omar pavanello and emanuel cestaro are the two driving forces behind declare independence, an italian manufacturer of leather bags and accessories. founded only two years ago, the brand's approach to design is obviously marked by craftsmanship, yet paired to a distinctly contemporary aesthetic of understatement with a sporty twist. its team of skilled artisans do the entire production, from tanning to colour development, creation of the products and finishing, in-house. the ambitious duo decided to take their operations to the next level - and into the global spotlight along the way - by opening their first boutique, and where else but in a part of their scenic hometown of venice where traditional craftsmen and shops have been established for centuries.
the retail space, symbolically named opvs, occupies a compact ground floor unit which has been dramatically redesigned, as if to defy the historic scenery outside. polished slabs of black marble are paired with vertically louvered chrome-plated paneling. complementing the futuristic look are boxy displays, leather-clad benches and waver-thin metal shelving lining the walls. while rows of windows allow in floods of daylight, a sophisticated lighting system strategically highlights opvs' coveted offerings across the premises. the store opening kicks off the brand's expansion, and plans for a second store in paris are already well underway. location: calle seconda dei saoneri 2671 [san polo].