Peter Marino the well known architect calls his spacious midtown Manhattan office a war room. He has been the creative genius behind the design and redesign of many of the stores of top fashion houses and luxury brands. He feels he is very product based as a designer and has designed stores for products ranging from soup to nuts. He works on every aspect and detail of the store including color and lighting fixtures to how the products are to be displayed. In his long career spanning over two decades Marino has designed or redesigned 30 Chanel stores, 20 stores for Louis Vuitton, eight stores for Dior and eight for Ermenegildo Zegna, as well as done boutiques designing for Fendi, Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan.
Mr. Marino is currently working on the first flagship store in Asia for Lancôme. He believes in making the stores a luxurious spectacle. He doesn’t hesitate in commissioning artwork or sculptures especially for a store. He strives to make the shopping experience exclusive and unique as he says that you must give the visitor to your store ten reasons why he shouldn’t click on a website. Marino is something of an odd ball. At 61 he wears all black leather biker wear. He speaks with a British accent and refers to himself in third person as Pedro. Though, it doesn’t take away anything from his creative genius.
In the process of designing a store, Marino meets with the brand’s designers, marketing people, advertising crew and finance staff separately. He takes the views and opinion of every one before creating the final design. He has created a ‘bag bar’ in Louis Vuitton’s London Store where backlit purses revolve in display boxes. A graduate in urban architecture from Cornell University, his first retail project was the redesign of Barneys New York flagship and has surely come a long way from there.