Via Tornabuoni is where you'll find the main designer boutiques of Florence. There is an excellent representation of Italian designers especially those native to Florence. They have all installed boutiques befitting of the prestigious via Tornabuoni and of the beautiful buildings in which they are housed.
Palazzo Spini Feroni, via Tornabuoni
Achoring Tornabuoni street on the corner of the Lungarno sits the palatial Salvatore Ferragamo flagship store, head office and museum. He occupies the entire Palazzo Spini building and offers the finest of the Ferragamo clothing, accessories and of course shoes collections. There is even a collectors’ section where updated re-issues of his infamous shoe styles are sold in limited edition. Do not miss the Ferragamo Shoe Musesum located at the lower level of the palazzo. It is a refreshing divergence from the other great art museums of Florence and well worth the small entry fee.
Via de' Tornabuoni, 73/ 81r
Long since Guccio Gucci started as a leather craftsman overt 90 years ago, it has had several reincarnations with the help of some famous names in the industry like Tom Ford and Stella McCartney. Since Frida Giannini has headed up the design team, it has resulted in the re-opening of the stunning 2 level contemporary flagship store in Florence. Her influence is immediately recognizable with its minimalist window displays reflecting that updated edge. Giannini has seen success reinventing on proven Gucci designs. Never has the company deviated from its Made in Italy policy – a source of pride on which its luxury heritage label is built. Gucci is best known for their successful accessories collection, and they hit you with their best and latest selection immediately as you enter. The trademark red and green striped colors and GG logos are on every possible piece of hardware or cloth. There is also a smaller Gucci accessories and handbag boutique on Via Roma 32r
In celebration of the 90th anniversary, the newly opened Gucci Museo, Café and Icon shop. Housed in one three level historic building, it is a magnificent addition to the Piazza Signoria.
Via Tornabuoni, 83/R
Another Florence native, Cavalli has a fabulous location directly on the other corner of Tornabuoni and Via della Vigna Nuova right next to Gucci. There’s always a massive flower arrangement front and center as you enter. He is known for being over the top and this main retail location will not disappoint in selection or atmosphere with its soaring windows and ornate architectural details. Although, he has taken a lower key role and passed much of the design reins to his son, the same Cavalli creativity dominates.
The Giacosa Café, is Cavalli’s trendy designer café, small, but always packed. Seating is limited and without question,
the bella figura
mentality pervades thus caffé prices are premium. As a special treat or
momento, try the Giacosa chocolates which are beautifully packaged and
prominently displayed in the café windows.
Via de' Tornabuoni 20-22R
The trademark strong color combinations and patterns of Emilio
Pucci are unmistakable. The window displays can definitely be recognized
from afar. Although, the store is small, maybe even smaller than their
it is worth the look inside to see another of Florence’s famous sons and
how they find put a fresh face on their amazing color palettes every
Other ITALIAN DESIGNER BOUTIQUES not based in Florence
Being a Milanese boy, his Milan location is the larger and the
flagship of his designer boutiques accompanied by the decidedly hip
Armani café. However, he has chosen an elegant historic building for
his Florence location over 2 floors. He carries both the white and
higher black label designer lines here as well as a beautiful selection
of accessories. The Emporio Armani shop is located directly behind the flagship store on Piazza Strozzi 16/r.
Via Tornabuoni 61-63
Primarily a luxury accessories line, the Florence designer boutique focuses on its exquisite jewelry and Swiss watch line. The recently opened accessories boutique on Via Vigna Nuova features his sought after handbag collections.
Via Tornabuoni 13-15r
Versace offers 3 floors of designer indulgence in this location
close to the Arno end of Tornabuoni directly across from the house of
Ferragamo. The sleek modern interior displays the handbags and
accessories on the main floor, mens’ wear on the lower level and women’s
wear on the upper. The same Versace flare is still being successfully
carried on by sister Donatella Versace for the Versace fashion house.
Dolce and Gabbana
Via Della Vigna Nouva 23/25,
Via de Tornabuni 33
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have a great contemporary
corner two level store with an ample selection of both men’s and
women’s designs. The main floor features their shoe and accessories.
You will immediately recognize the trademark leapord print which is
cleverly visible through its large plate glass windows. The Florence
boutique is one of their largest and features both the higher end
Dolce&Gabbana line along with the trendier D&G line.
via Degli Strozzi 21/r
Edoardo and Adele Fendi began in the 1920s as a small fur and
leather shop in Rome. A fortuitous collaboration under the artistic
direction of Karl Lagerfeld in 1965 turned this family run operation
into a premier luxury fashion house with its first couture and ready to
wear fur collections. Lagerfeld is the genius behind the infamous
inverted FF logo. The large contemporary boutique in Florence sits just
down from the house of Vuitton.
Via de' Tornabuoni, 67
Mario and Martino, the Fratelli Prada began as a leathershop a
century ago and like many institutions in their formative years
underwent a few transformations. The Florence location is a long narrow
boutique and is not an interior design standout of any acclaim, but it
is always busy. Perhaps, it is because of its limited size or because
it is definitely a design house of the moment. When granddaughter
Miuccia began implementing her creativity, she turned it into one of the
most influential fashion houses starting by introducing the classic
Prada handbag. Her prestigious Miu Miu line followed. The Florence Miu Miu designer boutique can be found on Via Roma 8, in Florence.
Viale Lavagnini 30 and Via Colletta 30
Aurelio Valentino has a truly elegant store that befits his
feminine designs. This designer boutique is moderate in size, but
intimate and features collections over two floors. I was lucky enough
to attend an in-store fashion show and the decidedly personal atmosphere
fit the event and boutique. Naturally, everything was presented with
impeccable taste from the delicate
to the elegant giftbag. It's well worth a visit.
Non-Italian Designer Boutiques
Piazza degli Antinori 6R
Considered one of the highest sought after luxury European lines,
the Hermès designerr boutique with its opulent décor is situated in an
outstanding monument building. The frescoed high ceilings and
architectural details are nothing short of what you would expect from a
design house of the finest of quality and caliber. The famous scarves
and handbags are featured out front followed by interior furnishings and
designer clothing in the back.
Piazza degli Strozzi, 1
The Asian tourists can not get enough of the leader in leather designer boutiques. Make no mistake, it is a luxury line of the finest craftsmanship, and like Hermès they will wait patiently for entry if the store is at maximum capacity. The shop has both its infamous LV logo and leather collections. Its window displays are always attention grabbing with its prime corner location on the Piazza and Via della Strozzi.