View Concept Store in Milan is a shop that aims to offer unusual brands, looks and pieces, mostly eco-friendly but, above all, focused on research. We talked to owner Gaia Bollani about the idea.
Why did you open View Concept Store?
Despite the pandemic, I had planned to open my store in September 2020. The decision was not forced by Covid-19, but rather as I wanted to open my fashion store since a while and had found the location I liked, had made some redesign of the space and September was the perfect timing. This is my second work as I own an agency that organizes company events. Despite this, I had always wanted to open a fashion store offering unusual and outstanding products as I am fascinated by research fashion and creative minds. Although before I was quite skeptical about eco-friendly fashion, when I started making research about what’s in the market I discovered that some eco-friendly brands truly look great and distinguish themselves from others. For this reason I opted to offer sustainable fashion.
How important is eco-friendly fashion for your store? What brands do you sell?
It counts for about 70% to 80% of our total offer. I focus mostly on Italian brands, especially because when I started my research I could practically reach Italian companies only as I could visit only White Milano Show. Along with this, I also sell a few more foreign brands, for instance, from Poland, and focus on craftsmanship. In fact, among the brands I sell there are unique products, for instance, by Bav Tailor made with fabrics using flower petals spun with fibers, Fili Pari, offering skirts of fabric, but also relatively bigger brands like Numer’O Primo, embracing innovation and tradition, and Gilberto Calzolari, a green pret-à-porter brand.
We also sell footwear, jewels, bags, but also candles, fragrances and perfumes. These last ones are not eco-friendly. Among my products there are also shoes by Linking Dotz, produced by Brazilian women helping them to earn a living. In a way, this brand is sustainable too. In fact our attention to sustainability is 360° as our aim is to suggest daily actions.
Are the products you sell certified? And are they more expensive than regular ones?
They are quite expensive and it’s our task to explain why. Packaging and hangtags can help us to show why they are different and cost more. Our target is 30- to 60-medium-high-year-olds in love with casual-chic products. Those who enter our store are already conscious about sustainability issues. They are first attracted by products that look great and are unique, then they are interested in knowing why they are eco-friendly.
Our clients are not experts, but surely curious to start a trip to this world. To make people understand what kind of work such brands and the big and small structures behind them we are always very careful in communicating and explaining what they do and offer.
What about your store’s interiors? Do you dedicate a special area to ecological fashion?
No, I don’t. I prefer to present the different categories together–both on the first floor and the one at the basement level of my 140-sq.-meter store. I may present a Bav Tailor piece with a L’Autre Chose jeans.
Most of our furniture is made with Rewood, a material obtained from grinding old pieces of wood furniture into new ones. We also use poufs covered with multicolor fabric remains.
I wanted to but at the moment it’s still difficult. We didn’t even celebrate the store opening, but we hope we can do it soon as our aim is to create constant occasions to keep in touch with our clients–better if live and not just via digital as we have been doing until now.