Brooks Brothers was founded in 1818 by Henry Sands Brooks. It is the oldest men’s clothier in the United States which created the “preppy” look.
Brooks Brothers was founded in 1818 by Henry Sands Brooks. He opened his first store, H. & D. H. Brooks & Co., in New York City. Over the years the company developed both retail operations and its own manufacturing business. In 1845 the firm introduced the country’s first ready-made suits. It also continued to create hand-tailored clothing, and supplied suits to dignitaries and presidents including Abraham Lincoln, who was wearing a handmade Brooks Brothers coat the night he was assassinated.
The company revolutionized the American male wardrobe, often drawing for inspiration on classic British designs. Their innovations included silk foulard neckties, polo coats (introduced for men, but soon adopted by girls and women as well), Harris Tweed jackets, Shetland sweaters, and Argyle socks. Also, button-down collars on shirts, inspired by British polo shirts, which became the firm’s signature product and one of its long-standing best-sellers. When the country introduced British club ties in 1945, they reversed the direction of the diagonal stripes, thus creating the American repp tie. The firm opened its first women’s department in 1949, and has since branched into childrenswear and accessories.
Brooks Brothers Style
Brooks Brothers is the oldest menswear brand of America, setting the standard for men, first, and women’s elegance, after, for almost two centuries. The brands experience came from the world of men’s clothing with the production of uniforms for the New York State troops during the Civil War. Now, it is famous for having introduced ready-made and tailored clothes for men. Also, the way they revolutionized shirt collars with the “button-down” collar in 1896, which they found inspiration from the English polo players. In 1850, the brand adopted the golden fleece logo that is still used today.
Over the years the company has dressed male icons from Clark Gable to John F. Kennedy. The brand became identified, particularly in the late 20th century, with the conservative east coast style, familiarly known as “preppy” or “Ivy League.”
In 2001 Claudio Del Vecchio, President and owner of the Retail Brand Alliance, pays Marks & Spencer $225 million dollars for the brand. The agreement includes the acquisition of 242 single-brand shops. By 2003 the brand had opened 160 shops in the USA, and 67 in Japan, among others. Annual turnover tops $600 million, with 5 million shirts produced yearly. Later, in April, the brand ended its two-year old collaboration with Diego Della Valle, owner of Tod’s.
In 2004 the brand launched a special edition CD, which was created exclusively for Brooks Brothers by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton. The company had sponsored Jazz at Lincoln Center exclusively since 2001, and all of the performers wear Brooks Brothers outfits. “The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis Plays the Music of Duke Ellington” CD is on sale in selected Brooks Brothers retail store and its official website.
The strength of the brand is the relaxed elegance of the noblest American tradition and the inspiration to a sophisticated sporty look able to stay loyal to the affordable chic ideals sought after since the very early days. For the Fall/Winter 2007-2008 season, they launched the Black Fleece line to testify the evolution of American costume. The collection, distributed through a network of single-brand stores, has been placed into the hands of the American designer, Thom Browne.
In 2009, Brooks Brothers entered the Canadian market and opened stores in Vancouver and Toronto. Meanwhile, the brand also opened its first store in Mexico, in Guadalajara. At this time, the brand targeted a more youthful group. The company set its goals to engage with new generations, therefore, they launched a sportswear collection, in addition to a licensed collection, meant for campus bookstores, bearing school logos.
Design for The Great Gatsby
Brooks Brothers and Prada designed costumes for the film, “The Great Gatsby” in 2013. This film represented the most recognizable style from 1920s, and had a certain influence among the fashion world. Brooks Brothers produced 1,700 items for the movie including most of the clothing for every male character including Jay Gatsby (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). After the success of the film, Brooks Brothers released a limited collection including black bow tie with white tipping worn by Leonardo DiCaprio in the poster of the film.
Zac Posen was pointed as Brooks Brothers’ new creative director of women’s clothing and accessories in 2014. Posen is known for his techniques in artisanal craftsmanship. He adopted lush fabrications and buoyant prints, which successfully combined brand heritage with a more feminine touch.
In 2015, after 8 year’s collaboration, Thom Browne announced that he will no longer design for the brand, instead, he will focus on his own label. Black Fleece Fall 2015 season was Thom Browne’s last collection for Brooks Brothers.
