Rome – Delvaux, the oldest leather goods house in the world, knows a thing or two about how to keep a brand alive – after all, it was founded in Belgium in 1829, even before the Kingdom itself was established. So, what does it mean when a brand that has seen trends come and go decides to go back to Ancient Rome? Et tu, Delvaux?
That’s the gist of their newest location, located in the Italian capital. Designed by Vudafieri Saverino, the store recalls the domus romana – the typical house inhabited by the upper classes in the age of Augustus. And to be sure, that’s a style we don’t usually see in the luxury retail segment today, usually dominated by marble minimalism.
But that’s why Delvaux is so effective as a messenger: Belgitude, the particularly ironic and self-deprecating sense of humour of the Belgians, is in the brand’s DNA. ‘We decorated the columns with perspectives of Roman ruins by Piranesi, reinterpreted as colourful pop-art works,’ explained Tiziano Vudafieri. By fully embracing the campiness of a bespoke wallpaper featuring Corinthian columns, Roman arches and several types of rosettes, the brand and the architectural team are validating a style usually derided in higher circles.