Founded in LA in 1978 by the travel fiend, creative pioneer and all-round design maven Janice Feldman, Janus et Cie has long since become an industry leader in elegant, high quality outdoor furnishings. The brand has created furniture for a wide range of contexts – residential, hospitality and commercial clients therein – extending its reach from that inaugural single LA showroom internationally. It now has 19 flagship stores across the globe.
The newest of these has just opened in Milan, not long after the brand joined the launded Poltrona Frau Group family. Sat on the city’s Via Fatebenefratelli, in the auspicious Brera design district, the store is Janus et Cie’s first European flagship.
Janus et Cie’s Milan flagship
The street is an appropriate location, affirming the company’s prestigious position in the modern design landscape; while the store itself is suitably impressive. Gilded JeC logos – a neatly clipped, gold-leaf shrub sculpture – and actual topiary border the entrance way of the initial two-floor hall (it stretches to three further back), and the bucolic theme is continued inside via tall hedge columns and walls. It’s an airy, classically relaxing space, flooded with light by double height windows and a serene white and cream colour scheme only broken by subtle flashes of greenery throughout.
Therein, the Fatebenefratelli store sees an expansive, uncluttered display of Janus et Cie’s designs. It might only scratch the surface of the company’s catalogue of 6,000-plus pieces (!), but there’s a cannily curated selection of everything from chairs and loungers to outdoor tables and parasols, as well as an interactive fabric installation, in which visitors are encouraged to explore the company’s textiles ‘three dimensionally – draped on chairs, wrapped around pillows, held in various lights and entwined with a designer’s project materials’ (they explain). The days might be drawing in, but it’s all enough to get one dreaming of summer. See you by the pool.