The nomadic spirit of Twenty Cabane, the popular concept store
Retail evolution

The nomadic spirit of Twenty Cabane, the popular concept store

“There is a strong desire to return to the concept of product and not brand. We need to return to purchasing timeless objects, with distinctive quality and beauty, and teach new generations to recognise quality, to touch a fabric or smell a perfume, to choose beauty even in small things. True experience passes through the five senses”

“Twenty Cabane is a project created by pure chance even though it was something I had dreamed of”, so begins the story of Alessandra Parodi, owner of the shop.


“It was Easter 2019 and a former tailor's shop on Via Dritta in the Upper Town of Bordighera was transformed into a flower garden, where skirts and dresses from our newly created tailor's line, JPMJ (j'AI PERDU MA JUPE), were hung between ceilings of peeling plaster and the floor of ancient cement tiles. Brocades and silks found their place amidst buttercups and bouquets of lilacs. 


Not far from that place, at number twenty of the same street, there was an artist's studio that had been closed for years. 


We immediately fell in love with it. One Sunday at the end of June, we finally inaugurated “La Cabane” at the historic TWENTY boutique in Corso Italia.


Every summer from dusk until late evening, our Deluxe Bazaar welcomes tourists and customers, now friends, attracted and intrigued by hand-embroidered clothes, jewellery, bags and accessories created from the fingers of modern women with ancient passions.


La Cabane is a stone treasure chest scented with lavenders and essences, filled with cushions and decor created in collaboration with craftsmen we met in faraway places during our voyages or living just a few kilometres away from us. Every evening candlelight and soft music recreate the magic.      


In 2021, La Jardinerie , Flowers & Food in CABANE was created ;a small workshop adjoining it, divided on the outside by a staircase leading to the upper floors of the typical house of Liguria. 


Bouquets of dried flowers mingle with strictly natural beauty products from Albero Storto in Apricale or organic products such as the lavender line from Olefacio. 


Slow food and local products such as extra virgin olive oil from the Templar Monks of Seborga, orange blossom water from Vallebona, beans from Pigna, saffron from Abrighi or honey from the black bee of Airole, as well as preserves and jams made only with seasonal fruit, are found on the green shelves.  


A Deli store offering organic products...slowly created in Liguria.


Finally, last year we decided to dedicate a space to household linen and decoration.


First came Cabane Ephemere, a summer pop-up hosted in a small room of a restaurant across the street. So, ephemeral.


This spring, however, the Cabane Nomade, Home & Decor a few steps away from the Cabane, opened its doors. The red “Butcher's shop” sign remains on its door, but on the central table, under an old staircase adorned with hazel branches, handmade ceramics and made-to-measure and piece-dyed Tuscan linen are on display. Candles, perfumes and many other items.


The Cabane diffusa project was a game of chance. Opening a concept store in the Borgo Antico of the elegant town of Bordighera, in the midst of only restaurants and bistrots, was indeed courageous and challenging. No one would have thought of that, at least four years ago.  We are open from Easter to the end of September. From 7 pm to 11 pm, come and visit us after a nice dinner within the ancient walls.


A holiday atmosphere can be perceived in Cabane. Its olfactory identity with Mediterranean notes can also be perceived outside, a fragrant trail that invites you in. 




What values do you bet on?


Uniqueness sets us apart. Each garment in the JPMJ collection is created at the tailor's in Milan, embroidered or crocheted by Vincenza's skilled hands in Bordighera. We make custom-made skirts and dresses. The passion for fabrics, purchased from all over the world, the adoration for embroidery and trimmings, for details in general, make blouses and dresses with a boho chic twistspecial.


Only in Cabane can you find Renata Wedel bijoux: semi-precious stones, crystals, pearls and ceramic boules are worked with a tiny crochet-like needle. Cabane is exclusive.


Each year we create special projects and collaborations: Nora Noor's handmade sleepers, Sciarmè's large crochet shawls made of bamboo yarn or the “lencos dos namorados”, the handkerchiefs of love, hand-embroidered on the back of romantic blouses by one of Portugal's most famous embroiderers.     


Cabane is passion and sacrifice. It is above all storytelling.


Curiosity, the desire to offer a surprise each season... reading the amazement in the eyes of tourists or passers-by when they enter our spaces are the adrenaline that keeps us going each summer evening after a day already spent working.   


It is nomadic spirit. Treasures are discovered not only by travelling. Beautiful discoveries are the result of curiosity. Reading without ever being satisfied to learn about the customs and traditions of peoples far or near is fundamental... the journey begins long before we are on a starts in the mind, from the desire to always nourish ourselves with beauty wherever that beauty is.  


Dedicated trade fairs and tradeshows are key to gaining a focused view of upcoming trends. Intense and tiring days, but full of insights and new energy.


Do you know when a Cabane creation starts? The moment your eyes and hands touch a yarn, a fabric or a stone somewhere in the world”.




If you could describe your shop in one sentence, what would it be?


“Cabane in one sentence? Here it is: Have you ever felt that you were somewhere else? It is the statement found in the preface to our book "L'ESTATE SOSPESA", a small, unconventional guide to the old town of Bordighera, a collection of photographs taken during a peculiar summer, that of 2020, preceded and accompanied by a pandemic that none of us will ever forget: cooks and waitresses, usually intent on cooking or serving a good glass of wine, became special models for our JPMJ collection”.




How do you expect the retail world to change in the coming years?



“In recent years, online competition and the effect of globalisation have ‘impoverished’ commerce and made the shopping experience sterile. Be it clothing, furniture, perfumery or supermarkets. 


Single-brand shops and so-called franchiseshave taken hold everywhere. The product is standardised. The sales are impersonal and the settings very similar. The main streets of the city centres are all the same. You can be in Florence or Seoul ... not much changes. There is a lack of uniqueness and originality, the special character that only the shopkeeper can provide to his or her sales outlet or shop. Not to mention the very poor quality that really low-priced goods necessarily entail. On the contrary, high-end products are positioned at increasingly higher levels aimed at a specific target group.   


Is that a road with no return? Surely a reversal will not be easy. It would be rather far-fetched. Times change and habits with them. But we can be educated and re-educated.  In our experience there is a strong desire to return to the concept of product and not brand. 


We must once again acquire timeless objects and garments, where quality and beauty are distinctive.          


We must teach the new generations to recognise quality, to touch a fabric or smell a perfume, to choose beauty even in small things. True experience passes through the five senses. Buying with an app cannot give the same excitement and satisfaction.


“Slow fashion”... the future must be slower, following the rule of the five E's: education, (a)esthetics, emotion, eco-sustainability, ethics.


The movement towards an environmentally friendly production model, promoting the recycling of materials, artisanship and ethics (respect for human rights) is already underway. It was born essentially to counteract fast fashion. It means attention to detail and a synonym for quality. One of the few ways to stand out in a sector that is truly saturated and more aggressive than ever”.




Would you advise a young person to open a shop?


“Absolutely! Today, many young people are approaching the Cabane concept, that of craftsmanship and “handmade”. Perhaps after gaining experience in very different and distant fields. 


We would certainly entrust our mantra to them: travel, observe, create.


However, observing with eyes only is not the only way to create. The best vibrations are those that the soul intercepts”.