's Who interior by Fabio Novembre

Located on Milan's Corso Venezia, the new Who*s Who store is dominated by a series of human figures, each striking a different pose.

Who's Who interior by Fabio Novembre

Fabio Novembre used the glass profiles, which are screen-printed with tiny tessellated shapes, to divide the racks of clothing.

Who's Who interior by Fabio Novembre

The walls are clad in polished stainless steel and the floor is covered in monochrome ceramic tiles.

Who's Who interior by Fabio Novembre

The boutique opens on 8 April to coincide with the furniture fair and numerous other design events and exhibitions taking place in the city between 9 and 14 April – see all news about Milan 2013.

Who's Who interior by Fabio Novembre

We previously featured another boutique interior by the same designer dominated by two giant blue busts and last year we filmed a two-part interview with Novembre in which he talked about the changes taking place in the Italian design scene – see all projects by Fabio Novembre.

Who's Who interior by Fabio Novembre

Photographs are by Pasquale Formisano.

Here's some more information from Who's Who:

The brand that has become a symbol of modernity and femininity, confirms its international vocation and presents the new concept that shall characterise its boutiques. In order to develop the new retail strategy and create an innovative design, Who's Who engaged Fabio Novembre, an eclectic, imaginative and contemporary architect who, with a surprising project, succeeded in highlighting the company’s DNA with a strong, meaningful and long-sighted concept.

The boutiques become an ideal set for a meeting between a man and a woman, represented by outsized sculpted glass figures, which seem to be walking slowly across space while their hands search for each other until they brush against each other, in a free interpretation that reminds one of Michelangelo.

A surreal scene in which the wrought steel walls reflect a multiple reality, making it fluid; the floor, slowly sloping towards the side walls, is the only hint showing the direction to go, because, as the architect points out, "only the spark of love can light the flame of creation" of any kind. "We like to say that the name Who's Who refers to the search for an identity, to the constant leaning towards something that is not the self," says Novembre.

The ideal location for the launch of this ambitious plan is Milan’s “Quadrilatero della Moda” : the first shop opened recently in Corso Venezia 8. This important retail project was strongly supported by Massimiliano Dossi, the head of the company, and the opening of another single-brand boutique, this time in Forte Dei Marmi is scheduled for the end of March, Forte Dei Marmi is a strategic Italian location, given its status of internationally renowned sea town.

In 2013 Who's Who scheduled the opening of at least four other boutiques in areas in which the brand has been quite successful in the past several years: China, the Middle East and Russia. Finally, the three-year plan, which will come to an end in 2015, includes the opening of at least 22 single-brand shops around the world.

Project name: Who's Who
Location: Milano, Corso Venezia
Client: Max-Company
Architect: Fabio Novembre
Design team: Dino Cicchetti, Giulio Vescovi
Contractor: Buzzoni
Total area: 85 sqm

Floor covering: Ceramic tiled floor (Mutina Tex)
Furniture: Glass shelves system; polished stainless steel hanging.
Special elements: Male and female silhouette made by structural glass decorated with screen printed asterisks side-illuminated by LED strips; wall covered with Exyd Product Line M (stainless steel)
Ceiling: Barrisol Blanc Vénus
Lighting: Spotlights, LED strips, fluorescent lamp