In a world of plastic packaging and neon supermarkets, Prada has gifted us with an edible touch of luxury in the form of Pasticceria Marchesi. The iconic Milanese pastry shop is a glamourous extension of the Italian powerhouse fashion label, and has just opened a third store covering 2,700 square feet, located on the mezzanine level in Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the luxury arcade also houses Prada’s Uomo store. Peckish?
The original Marchesi pastry shop first opened over 200 years ago on Via Santa Maria alla Porta, where it still stands today. Store two followed in 2015, and the third just last month on Sept 5th. In all three stores, Milanese tradition reigns supreme: with exposed beams, cherry-wood cabinetry, gold-embossed doilies and hand-made delicacies maintain the old-world ambience. Attempts to preserve Marchesi was made possible when Prada acquired 80% of shares in March 2014, securing the fate of the café to ensure the cultural experience was made possible for future generations.
The newest store was designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi and is both a feast for the eyes, and in the literal sense too. Galleria Vittorio has been swathed in new-season Prada design, with chilled green marble flooring backing onto kooky mint floral silk-jacquard-covered walls. Pretty pastel cake boxes with ribbons sit lined up in the pristine glass displays, whilst the clean white lighting and plush furniture give it the distinct feel of a luxury fashion boutique. Purses or pralines, it doesn’t matter: Prada have the midas touch.
Prada join an illustrious list of high-end labels branching out into other industries and cross-pollinating their brand. Milan alone is a hub of this big-brand channel blurring, with the city hosting a restaurant by Dolce & Gabbana (Bar Martini), a florist by Armani (Armani/Fiori), a cafe from Roberto Cavalli (Just Cavalli), and Bulgari’s hotel (Bulgari Hotel Milano). But only Prada does pastry. Marchesi specializes in Italian classics such as Panettone Christmas cake and Amor Polenta breakfast cake, as well as beautiful handmade chocolates and pastry treats. With expansion plans to offer the Milanese cultural experiences into key markets like Shanghai and Dubai.
Now, what does one wear to a luxury pastry shop…?