WORDS: Ciara O’Connor
Stefano Ricci, with 49 boutiques worldwide, has landed within the confines of the Four Seasons Hotel located in the heart of Prague.
The world of Stefano Ricci’s Prague starts as soon as one walks into the bespoke store. Outfitted in beautiful mahogany panelling, which was treated and brought from Florence, the multi-room boutique is a bastion of refined culture for the man looking for alligator bags, cashmere sweaters and perfectly treated indigo jeans.
The designer himself says that, “Opening a boutique in Prague represents the culmination of a dream… I have had the opportunity to discover this city full of charm and appreciate the excellency of its residents.” This dream also includes the full Stefano Ricci, meaning if it’s in Harrod’s it’s also in the Prague store – major points for bringing the full line gentleman!
The family run business, now in operation for 40 years, has built an empire with the belief that quality will always trump quantity. Founded by Ricci in 1972, the company lives by a set of successful rules: perfect manufacturing, top quality materials and exclusive designs. The company owns the Antico Setificio Fiorentino, a historical factory which has been using the same methods to create clothing since 1786, when it produced silk fabrics for noble families throughout the world. Ricci is an advocate of the wholly “Made in Italy” production, and an ambassador of Italian style and quality of life.
The symbol of Stefano Ricci, which one sees throughout the store whether on mannequins, belt buckles to the detailing on wallets, is the eagle. When asked about the symbolism of the eagles, the designer mentioned his passion for both eagles and falcons, which they are involved in bringing back to the wild in the Apennine mountains near their home. The eagle can also symbolise power, courage and dignity.
The prices range from £160 (5500czk) for a silk tie to £25,450 (860,000czk) for a crocodile skin jacket. The leather pieces are made from top cuts and uses the highest grade available. The selection of leather and fabrics represent the core of the brand – the pursuit of perfection -which can also be seen in their cashmere and silks.
The new store whilst expensive, and there is certainly no doubt about it there, is also a much needed breath of fresh air in the men’s wear category in Prague. Our only hope now is that there are enough locals, not just Russians and Chinese, that will keep the store running a profit – Here’s hoping.