Forte_Forte Opens Cannes Boutique by Robert Vattilana
In 2002, Italian siblings Giada and Paolo Forte launched a fashion collection of hand-finished T-shirts, designed in a few rooms of their mother’s house. Their warehouse was the garage; their studio faced the garden in which they’d played all day as kids. Some two decades later, Forte_Forte is a true force in fashion, with a headquarters in Venice and boutiques throughout Europe and Japan offering women’s clothing, accessories, and shoes. “Each of our stores creates a physical and metaphysical link between spaces and collections,” says the company’s art director (and Giada Forte’s life partner) Robert Vattilana.
This is particularly true of the newest boutique, which opens this summer in Cannes, France. The 970-square-foot corner storefront—just a few steps from La Croisette, the fabled seafront promenade—functions like an aquarium: Full-length white curtains frame three large windows, while a glass front door offers an enticing view of the spiral staircase leading to the second-floor stockroom. Vattilana painted the suspended treads and their semicircular enclosure a rich green to reference the nearby mountains; support hardware is finished with sunny brass. The lowest steps are cast concrete mixed terrazzo-style with white stones and what appear to be flecks of salt and deep-jade crystals. The same composite, in a matte finish, clads the floors. Milled with vertical lines for extra sheen, it also covers the principal walls. And it’s used for a large free-form planter and the massive cash wrap, the latter trimmed with brass that complements the twisting, vinelike display racks and fittings.
Brass-wrapped doors conceal the fitting-room area, an intimate space lined with handmade ceramic tiles, their intense blue-green crackle finish inspired by the Mediterranean Sea. “The depth of the shade is reminiscent of the freshness and wonder of being immersed in marine worlds,” the designer notes, an effect heightened by aqua curtains and upholstery. Lush monstera plants evoke the Fortes’ childhood garden—but with a light touch. “We really wanted the purity of the lines and the poetics of the materials to do the talking,” Vattilana confides. And they do, eloquently.