At the January edition of Pitti Uomo—a bi-annual men's fashion event held in Florence, Italy—accessories brand Want Les Essentiels de la Vie exhibited within the Alpine Lodge, a conceptual structure that channeled the theme of its new collection. We sent a few questions to Want’s co-founders, brothers Byron and Dexter Peart, to learn more about how architecture conveys the brand’s urbane sensibility.
"The Alpine Lodge was inspired by a traditional Japanese mountain lodge," Peart says. "We also referenced places like Chalet Murasaki to convey a sense of luxury that still feels comfortable and relevant in its natural environment." Last year, Want exhibited its Garden House, which the company adapted for the Alpine Lodge. "We wanted to continue to create an interactive experience that allows our guests to understand our collection in a new way," Peart says. "Our aim was to create an atmosphere that offers an entirely different emotion and ambience."
"Katsura Palace was also a point of reference for us—its serenity encourages reflection and we liked the idea of encouraging that sense of discovery within the Alpine Lodge," Peart says. The sprawling 16-acre Katsura Imperial Villa was commissioned in the 17th Century and is shown above.
The structure's minimalist shape and "timeless" framework gave the brothers freedom to explore different concepts by changing the colors, finishes, and decoration. It's constructed from glass and white pine. "The airy quality of these two materials—along with many windows—was critical to the design," says Peart. "Architecture has always been an integral part of our inspiration and direction. The intention of the Alpine Lodge is to convey timelessness, classic style, and thoughtful utility, mirroring our objective when designing WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie products."
The dichotomy of Japanese culture inspired Want's Fall/Winter 2014 collection. "[The culture is] deeply rooted in time-honored tradition while swiftly ahead of the curve," says Peart. "Their approach to design is both modern and restrained—principles that we strictly adhere to as brand."
Montreal-based interior designer Maria Rosa Di Ioia and Florence-based architect Andrei Pantzer worked to bring the Pearts' ideas to life.
The structure features custom millwork to display the brand's bags and accessories.