by Gianluca Isaia
"CHI BELLA VO' PARE', PENE E GGUAJE HADDA PATE'"by Gianluca Isaia
(LOOKING BEAUTIFUL IS HARD WORK)
"Now you're definitely wondering: when will these blessed festivities for ISAIA's 60th anniversary end? Okay, it's true: we did a lot of things for this special occasion. But let me say how proud I am of our new boutique in San Francisco, California. I'm convinced that the inauguration last September 21 was very special. The store is in a building with great historical and symbolic importance – 140 Maiden Lane – that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the inventors of modern architecture, which is no small thing! I think it's a great honor and prestigious achievement to have arrived at such a location. The flagship store covers a surface area of nearly 734 square meters, of which 372 meters are devoted to retail.
Everything revolves around the design concept, which is like a wonderful song. Believe me, this adventure wasn't easy. After all, everyone knows the saying "chi bella vo' pare', pene e gguaje hadda pate'" (looking beautiful is hard work). The restoration and remodeling project for such an important building protected by certain architectural restrictions required great precision and a focus on detail. All of the original materials used by Wright until 1943 were not removed or modified in any way: the plaster, woodwork, bubble ceiling, glass floor in the entrance and on the grand floor and, of course, the stone and brick façade. Now try to complain about Neapolitan carelessness, if you dare! We respectfully preserved the integrity of each design element. It was more or less like restoring a masterpiece, but it successfully gave it a different personality and was a more personal interpretation. In short, it's as plain as day that seeing a project of the master architect who also designed the Guggenheim Museum in New York is very exciting!
The design team worked closely with the Preservation Committee of the San Francisco Planning Department. Each decision required extensive analysis and endless discussions by Studio Ferrari Architetti, Lochte Architectural Group of San Francisco, and preservative planners Page and Turnbull who controlled every aspect of this delicate project. The result combines our aesthetic and preferences with Frank Lloyd Wright's vision of organic architecture. We added our red Mediterranean coral and objects and works of art tied to the tradition and contemporary creativity of our hometown, which my antiques dealer/friend Alberta Saladino specifically brought from Napoli. In San Francisco she also recreated the vintage Campari bar with red lacquered piano and relaxation area – motifs found in ISAIA boutiques worldwide. Sportswear, tailored suits and our "made to order" service will be here in this space with exclusive variations for every possible and impossible desire and need."