At Home With Pucci On Madison Avenue
“I’m kind of in love with it.” Emilio Pucci’s Peter Dundas was in New York yesterday, prepping the label’s new flagship at 855 Madison Avenue for its first shoppers, and he couldn’t hide his enthusiasm. The corner store, up the block from Tom Ford and across the street from Céline, was designed by the French architect Joseph Dirand, a man whose aesthetic is so in tune with Dundas’ own, he says, “I want him to do my flat.” But first things first: There’s a store in Shanghai to open at the end of this month, and others in the works, plus overhauls of the company’s 50 existing stores. “This is the first time the Pucci girl has a home,” Dundas explains. “It corresponds with the show, the showroom, the collection; it’s a reflection of the woman, and that is brand new.”
The boutique mimics Dundas’ successful approach to rebranding the heritage label—by playing with and breaking the rules. As with the clothes, there are reminders of Emilio’s trademark swirling and geometric prints, but they are modern interpretations, subtly done. Evoking the house’s famous Florentine palazzo, the terrazzo floor was laid in a graphic Pucci pattern that’s also echoed in the labyrinthine layout of the store’s rooms. Cabinets are made from unpolished purple-veined Breccia di Medici marble. “I think we depleted the stock for the moment,” Dundas joked. The marble’s colors informed the shop: the lilac couch that sits atop an aubergine silk carpet, the walls that are painted rich shades of cream and gray, and the changing rooms lined in pink velvet. The feminine, boudoir-ish feel is intentional, says Dundas. “I wanted it to feel like a place my girls would like to hang out.” His muse Amber Valletta is hanging out in the store windows, or at least larger-than-life-size artist’s renditions of her eye and lips are. The window display is more whimsical than Dundas’ Pucci is perhaps known for. Inside, though, the clothes give off serious heat. Just like Dundas and his girls like it.