Valextra store in Milan designed by John Pawson

John Pawson completes gallery-style interiors for Milan's Valextra store

Simple plaster surfaces and grey stone floors help create a gallery-like setting inside the Valextra store in Milan, which has been overhauled by British designer John Pawson.

One of several high-end fashion boutiques on Via Manzoni, the Valextra store is designed by Pawson to merge "minimalism, clean elegance and restrained luxury".

Valextra store in Milan designed by John Pawson

"The space appears rigorous, monumental; this is an all-encompassing, pure architectural project which entirely redefines the scope of the store's interiors," explained the brand, which makes luxury handbags and leather accessories.

"The vision of the intervention is not simply to create a container for the product, but a spatial narrative that enhances the experience of proportion, surface, and scale."

Since 2015, Valextra has annually approached a different architect or designer to overhaul the store's interiors – last year saw New York-based studio Snarkitecture cover the ceiling with billowing clouds of white fabric.

Valextra store in Milan designed by John Pawson

For this intervention, Pawson applied his typically restrained colour palette to form a "flexible canvas" against which the brand can display its products.

Surfaces in the three-room store are entirely covered with pale grey plaster to match the existing Ceppo di Gré stone floors. Plaster has also been used to form platform-style shelves and chunky display tables.

Openings puncture the peripheral walls, allowing passersby on the street to look through to the rear of the space.

Valextra store in Milan designed by John Pawson

A suspended ceiling has also been erected, parts of which have been cut away to form faux skylights that shine down on products displayed underneath.

"The architectural language of simplicity produces a gallery-like interior, whose charged character derives from the restrained use of colour and light," added the brand.

Valextra store in Milan designed by John Pawson

This is not the first retail space that John Pawson has designed – last year he developed pared-back interiors for the Jil Sander flagship in Tokyo, which features pale limestone walls and cherry wood fixtures.

Back in 2015 Pawson also lent his minimalist aesthetic to fashion designer Christopher Kane's first brick-and-mortar store in London.

This Valextra branch also sits right next door to The Manzoni – a restaurant by Tom Dixon that doubles up as a furniture showroom and the designer's European headquarters.

Photography is by Andrea Martiradonna.