venice: t fondaco dei tedeschi opening

© dfs group

could this be the most beautiful store on the planet? it has all the credentials, and on top of that, a breathtakingly beautiful location on a storied waterway that is the canal grande in venice. we're talking t fondaco dei tedeschi, the long anticipated first foray into the european market of luxury retailer dfs group. better known in the far east, australia and the u.s. – mind you, the hong kong-based company is actually a subsidiary of luxury conglomerate lvmh – it operates a sizeable network of both airport stores and downtown boutiques branded as t galleria – in case you wondered, the t stands for traveller. the new outpost obviously falls in the latter category, hence the name t fondaco dei tedeschi.

the once influential merchant city may not be your typical shopping paradise, but in the realm of tourism venice is firmly anchored in the upper ranks of europe's most popular destinations, luring plentiful of well-heeled globetrotters to its doorstep along the way. situated right next the iconic rialto bridge, the store holds court in an imposing 13th century building that once served as center of commerce between east and west, featuring no less than 7,000 sqm. [75,347 sq.ft.] of retail space. the historic landmark structure has been meticulously renovated by dutch starchitect rem koolhaas and his oma practice, and was then given a luxurious interior design by london-based architect jamie fobert.

on the ground floor level, originally a medieval courtyard that has now been fitted out with a glass roof, the concept boutiques of bottega veneta and gucci are situated, in addition to sections for a range of italian fashion accessories and jewellery. also to be found here is a carefully selected assortment of food, wine and gifts that celebrate the excellent local craftsmanship and the italian zest for life. one floor up, by way of a red-hued escalator, women’s fashion, jewelry and accessories collections from the gamut of luxury are presented in alluring settings. the second floor is a treasure trove of watches, along with a tightly curated selection of men’s fashion and accessories.

the city's most exclusive women's shoe salon sits on the third floor, in addition to an elaborate showcase of beauty and fragrance products. and that's not all, folks. directly above, there's an entire floor dedicated to exhibitions and events, and intended as a cultural meeting place for venetians and visitors alike. the space also features a rooftop terrace with sweeping views of the canal below and the venetian lagoon. the venue's inaugural show comprises of a video installation entitled under water by italian multimedia artist fabrizio plessi. location: calle del fontego dei tedeschi 5350 [san marco].

© dfs group