BOYY has opened a store in the heart of Milan’s Quadrilatero della Moda luxury shopping district. Located on Via Bagutta, the 62 square-meter shop is housed in the fascinating space formerly occupied by legendary Milanese antiquity shop Old America, specialized in New England style interior design.
Open from September 5th (the first day of Milan’s design fair, Salone del Mobile), the store is launching with an experimental temporary installation conceived by Danish artist FOS. Based in Copenhagen, FOS built a name for himself in the art and design world with his ability to create artworks encouraging human interaction through a combination of architecture, design and art.
FOS approached the design of the BOYY store in Milan by subverting the established idea of a store concept.
“For this temporary space, I wanted to play a little with the idea of traditional stores and how we behave in them, since we often unconsciously experience a shop space as a giant frame for a product,” says FOS. “Here, I wanted to move the references, by changing the value and scale of the different elements that make up a space, in order to make a total space. The product is not in the center anymore, but it becomes a part among other objects. The viewer, with their perceptions, in fact becomes the center of the experience.”
While preserving the original layout of the Old America shop, a new layer is added inside the store, highlighting the concept of impermanence and creating a dialogue between past and present.
Hand-dyed fabrics* in faint pink and orange tones are conceived and installed as walls, defining the perimeter of the space as artistic tableaux vivants. Warped mirrors reflect a distorted image of the viewer, and are an expression of how recent times have twisted our own perceptions of reality. The floor of the space is covered with an electric blue carpet printed with magnified common objects – seemingly spilled from an imaginary handbag, further challenging the viewer’s sense and perception of scale. Monolithic sand plinths serve as product displays while simultaneously reminding the viewer of the fleeting nature of time.
FOS also created a sculpture placed by the store’s door: a large ceramic hand featuring the index finger and the thumb in a gesture used as a non-verbal way of saying “this much.”
“I chose that since this is a shop for hands – you use them to carry a bag, but also because that gesture shows a scale, which is a key idea of the whole concept,” FOS explains.
“My partner Wannasiri [Kongman, also a co-founder of the brand] and I have been greatly admiring FOS’ work for years. With this project pending, I was able to connect with him via Danish art gallery Étage Projects. I’m grateful that that meeting turned into a fruitful collaboration,” said BOYY co-founder Jesse Dorsey.
To celebrate the opening of the Milan store, BOYY has created a special capsule collection. Featuring a palette of colors created to complement the installation (Orchid, Sorbetto, Ultramarine and Sesame) and two entirely new styles (BOBBY SOFT 18 and WONTON 18) alongside the brand’s most iconic designs, the capsule is exclusively available at the Italian store.
*the fabric walls will be re-purposed as limited edition totes when the installation closes, defining a time and era in BOYY’s history.