Florence is one of the most magical cities in the world. The city is ripe with grand museums and architecture, exquisite art treasures and world-class eateries and shops.
The streets in Florence also stand out as places to browse and window-shop — what’s more, the store windows are nothing short of art installations — prepare to be wowed. Over one million people annually invade the streets and squares, in every season, making it come alive.
One boutique in particular will catch your eye and that’s the stylish 56 Rosso. Located in central Via Ricasoli and only a block away from Florence’s most famous resident, the statue of David by Michelangelo, 56 Rosso is a concept store stocked with the most famous brands in Italian design.
56 Rosso opened in mid-December 2010. Co-owner Inge Cavalletti said: “We opened with Rossi1931 as our only paper printer because of their exceptional designs and ability to blend the past with the future. We felt that the traditional quality of the Florentine papers had to be displayed inside a more contemporary concept together with other designers.” She added: “We believe in the Rossi brand and are happy to feature their products. We try to select a cross-section of their new designs that reflect their good taste.”
The idea of a concept store might be new to the US but not to Italy. Ms. Cavalletti said, “The main difference between our Italian concept store and its US counterpart for me would be the designers themselves and our concept to have products of Italian design. We have clearly chosen only one brand from each category of product.”
As with any retailer, sourcing unique products is challenging, but 56 Rosso has managed to find top Italian brands. Ms. Cavalletti says, “We selected Fabbrica Pelleteria Milano for its high quality and design for our suitcases and briefcases; we have one artist for our jewelry, Vittorio Guidi, who works out of his Milanese atelier in the trendy Brera in Milan. We also have the Vabene watches and sunglasses designed by Georgio Grimoldi .The bags of Bonfanti are made especially for us with the Tricolore italiano, the traditional red and green colors of the Italian flag. We are always scouting for new and fun Italian products.
This week our new entry is the Tecno Chic sunglasses, which are very special and made entirely in Italy of a very light material that can float on water. Great for the beach!”
Ms. Cavalletti continued: “Rossi 1931 just came out with a new line of products for their beautiful stationery in cylinder boxes of the Classica Italiana collection. I believe the heart collection and their new Florentine designs will do well. In the past our best sellers were their “Moda ” collection with their handbags and their shoes, traditional Pinocchio and “Musica.” Also of course since we are in Florence, the traditional Florentine stationery sells very well.”