According to Italian media reports on Thursday, Saint Laurent offered one million euros a year to secure the 18-year lease of the space.
This marks a record for the tourist and shopping destination, also considering that the bidding began at 131,000 euros for the one-window store currently occupied by the shirt specialist label Nara Camicie. Saint Laurent’s offer also resonated in the Italian media as the local Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco pays the same amount annually for a 12,034-square-foot space in the arcade that houses his “Cracco in Galleria” restaurant over three levels, according to a 2018 Women’s Wear Daily report.
According to Vogue, Yves Saint Laurent himself said it best: “Chanel freed women, and I empowered them.” Founded in 1961, the legendary house that bears his name has given us a repertoire of fabled pieces (the Mondrian shift, Le Smoking, the safari jacket, the see-through dress) that offered a modern vocabulary of dressing that was confident, worldly, and sexually liberated.
They will soon have a new and expensive space to empower women, a 883-square-foot space in the city’s shopping arcade Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
According to a 2018 Women’s Wear Daily report, among the dozen companies taking part in the auction, footwear brand Moreschi reportedly made the second-highest bid at 402,000 euros a year, followed by Luxottica, which offered 401,000 euros. Other contenders included Richemont Italia and Damiani, offering 257,000 euros and 201,000 euros a year, respectively.
Although Saint Laurent has apparently provisionally won the auction, it won’t officially be over for a few months, until the municipality goes through the details of the offer and the company’s data.
If it does win the space, the French fashion house will be the latest luxury addition to the 19th-century shopping arcade, joining Prada, Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Gucci and Chanel, which this year opened a standalone beauty store opposite the site being sought by Saint Laurent, according to a 2018 Women’s Wear Daily report.