How the Stones, Suspiria Inspired Redemption Store
Rock-n-roll devotee, Redemption’s Gabriele “Bebe” Moratti, has set down roots in NYC.
After debuting his fashion brand Redemption in 2012, Gabriele “Bebe” Moratti wasted no time distinguishing it from the fashion-startup pack. Just as committed to rock-n-roll-infused embellishment as to sustainable and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques, Moratti’s passion project soon became one of the industry’s most talked-about new forces.
Since then, the brand has arguably outgrown the start-up label—especially in light of Redemption’s subsequent expansion into more traditional retail sectors, from Couture in 2017 to its first-ever retail store this year. Proving that such growth hasn’t slowed his life-in-the-fastlane pace, Moratti, 40, juggled the store opening and fashion month all at once, showing Redemption’s SS20 collection in Paris this fall, and opening the New York flagship in October.
In the era of fashion-on-demand, these highly tangible gestures of growth carry added currency. As such, Moratti made sure his Soho store would be a comprehensive reflection of the brand’s many layers. The first step, settling on a location, was, if anything, complicated by Redemption’s inherently global identity: While Moratti has strong roots in Milan (his father was once the city’s mayor), Redemption shows collections and is based in Paris. “Between Milan and Paris we [were leaning toward] Paris,” says Moratti. But in the end, New York’s cultural and commercial standing won out. “New York made the most sense, because it’s the center of the world,” he adds. “It’s not only one of the fashion capitals of the world, it’s also the center of the world when it comes to art, culture, and all the rest.”
Though Moratti’s native Milan may not have won his real-estate bid, the store’s illustrious interior designer, director Luca Guadagnino, is his bedfellow in Italian provenance as well as aesthetic taste. “Luca and I have been friends for a very long time,” says Moratti. “My aesthetic is [influenced by] alt-cinema and alt-photography, [so] I have always appreciated [Luca’s] work—not only as a director but also as an art director. He has a great ability to tell a story through space or through objects.”
Moratti knows this firsthand, as one of the producers of Guadagnino’s 2018 horror film Suspiria. But the Guadagnino film that most comes through at the Redemption store is arguably A Bigger Splash, about a fictional veteran rockstar on holiday. For inspiration, Guadagnino and Moratti opted for a lesser-known chapter in rock-royalty lore—the making of the Rolling Stones’ 1972 album Exile on Main St., which took place at a sprawling villa in the South of France. With a picture of Keith Richards as a launchpad, Moratti gave Guadagnino a carte blanche. “I showed him this amazing picture of Keith Richards on the floor of this beautiful park, [on] this beautiful, decadent [called] Villa Nellcôte, sitting on the floor playing guitar,” he says. “He looked at the picture and said, ‘Okay, I will get back to you. I went [back] a week later, and he had all of these mood boards. He even found Rolling Stones pictures I had never seen before, which is very difficult [to do]! I was shocked by that. [From then on] there was never a moment of hesitation, I was like this is it.”