Marni sets up caravan-shaped artist's studio inside Milan flagship store
A roster of global artists will take up residency in this installation, which London design studios Brinkworth and The Wilson Brothers have created within the newly opened flagship store of Italian fashion brand Marni in Milan.
The Vehicular installation consists of an artist's studio, housed in a caravan-shaped volume on the store's second floor, and a sculptural structure resembling a vehicle that is suspended vertically through a void in the ground-floor ceiling.
Marni says the project is an effort to channel the "intense creative energy" of the brand's design studio into its retail spaces and thereby enrich the time that customers spend in-store.
"The project was born out of a desire to offer something more to the modern-day consumer: an experience, a creative interaction as opposed to a mere retail transaction," the brand explained.
"In this digital-first post-Covid era of shopping, it promises Marni's community and customers something different."
The installation, which pays homage to nomadic travel and utilitarian vehicles, was designed by Brinkworth and The Wilson Brothers in close collaboration with Marni's creative director Francesco Risso and chief marketing officer Chungaiz Khan Mumtaz.
The hollow car-shaped structure suspended above the ground floor serves a purely aesthetic purpose, its boot left dangling open to allow for a "periscopic view" up to the first floor.
The second-floor artist's studio is shaped like a caravan punctuated with deep-set windows that allow shoppers to observe the rotating selection of artists that will take over the space.
"This act – a different kind of transaction – breaks down the wall between commerce and creativity, fashion and art, and tests the boundaries of what constitutes a retail space," Marni said.
Internally the caravan features veneer wall panelling and yellow flooring that can easily be repainted by each occupant, which Marni says will keep the installation in a "constant state of creativity and flux".
Currently, it has tufts of neon hair sprouting from its corners and out of its windows courtesy of New York-based artist Shoplifter, who is the first creative to inhabit the installation.
In the coming months, Marni also plans to introduce a similar installation in its Shanghai outpost.
Marni opened its Milan flagship earlier this month in conjunction with the city's annual design week, which saw a number of different installations take over the Italian capital.
Among them were Oublié by local design studio Dimorestudio, which involved shrouding the interiors of a 19th-century palazzo in clouds of smoke, and four huge lantern-like structures that were set up by luxury brand Hermès inside the La Pelota event space.
The photography is by Louise Melchior.