Car Shoes + Prada Shoes = Via della SpigaItalian footwear brand Car Shoe has opened a flagship store in Milan. The new shop, on the fashionable Via della Spiga, is designed like the interior of a car, with green leather chairs reminisent of car seats and shiny wood panelling recalling luxury details like the dashboard. Architect Roberto Baciocchi was given approval by Patrizio Bertelli, chief executive of the Prada Group, who is deeply involved with the brand.

“The automobile world recalls the origin of the brand, and since we wanted to preserve classic elements of style, this décor not only seemed right but also duplicable in various sizes and locations,” said Stefano Cantino, marketing manager at Prada Group. He told WWD that the opening of this store is a sign of the group’s commitment to growing the brand. Stores are planned for Rome , Paris , London , New York , Barcelona , Tokyo and Hong Kong .

Founded in 1963 by artisan Gianni Mostile, who shared a passion for both racecars and hand-made shoes, Car Shoe is best known for its signature moccasin whose sole boasts tiny rubber nubs. The inventive footwear even earned a patent from the Italian Ministry of Industry and Trade and a following among powerful men known as style icons – Giovanni Agnelli, JFK and Roberto Rossellini, to name three.

Prada acquired control of Car Shoe in 2001, opening flagship stores in Milan and Capri in the next two years and introduced the line into over 200 major boutiques internationally. Spring-summer 2004 saw the launch of its first bag collections. The label is planning more store openings in Italy in the short term and in Europe and New York in the medium term, while considering opportunities in emerging markets. It should. A recent tour of markets in Beijing by FWD confirmed that Car Shoe is one of the half dozen most copied labels in the Chinese capital.