Social responsibility has always been Brooks Brothers’ most important concerns. Since 2005, Brooks Brothers has raised nearly $14.5 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the fight against childhood cancer and other life threatening diseases. Also, in 2016 Brooks Brothers donated 10% of net sales to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In addition, the company made a long-term commitment and pledged $20 million for the addition of the Brooks Brothers Computational Center at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In 2017 Brooks Brothers chose to collaborate with Instagram influencer Mike Mellia. Mike posted a series of looping videos on his Instagram page which went viral and drew a lots of attention from fashion brands, including Brooks Brothers. The company together with Mike, built a brand new advertising campaign based on Mike’s loop video, and was also featured in the advertisement where he was standing still while objects moved around him.
Later in this year, there was a lawsuit against Brooks Brothers for retail data breach, several clients claims their payment information has been compromised, and Brooks Brothers failed to protect their data.
2018 marks Brooks Brother’s 200 year anniversary, to celebrate its milestone, the company planned a series events and activities in world wild throughout the whole year. According to Brooks Brothers, in January, brand will collaborate with Pitti Immagine Uomo 93 in Florence, Italy, to present its first fashion, follow by a retrospective of Brooks Brothers’ legendary archives.
Currently, Brooks Brothers has over 280 stores in the United States and more than 700 stores globally in 45 countries.
Benetton was established in 1965 in Ponzano Veneto, Italy, by the Benetton family. It started as an artisan’s workshop that specialized in knitwear that was well-designed at rather affordable prices and now is a global fashion brand.
Benetton was established in 1965 in Ponzano Veneto (Treviso) by the Benetton siblings Luciano, Giuliana, Gilberto and Carlo. At the beginning it was simply an artisan’s workshop specialized in knitwear that was well-designed at rather affordable prices.
“My sister Giuliana,” says Luciano Benetton, “made sweaters for a small shop in our area. One day, she gave me a sweater that was very bright yellow. Well, everyone wanted it. They were tired of the sad and dull colors of the time. Then, said: “Come on, let’s try it; you, Giuliana, will design and I will sell. We bought an old machine to weave stripes onto net stockings. We sold it cheap, and we transformed it. Since then, no one has been able to stop us.”
Company Information: 1998
By 1998 Benetton had a turnover of almost 9 trillion liras, company stores and franchisees all over the world. The company had become the twelfth largest Italian industrial group in the Mediobanca ranking, and it is one of the most important clothing and textile concerns in Italy. Half of the sales came from the traditional areas of sportswear and accessories under the brands; Benetton, Benetton 012, Sisley, Zerotondo, and Tutti i colori del mondo. At this point, the company had licenses for accessories, underwear, beachwear, cosmetics and linens. The other half of the turnover came from more recent areas of expansion: wholesale distribution, highway restaurants, real estate, and merchant banking.
The group produces 80% of their T-shirts, shirts, dresses and trousers, which are sold all over the world, in-house. The remaining 20% has been manufactured abroad for the past few years. In the plants at Castrette, a giant and very modern factory sheds fitted with cables and designed by the architect Tobia Scarpa. At this plant 1,000 people operate computers and control panels that would remind you of one of the great research centers for advanced technology.
Benetton created the Robostore logistics system, which staffs 14 people who sort 30,000 packages a day and 10 million pieces per month. The staff loads them on trucks and, according to the destination, separates them by country and sales point, and looks like a conveyer belt, or like a baggage claim at an airport. The less complicated steps of processing, such as sewing and ironing, are given out by contract to a group of companies in the Veneto work almost exclusively for Benetton and employ 30,000 people.
Benetton is a giant production network which starts with wool from sheep in Argentina and goes all the way to distribution in the last Benetton shop in the third world, or in Greenland, where they sell Benetton sweaters and shirts. It is a network which studies the fabric, designs the Collection, and cuts, dyes and controls the quality, of almost 80 million pieces a year. Also while distributing them, at almost the same moment, and therefore practically without any warehousing, to 7,000 shops in 120 countries.
The Start of Innovative Advertising
Over the years Benetton’s advertising campaigns became innovative and often provocative. In 1982, world-renowned photographer Olivero Toscani created for Benetton the first of his multiracial campaigns with the United Colors of Benetton slogan. Later on, the Italian brand moved into controversial issues such as AIDS, Gulf War casualties and so on. From images of A freshly born baby complete with umbilical cord, to a picture of an HIV-positive patient as he lay dying in hospital, Benetton’s campaigns whipped up controversy and placed the brand front and center in the public eye.
