Dreams really do come true. Several years ago, Luca Gnecchi Ruscone, founder and CEO of L.G.R in Italy, was discussing his projections for the brand. “I want to open L.G.R boutiques in Milan, Rome, and Florence,” said the energetic and always optimistic designer, “and perhaps beyond Italy one day.”
Fast forward to 2020, and Ruscone has achieved his ambitions for all three historical cities, with the latest opening in Florence this past spring. Even a global pandemic was not going to stop Ruscone’s dream. The official launch of the boutique was delayed for six months due to Covid-19; however, the doors happily opened in July.
The Florence boutique, in particular, was of special significance to Ruscone. “I have a deep connection with Florence and the Tuscan territory, not just for commercial purposes, but also for personal reasons. This is where I chose to live, and where most of my family lives. After the stores in Milan and Rome, opening in Florence was my priority.”
Designed by Giampiero Celani Piendlbach, the boutique perfectly embodies the soul of L.G.R: the adventure of Africa and the timeless elegance of Italian design. Ruscone’s grandfather had an optical shop – Ottica Bini – in Africa, and he was the inspiration for Luca to enter the world of optics. Discovering elegant, old frames in the shop from the 1940s provided the foundation for Luca to embark on his own optical business venture – the creation of L.G.R World.
The boutique interior reflects the atmosphere and beauty of Ottica Bini. Wooden display niches and furniture with coconut elements, plus the peaceful color palette of turquoise, sand, and green assure harmonious surroundings. The chandeliers were handmade in Morocco, and on the walls are evocative illustrations, also by hand, from travel diaries in Kenya and Maghreb. The same precision of detail, expertise, and contemporary chic that L.G.R infuses in his distinctive frames, is creatively expressed in the boutique. Within the cultivated surroundings, customers can comfortably and leisurely browse the stunning eyewear designs from the L.G.R collections and fully dive into the L.G.R world.
Ruscone is now very keen to further expand his boutique horizons. “Let’s get this pandemic to end completely, and then we will take new steps into retail. We are looking to open boutiques in Venice, and then move into important European cities like Paris, London, Vienna, and Geneva. We are also thinking about summer tourist destinations like Forte del Marmi, Mykonos, Saint Tropez, and Ibiza.”