MILANO, Italy. Via Montenapoelone was first named after one of the street’s early residents, the financial institution Monte di Pietà, but was later changed to Via Montenapoleone in honour of Napoleon. Today it is known as the prestigious shopping street in at the heart of the Milan’s Quadrilatero della moda where many of the world’s leading fashion labels have their flagship stores. From 25-31 May the street also hosted some of the top superyacht brands during an event organised by the Montenapoleone Association, an organisation that promotes the commercial interests of the street’s boutique and property owners, which brought together the nautical world with haute couture and prêt-à-porter, exclusive jewelers and watchmakers.

Luxury is synonymous with quality, craftsmanship and customisation. These ingredients—shared by both the high fashion and superyacht industries—were the main focus of the promotional initiative. On the evening of May 28, in particular, the stores and yacht builders taking part hosted an evening of cocktails when Milan became a kind of landlocked Monaco in miniature with yacht models in showcases replacing the real thing.

“The mission statements behind the high-end luxury brands on Via Montenapoleone resemble our own at Benetti,” said COO Fabio Ermetto over cocktails at the Etro store, surrounded by the latest fashion collections and models of Benetti yachts. “With Expo the city of Milan is the focus of the world this year and as an Italian brand we wanted to be part of an event that promotes Italian excellence and manufacturing. It’s an opportunity not to be missed.”

Perini Navi at Louis Vuitton

Gianni and Bernardo Zuccon, Luca Dini, Aldo Cichero, Mario Pedol, Lorenzo Argento from Brenta Design and Antonio Romano from Hotlab were just some of the designers to be seen roaming Via Montenapoleone. The Louis Vuitton store was taken over by Perini Navi with an enormous model of 70m Sybaris (whose owner, Bill Duker, is a keynote speaker on the opening day of Superyacht Design Week on June 23); Ferragamo hosted the Swan sailing yachts (the brand is owned by Leonardo Ferragamo); Brenta Design occupied the Buccellati boutique; Baglietto the Corneliani store; Riva and CRN were to found at the Larusmiani and Vhernier boutiques respectively; and Azimut at Damiani. But it was not just Italian yacht builders taking advantage of the branding opportunity: Holland Jachtbouw joined up with Bulgari, Vitters with Van Cleef & Arpels, and Lurssen with Hermés.

Bernardo Zuccon at Larusmiani