34 | www.retailenvironments.org RETAIL ENVIRONMENTS march.2016
one with a ‘Made in Italy’ design and
culture,” he says. LED lights and spe-cial-dimension optics illuminate single
details to showcase each watch. In addition to spotlighting the small product,
the adjustable lighting turns the interior
of the store into a lit jewel box, one that
customers can walk inside.
Italo Fontana opened the store in August
Gail Deibler Finke is a Cincinnati-based
with a statement affirming its commit-
ment to Italy. “Italo Fontana’s U-BOAT
branded boutique in the heart of Venice
opened in one of the most beautiful and
renowned squares in the world, pushing
forward the retail development of the Ital-
ian portfolio of stores,” the retailer stated.
Luciano looks forward to working
with Italo Fontana on future stores,
some of which are planned for China,
other parts of Europe, and the United
States. “It’s been a relationship of high
esteem, friendship, and confidence,”
he says of the longtime collaboration.
“He is always in action, researching
new and original things to propose.
It’s a stimulating relationship; every
time, we try to change something.”
writer specializing in design topics.
U-BOAT | Piazza San Marco, Venice
Size: 194 sf
Completion: August 2015
Design: Alessandro Luciani Designer
Fixtures and General Contracting: Grottini
Retailer: Italo Fontana
Photography: Francesco Giobbi
Clockwise from upper left: In the historic San Marco building, shops have a small footprint, but a huge impact; with only one show window, storefronts
are dwarfed by the architecture. The “X stone” used on the lower part of the store’s façade continues inside, where it climbs partway up the walls.
Rosewood, used as a branding element in U-BOAT stores, complements the opposing red velvet, matching its rich smoothness but not its softness.
Glass cases are suspended from the walls, another concession to seawater than can lap or flood into the store.