As a result, through the 80s and 90s the brand’s penchant for courting controversy helped boost the brand recognition of Italian fashion giant, leading to Benetton’s chain of shops hitting 7,000 worldwide by 1993. In 2000, Benetton advertising had entered a new phase. Fabrica, Benetton’s communication center took over the Group’s communication, ending up collaboration with Oliviero Toscani for 18 years.
In the clothing industry, Benetton seems to have achieved a successful formula and resembles many Made in Italy manufacturing districts, but with only one brain at the top. Everything began almost by chance. And by the 2000s the global annual turnover amounts to about 4 trillion liras. The company is listed on the stock exchange in Milan, New York and Frankfurt.
Brand Development Through 2000s
In March 2000 an agreement is signed for the transfer of the Formula One Team Benetton to the French automotive company Renault for $120 million. Benetton is to continue as the official sponsor for two more years. In Hamburg, a new four-storey superstore opens in the city center. The development of the sales network continues through direct investments in several German cities, after the shop openings in Berlin, Leipzig, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Hanover. The German market is the second in strategic importance and sales volume after Italy.
By September the first superstore opens in Moscow, at 19 Tverskaya, with 20,000 sq. ft. on three floors. The following month, a new flagship store opens in Cardiff. In December, Benetton concludes an agreement to acquire 12 department stores from the Coin Group, for 25.3 billion liras.
By the end of 2000 the Group’s balance sheet shows consolidated revenues of 3,908 billion liras (€2.02 billion) and a net profit of 471 billion liras (€243 million). The dividend distributed to shareholders was 90 liras per share. Markets in which it grew most were Korea, the U.S., and Japan. In Japan, the Group pursued a strategy of closing down small points-of-sale and opening new mega-stores.
In May 2001 the company reached an agreement with Txt e-solutions, a company specialized in the design and production of software. The agreement foresees the supply of solutions to make mega-store distribution more efficient on a worldwide basis, through a direct control which would show the changes occurring in every local micro-market and allow a response in real time. The program, known as Txt Sc&Cm For Fashion, coordinates the management of supplier relations with the needs of the distribution network in order to optimize it with respect to consumer demand.
New Mega Stores
September 2001 the Group chooses Bologna for its first mega-store which, thanks to the collaboration with Fabrica, will also be an experimental environment focused on creativity and culture. Also this month the subject of the new communication campaign is voluntary service. The initiative was carried out with the support of UNV, the section for voluntary service at the United Nations. The investment of about 24 billion liras covered press services and bill-posting in 60 countries.
A month later marks the début of a new megastore in Milan, in Corso Vercelli. Soon after there are openings in Palma de Mallorca and Paris, where 2 new flagship stores open on Place de l’Opéra and Avenue des Champs-Elysées, and also in Lisbon. Benetton invests 52 billion liras in three mega-stores in Japan, with one in Kyoto and two in Osaka. The turnover in Japan in 2000 is roughly of 580 billion liras. All together, the Group has 100 mega-stores all over the world, with a target of 300 within 2004, and a distribution network of 5,000 shops scattered in 120 countries. In the previous two years the Group invested about €500 million for the opening of mega-stores in the historic centers of large cities.
2001-2002 Financial Information
At the end of 2001 Benetton had a turnover of €2.098 billion, an EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization&b;) of €398 million and a net profit of €148 million. The result is not directly comparable with the €243 million of 2000 because that was influenced by a gain on the sale of the Formula One Team. In comparative terms, however, the net profit diminished by 6.5%.
According to Forbes in 2002, the Benetton fortune is worth $4.9 billion, corresponding to 62nd place in the ranking of the world’s richest people.
In March 2002 a preliminary agreement is concluded with Viceversa Edizione Design, a company that will create a line for the home under the Benetton brand. Then in July, Benetton issued a three-year bond (debenture loan) for 300 million Euros, the second in the history of the company. Later the company débuted two new stores in Venice and Shanghai.
In February 2003 after opening plants in Croatia, Slovakia and Hungary, Benetton invests $16 million dollars in Tunisia. A new mega-store is opened in Osaka, Japan, with an investment of 1.5 billion yen. It is the tenth since the beginning of 2001. The overall sum invested amounts to 12 billion yen, or about €90 million. In 2001 the turnover in Japan is €200 million, in line with the results in 2000.
