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Riot Concept Store, Naples. An ever-changing multifunctional space

Located in an up-and-coming neighborhood of Naples, Riot gathers a local community with an international and contemporary attitude

Riot Concept Store, Naples

Riot is a three-storey concept store located in Naples. It represents a multifunctional space, hosting a coffee and cocktail bar together with a home gallery for exhibits and events, and a record store. It was founded in 2016 by three young Neapolitan entrepreneurs: Gianpiero Iodice, Stefano Grasso, and Luigi Stallone. Grasso is a stylist, with his own clothing line called Derriere Heritage and a background in the denim washing industry. While Stallone is the founder of London Vomero, a streetwear shop that now has five stores in the area.

We spoke with Gianpiero Iodice. He told us that Riot was born by chance, from an intuition that has nothing to do with today’s Riot. After his degree in biotechnology, in fact, he became a partner of one of the most famous underground clubs in Naples, the Duel. But, he was always keeping an eye on the news related to his educational background. He read a paper about a company, Garmon – a world leader in the field of denim washing– that was experimenting with zero impact enzymes that can do what chemical agents have done up to now in denim bleaching. «I remembered that Stefano had worked with Garmon. We had always had in mind to open a bar. So I told him: ‘how about if we try to combine the activity of a bar with that of green customization of denim?’».

At the time, Stefano Grasso was already working with Stallone, who had in mind for some time a perfect location for a new business. Two years later, Gianmarco Crosio – who also has a clothing background – joined the team becoming responsible for the shop area. Today, customized ecological jeans are just one of the many things Riot has to offer.

The philosophy at Riot

Because of its origins as a bar with a zero-impact customized denim shop, the first label of Riot was Laundry Bar. Over the years, it became clear that calling the business this way was a bit simplistic. Iodice and his partners soon started selling paintings and craftsmanship. They also started working with artists and musicians. Therefore, the label Laundry Bar began to be a bit tight.

The current name – Riot Concept Store – allows them to work at 360 degrees. «To call yourself a concept store you have to push ideas, any ideas. We have changed, and it took time to create a strong identity». Many of the products sold here are the result of collaboration with artists and artisans who have previously exhibited their works in Riot’s own spaces. «The philosophy of the Store is precisely to bring in ideas and make them usable». They sell homemade silver jewels from Ibiza as well as scented candles from California.

Now Riot is open from breakfast till late at night. It hosts vernissages, Dj sets, concerts as well as more underground events like a poetry slam. It is always experimenting and looking for hidden gems, such as Claudio Casalini, a DJ of the Romagna Riviera, who is now more than seventy years old, who performed for Riot’s third birthday. There is no typical customer. But, the place is frequented by Neapolitans living abroad, who are bored with the usual places and are searching for a more international atmosphere. This environment allowed Riot to be listed as one of the must-see destinations in Naples, according to the New York Times.

Vomero neighborhood

Riot is located in Vomero, a residential upscale neighborhood in the western part of the city. This hilly area of ​​Naples was an almost uninhabited and agricultural suburb until the end of the nineteenth century. The actual housing development of Vomero began precisely in 1885, with the design of a reticular road layout that followed the patterns of European rationalist urban planning in vogue at that time.

Vomero has always been a residential and bourgeois area, with large Liberty-style streets and villas, where you can enjoy a view of the city from above. «We have been a bit crazy, because at the time via Kerbaker was a quiet street in a fairly dead area. We were the first to enter here. But, I must say that after five years this has become the first neighborhood in Naples where operators in our sector are buying. Many realities have also moved from the center to Vomero».

Before Riot, this place had its own history, as it belonged to one of the most famous bookstores in Naples, Loffredo Libreria, which has been there for forty-two years. Loffredo was also an internationally important publishing house. It was founded in the mid-nineteenth century. When it closed in 2013, it seemed that culture had left Vomero for good. «The shop had been vacant for three or four years before we took it. I remember the first time I entered I saw some sort of construction site. Hence our idea of ​​forming Riot from the ashes».

Iodice and the other partners designed the space by themselves, using only three industrial elements: exposed concrete, wood, and steel. The custom-made furniture is all handcrafted by blacksmiths. It can be easily modified, because «the ideas keep coming, and needs keep changing». The place is now entirely multifunctional. For example, when Crosio arrived, they decided to mount most of the clothing stands on pulleys. When they need space for an event, they can simply transform the room taking all the hangers up to the ceiling, creating a small stage. 

Riot Concept Store, the record store area

Riot’s connection with Neapolitan underground music

Riot also hosts a basement record store. Electronix Network – one of the largest distributors of electronic, house, and techno music in the Campania region – managed it. Now, the record store is run by Futuribile Studio, a record shop and label specialized in Neapolitan funk, boogie, and Italo-disco, leading genres of the reawakened Neapolitan music scene.

Futuribile is made by two people, Dario di Pace aka Mystic Jungle, an underground producer, and Cristiano Cesarano who is Iodice’s partner in Soul Express, the organization with which Iodice works as an event promoter. «We were able to close the circle and bring inside the music that we already propose outside. I’m delighted to have Futuribile here. It’s a unique reality envied by the whole world. They also have three record labels. This means that we can bring here exclusive records in preorder before anyone else. This creates a circle of customers from everywhere looking for that specific type of music. For the moment we are quite sectorial. We do few but good things». This collaboration has made it possible to bring to Riot internationally recognized Italian artists, such as Nu Guinea, a Naples-formed, Berlin-based duo. 

Covid-19 impact on the industry

Food and beverages also feature a ‘less is good’ philosophy. Riot now has a small, cold kitchen. There is not too much choice on the menu. Therefore, Iodice and his partners had to focus on the high quality of everything they offer. For the aperitif, you can choose between platters, croutons, or rosette (small sandwiches) made with cured meats and cheeses from the best suppliers from Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. The drink list is short but carefully selected as well. There is a wide range of classic Italian aperitifs made with Vermouth, Campari, and Cinzano. «We’d like to continue this philosophy wherever possible of drinking well and drinking Italian».

They have a wide selection of Campania wines from Tenuta Vitagliano, whose owner Andrea Vitagliano is also Riot’s property manager. «For us, it’s a plus because it doesn’t happen every day to sit in a bar and have the manager telling you everything about the wine he produces himself». As for beers, it is the only topic on which they are not patriotic. «We try as much as possible to use zero kilometer products. I am passionate about beer. But, at the moment, I do not feel like presenting a selection of completely artisanal beers, since we still cannot compete with the Belgian and German ones».

Zero-kilometers, craftsmanship, and sustainability: these themes are certainly close to Riot’s philosophy. «We are trying to be environmentally friendly in everything we do, but the Covid-19 pandemic did not help. For example, we were very close to getting rid of all plastic. But, we had to temporarily give up the disposable material requested by the takeaway service». The pandemic affected the business all-round. «Our aim is to return stronger than before to do the things we did before. Now we are missing the ABCs. We have not yet returned to full service in the bar. We’re still not able to complement the store with events, which was a great help for us. We are ready to re-start as soon as possible»

Riot Concept Store

Via Kerbaker, 19, 80129 Napoli NA
Clothing and streetwear shop, with breakfast and cocktail bar located in Vomero, Naples

Giulia Rosa Luppino

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

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check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

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