On a recent Tuesday in Florence, the city’s Via Tornabuoni street – go-to destination for shopping fashionable luxury replica goods – welcomed a new store to the neighborhood. What makes the luxury haven’s latest addition stand out most, is perhaps the fact that it’s a newcomer amidst an ocean of established names including Fendi, Prada and Giorgio Armani. Les Petits Joueurs, a colorful handbag brand that has amassed a significant international following over the years, is playing in the big league, while it’s only on its way up.
“The opportunity to open a store at this location presented itself, and we weren’t able to refuse. We felt like, the brand has been successful and at some time you need to arrive at the point of opening a mono-brand store as a brand. For us that point may have arrived rather soon, but we wanted to embrace the opportunity.” Maria Sole Cecchi – founder and Creative Director of Les Petits Joueurs – shares during the big day of the opening, dressed in a silk bathrobe and sneakers. Out of boredom, she once customized one of her replica handbags by adding LEGO pieces. The customization amassed a decent amount of positive feedback from friends. By the year 2013, Maria Sole and brother Andrea (her business partner) decided to structure the offerings of pop art accessories as a proper business, backed by a personal investment of €10.000.
“I was very much torn over the decision to open a stand-alone store or not, but after a month of thinking I thought, ‘let’s do this.’ I only decided this in May. Maybe Milan, Paris or London would’ve been a better location in terms of audience size those cities attract, but Florence is our city. And this is the street of luxury,” fendi outlet founder explains.
The new store, located inside a three-story building, boasts the brand’s LEGO-adorned bestsellers in addition to a virtual reality element on the third floor. The virtual reality concept created by Florentine startup Superresolution by Var Group, allows customers to view, try on, and purchase products inside a specially created LPJ 3D world. The concept is currently being fine-tuned, but will soon be implemented into fendi’ e-commerce platform.
As far as men’s accessories are concerned, the brand has plans to present those throughout Florence-based biannual menswear trade fair, Pitti Immagine Uomo.