LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Porto Cervo Reinvented

LUXURY NOW / TRAVEL, DESIGN & FASHION / PORTO CERVO REINVENTED

Promenade du Port in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, is a cutting edge mini-mall that mixes independent concept stores with art and design galleries. Andrea Brugnoni, the director of the development, explains his vision of contemporary retail.

The Italian resort of Porto Cervo, founded by the Aga Khan in northern Sardinia in the 1960s, is synonymous with turquoise waters, pastel-coloured villas, and luxury shopping in the form of Prada, Gucci, de Grisogono et al. Yet it is the latter boutiques that, in the eyes of young entrepreneur Andrea Brugnoni, spoil this otherwise wild part of Italy, creating what he describes as a “very high class luxury airport mall”.

With Promenade du Port, a new retail development that mixes independent concept stores with art and design galleries, Brugnoni aims to bring contemporary commerce to the island. “My vision was to bring everything that was missing in Porto Cervo such as culture, design, emerging international brands and food boutiques,” he says of his mission. And that is exactly what he has achieved at the open-air mini-mall.

Brugnoni made a creative coup by inviting his mother, the influential Milanese design galleriest Rosanna Orlandi, to open what is only her second outpost. Other cult names quickly followed: the niche Italian fashion retailer Aspesi just opened, cutting-edge London design gallery Fumi is back for its second season, a contemporary florist has arrived and Promenade du Port even has the island’s first boutique specializing in luxury erotica.

“We are bringing back the perfume of the bread,” explains Brugnoni, who considers freshly baked bread, “a real luxury yet the simplest thing.” It is a metaphor for his philosophy but one that can also be taken literally – the restaurants at Promenade du Port are unpretentious with a focus on local produce, such as Mozz’Art, a mozzarella bar making fresh mozzarella to order.

An outpost of fashionable London nightclub Boujis created by Patricia Urquiola is similarly authentic, having been inspired by Sardinian arts and crafts. Promenade de Port’s Ruinart Champagne bar might seem like a relic of traditional Porto Cervo, were it not for the fact it is located in what is Porto Cervo’s first and only contemporary art museum, MdM – another of Brugnoni’s projects.

For Brugnoni, Promenade du Port is about his beloved Sardinia, where he has vacationed every summer since he was a child. But in developing the concept he has pioneered the power of contemporary design like never before and created what is essentially the next step in the phenomenon of the concept store – the concept mall.

Andrea Brugnoni’s definition of luxury:
The constant research for something beautiful, delicious, rare, precious and absolutely useless!

If luxury were an object, what would it be?
A CD.

If luxury were a place, where would it be?
Your home.

If luxury were a person, who would it be?
Any person who does what he loves.

If luxury were a moment, when would it be?
The moment you are listening to your CD in your house without a phone ringing.

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