From the exterior, Haigō (Milan) is something of a mystery. Its sleek, dark gray awning is emblazoned with the store’s name and daring slogan, “Fight the Ordinary.” The front windows are on either side of the tucked away front door, creating a foyer of sorts, asking you to not simply look on, but to venture in.
“The Haigō store was designed to transport visitors to a parallel dimension, detached from the outside world, a place where they could feel and live in two key values of our brand: refinement and evolution,” says Fabio Colturri, Founder of Haigō. The front of the store is also painted in dark gray, with geometric lines tracing the area, open cabinetry for the merchandise to shine and low lighting to maintain its ethereal quality, which Colturri says is only 10 percent of the entire Haigō project.
“We wanted the second half of it to represent its temporary nature,” he says, noting that evolution and transformation are aspects of the company’s core values. “Thus, the second part of the store was inspired by a construction yard, as a symbol of ‘work in progress,’ ‘constant change’ and ‘incomplete.’ Concrete was poured on the floor, the walls and shelves, [while] structural metal beams for drywall were left naked and visible.”
The mezzanine makes up the third and final part of the store’s footprint, named “Chinatown at Night” as an homage to the neighborhood in which the store resides. Red neon lights and dark blue walls are reminiscent of the night sky.
“A unique element of this area is the floor,” says Colturri, “it’s made of recycled car tires … it brings in an element of fun and entertainment since the bouncy floor reminds one of a playground straight away,” says Colturri.
Considering all of these aspects, it is the contrast between the refined and the rough that Colturri says is his favorite part of the design, calling it “completely surreal and unexpected. Our mission as a brand and design studio is to drag people out of the ordinary.”
Though, if that’s done at such a high design caliber as Haigō exemplifies, none of us will be kicking and screaming.
Haigō Studio, Milan: Fabio Colturri, CEO and Founder; Marcia Gigante, Branding and Visual Merchandising, Co-Founder; Andrea D'Ercole, Product and Graphic
Elite Acoustic, Bergamo, Italy
Gommamica, Bergamo, Italy
Haigō Studio, Milan
Photography: Matteo Girola, Torino, Milano