For those that don’t know Fiorucci, the brand was first around in the 1980s, was known for its iconic angels motif and claims to have invented the skinny jean. Founder Elio Fiorucci decided to create skinny jeans after seeing a woman on a beach in a pair of soaked through jeans, which clung to her, and in his opinion, looked great. During this time, Fiorucci was largely worn by the Paninari, an Italian youth subculture, who were easily identified by their brightly coloured and heavily branded clothing. They took a sartorial stand against the drabness of urban life. Today, Fiorucci has come back into the retail world, perhaps fittingly at a time when recent new openings (Arket we’re looking at you) feel neutral and safe.
Fiorucci’s loud and colourful brand first caught our attention on Instagram, an appropriate channel to capture the minds of today’s potential Paninari. It stood out in a sea of today’s normal. From here, we were directed to their online pop-up store, which was launched a few weeks before the physical permanent retail space opened. We were invited to apply for stickers (although sadly didn’t receive any), and hit with a visual display of nostalgia and Italian vibes. A fresh look in today’s world, and a promise of something exciting to come.
From there, we were then emailed with details of the store opening, and alongside this, an offer to get a free poster in store – a nostalgic sentiment and the offer to be a part of the brand for free was something not to miss out on.
The store itself felt like an appropriate step back in time. A beautifully colourful space with nostalgic elements laced throughout, it was hard not to take photos of every corner. It lived up to the hype that the online store had promised, with hyper-glamour of 1980s Italy throughout, including a large postbox red round bed clashing against bright yellow curtains, neon signage, and 1980s music blaring through the sound system.
Most of the fixtures in the store are moveable, ensuring that the shop can also play host to music and fashion events (including a roller disco) during the week – a clever way to keep the brand exciting, alive and current.
One thing that really stood out in the store was the services – they allow the store to deliver way more than the online pop-up, ensuring today’s Paninari can become fully immersed in the brand. A pop-up cafe from infamous Hackney coffee shop Palm Vaults sits on the ground floor, encouraging consumers to take a pit stop amongst the throwback glitz. Alongside this sat a customisation area – a nod to today’s personalisation trend and a nod back to a time where wearing patches on your denim jacket was the height of cool. Upstairs on the first floor sat the aptly named ‘Paninaro Bar’ – an indulgent treat sat adjacent to the lingerie department, complete with round bed.
We highly recommend a visit down to Brewer Street to visit the store! It’s the perfect example of how to bring a retro brand back to life while ensuring it appeals to today’s Instagram-crazed audience. There’s something for everyone there, whether it’s a £3 cup of coffee or an £80 iconic T-shirt. The brand feels exciting, fresh and inclusive. We await to see the appearance of a new clan of Paninari along Soho’s streets!