B&B Italia, a manufacturer with a long history of crafting bespoke furnishings, is reaching into its backstory as it opens a different kind of store. The firm’s new Miami flagship is the first of its retail spaces to offer a fresh way of customizing its products, allowing buyers to refine and remodel individual pieces exactly to their liking through both digital and physical touchpoints.
The beating heart of the operation is the Tailor’s Room, where clients meet with the design team and see their own ideas rendered on the big screen, while handling various samples to get the feel of any textiles or finishes they’re considering. Do they have kids? If yes, then it might not be wise to purchase a couch cast in delicate fabric. Does the room that the piece will inhabit get a lot of natural light? A more neutral hue will lend itself to this brighter setup.
“The idea is really the same as shopping for a very chic cocktail dress or getting dressed on Savile Row in London—you go to get a tailored job,” says Jan Vingerhoets, managing director of B&B Italia Americas. “That’s something we’ve never really been able to express before. Most people think when they order a piece from us that it’s just sitting on the shelf in Northern Italy, which it’s absolutely not. That sofa is being created from scratch. There’s no sofa before that.”
For inspiration, the showroom features pieces from B&B Italia’s oeuvre, including collections from its sister brands Maxalto and Arclinea. The latest standouts are the Camaleonda—Mario Bellini’s bulbous, sought-after seat, reissued in 2020 after 50 years out of production—and the upcoming Naviglio sofa system, which represents B&B Italia’s first collaboration with of-the-now design firm Yabu Pushelberg. The real fun, though, is making them all your own.