Dezeen Magazine

Brass and onyx are combined at the boutique

Fashion brand Forte Forte "drowns" its Rome store in green onyx

Green onyx lines the floors and walls of this fashion boutique in Rome by creative duo Giada Forte and Robert Vattilana.

The Forte Forte store is located on Via Borgognona, a street in the heart of the Campo Marzio – the 4th rione, or district, of Rome – that was once full of artists.

The boutique was designed by the brand's co-founder, Giada Forte, and her partner, creative director Robert Vattilana.

The store has a stone exterior
Top: green onyx covers the interior of the store. Above: an asymmetrical door marks its entrance

The duo wanted to create a store interior that would sit in contrast with the building's traditional travertine facade.

"The focus is on contrast, because in Rome contrast is always, and has always been, harmony," said Forte. "The boutique looks like a vibrant monolith of green onyx, a precious material with a unique design that contains a thousand-year history in the loops of its marbling."

"Green onyx creates a total immersion in the shop: it drowns the entire space, from floors to walls."

The Forte Forte has golden walls
Brass doors and wall panels were used throughout the space

Sourced from Afghanistan, the onyx was treated in large symmetrical blocks and worked to obtain a matte surface. Lighting that runs around the perimeter of the store illuminates it in a "cascade" of light.

"Thanks to the particular mineral structure, [the onyx] dematerializes in contact with the light in nuanced transparency," explained Forte.

Clothes hanging on a rail at the Forte Forte store
An onyx door sits within a brass wall

Brass serves as an accent material to complement the onyx and is used to form hangers, curved clothing rails, mirrors and shelving.

In the portion of the store nearest to the entrance, the ceilings are finished with white overlapping panels, while further inside, the designers installed a white plaster ceiling punctuated by porthole lighting.

Portholes also adorn the brass doors of the dressing rooms, which have walls clad in buttoned sage-coloured capitonné velvet to create a "boudoir-like" interior.

The area in front of the dressing rooms is occupied by a circular bench carved from a block of agglomerate, which wraps around a cloud-shaped vase containing an alocasia plant with giant leaves.

Circular details are built into doors
A circular bench sits in front of the dressing rooms

Nearby, a display wall showcases accessories, collected books, pottery and gemstones, including labradorite, jasper, pink quartz and green jade.

The dressing rooms and the seating and display area are divided by a triptych wall-mounted mirror, while the ceiling features a large curved shield painted in sage green.

Fitting room in forte forte store, Rome
Fitting rooms have a plush interior

The back wall of the store, where the cash desk is located, is clad with panels of polished brass. Here, a brass-framed onyx door provides access to the warehouse, which is organised with sage green filing cabinets placed on rails.

The store is the brand's eighth outpost, with others located in Madrid, London, Paris, Tokyo, Forte dei Marmi, Cannes and Milan.

The Forte Forte London store was opened in 2019 and features clay bricks, onyx and plush velvet.

Photography is by Danilo Scarpati.

More images

Brass has a reflective quality
Double doors open to a fitting room
Shoes are placed on a podium
Onyx interior of fashion store