From Renaissance genre paintings to Maire Aintoniette’s legendary hairstyle (avec des oiseaux), the birdcage has long been an emblem of luxury. It’s a symbology now repeated in the Rococo interior of Vancouver’s latest destination boutique, Cicino. Nested in an historic West Hastings building, the store, which opened in November, reads high on the opulent scale, with elaborate birdcages serving as dressing rooms.
“The birdcages are kind of a Cicino specialty,” says product manager Ida Lai. “A beauty mark, I would call it. They’re all custom-made in Vancouver.” Decked out in opulent purple satin and plush upholstery, the gilded cages make an announcement as to the level of finery that fills out the store’s racks. Go-to houses such as Oscar de la Renta, Versace, and Reem Acra number among the brands carried at Cicino, along with more niche, hard-to-find labels such as Japanese designer Tsumori Chisato and Italian it-boy Damir Doma.
After opening in grand style by welcoming Parisian designer Pascal Millet to showcase his Spring/Summer collection at the nearby Vancouver Club, Cicino already has big plans for what’s next. “We started with this, we’re calling it our flagship location, and we’re planning on opening two more in the next, well, I don’t know how long. Either in Vancouver, West Vancouver, or Richmond,” says Lai. More immediate plans for the store include expanding further into casualwear, because brands such as Kenzo seem to by flying off the floor. However, Cicino isn’t about to abandon its ultra-luxe formalwear. “We dedicate a portion to eveningwear,” says Lai, motioning to the Reem Acra in the display window. “We’re going to carry Mikael D. We will be getting a handful of dresses for the spring and summer. It’s great: he’s Canadian, we’re Canadian, and so it’s nice to support a Canadian designer.” Cicino is another addition to the city’s blossoming fashion scene that seemingly leaves nothing for the birds.
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