The Emilia-Romagna region is known for three things: cars, cuisine and clay. Beyond the Maseratis, Lamborghinis and the bottles of balsamic vinegar, it’s also the home of faience and a specialized craftsmanship hub for terracotta.

That’s why, when the team behind Francesc Rifé Studio was tasked with the design concept for the new Camper store at the Fidenza Village shopping center, they looked to the ground – that is, to the baked earth that seems to spurt wildly in that area.

We wanted to extend the dialogue between the local and the global, the traditional and the pioneer

It made sense to link that natural material to Camper, a Mallorcan shoe brand known for using high-quality materials to challenge conventional footwear typologies.

The design team expanded upon that connection. ‘We wanted to extend the dialogue between the local and the global, the traditional and the pioneer,’ explained founder Francesc Rifé. To do so, they worked with four natural materials – terracotta tiles, rope, steel and oak – and put a twist in their application in order to provide them with a new meaning.

Take the tiles, for example: each one was consciously designed to the approximate size of a foot; by dyeing them grey, the visual impact of the reddish shade underneath is neutralized, instead putting the emphasis on the product.

The counter and the large staircase, both visual protagonists in the space, are made in black steel and grey smoked glass. The geometric simplicity of these volumes is then enriched by the contrasting use of natural oak.

And the rope? It’s a subtle reference to Camper’s standout shoelaces. Left in its natural colour to convey the purity of the material, the lines actually serve as a harmonious conceptual connection between the product and the architecture of the space.