At this time, the theme of the new communication campaign is Food for Life, the problem of hunger in the world. Carried out together with the World Food Program, a U.N. agency, it has a budget of €15.7 million.
Sale of all Sports Accessory Businesses
Also, in march a preliminary agreement is concluded with Prime Newco, part of the Tecnica group, and Benetton sold the brand Rollerblade. This is part of the strategy of concentrating on the core business, which is clothing. The value of the deal is €20 million. Then, Benetton sells the Prince brand of tennis rackets and the Ektelon brand of equipment and accessories for badminton to the U.S. private equity fund Lincolnshire. The value of the deal is €36.5 million Euros. The agreement completes Benetton’s exit from the sports accessory business and plans for the new strategic architecture of the company, a return to the core business of clothing.
In March 2003 Luigi De Puppi abandons his position as managing director of the Benetton Group. Then in April, Silvano Cassano is the new managing director of Benetton Group. He joins the company at a historic moment. The unexpected diversification into sports accessories that began in 1997 ended with the recent sale of Nordica, Rollerblade and Prince. Today the company has refocused its attention on clothing.
The Company By 2003
In May the first quarter results show revenues of €351 million, net of changes in the exchange rate, a 3.8% increase. Overall turnover is €444 million (compared to €447 million in 2002), due to the anticipated drop in the sporting goods business. The net profit of €25 million showed an increase of 29%. Retained earnings remained at €76 million, while borrowings amounted to €709 million, against €756 million in the first quarter of 2002. Also, the development of new points-of-sale continues. The Groups has plans to open 22 new stores in Russia this year, and 10 more in 2004. The goal is to reach 100 shops within the end of 2004.
At this point, the Benetton Group is present in 120 countries with its brands United Colors of Benetton, Sisley, the Hip Site, Playlife and Killer Loop. It manufactures more than 100 million pieces a year, 90% of which is made in Europe. The distribution network consists of 5,000 points-of-sale. Benetton Group is controlled by the family’s finance company, Edizione Holding, consisting of a network of companies active in different sectors: other than clothing, which makes up 69.9% of the combined activity, there is the autostrade (highway) division, plus restaurant services, telecommunications, real estate, agriculture, and minority shareholdings in various companies.
In total, Edizione Holding has a turnover of €7 billion and employs 50,000 workers. In eight years the Benetton siblings Luciano, Gilberto, Giuliana and Carlo have assembled, piece by piece, under the umbrella of Edizione Holding, a group which, from its beginnings in the textile sector, has now become a conglomerate. In 1994, textiles represented 100% of the turnover; in 2003 sweaters would represent 30% of the total.
In September 2003 the company débuted several new mega-stores in Hong Kong offering the brands United Colors of Benetton, Sisley, Playlife and Killer Loop. Also, in Birmingham offering the brands United Colors of Benetton, Sisley and The Hip Site. Also, in Paris that takes up five floors inside a historic building of the second half of the 1800s, it sells the United Colors of Benetton and the Sisley Collections. The group’s expansion in Germany continue with the opening of a mega-store in Berlin, on three floors, offering the entire Collections of United Colors of Benetton and Sisley.
In October Joel Berg is the new director of United Colors of Benetton. He is responsible for the brand’s image as well as advertising and the presentation of the Collection. At the end of the year Benetton Group presents its strategy for the period 2004-2007. Sales are expected to grow 25% and the gross operating margin by 40%. In order to attain such results without having a price war, product quality is to be improved. The strategy is based on a strong distribution network and production know-how. 2003 closes with a consolidated turnover of €1.859 billion, a net profit of €108 million and a net financial position of €368 million.
In June 2004 the 15th anniversary of Benetton’s listing in the New York’s stock exchange. Also, the group’s presence on the Internet doubles, with the web-sites www.benetton.com and www.benettongroup.com. The first is a web-site focused on consumers, while the second offers financial information and news about the Group’s communication activity. Then, in December 2004, a new store is opened on the very centrally-located via Maistra in St. Moritz. Covering two floors, it offers the entire United Colors of Benetton Collection.
2004 closes with a consolidated turnover of €1.686 billion, €1.504 billion of which is produced by the casual division. The gross operating margin is €757 million, the net profit is €123 million and the retained earnings is €431 million Euros.
2005 Financial Information
The first quarter of 2005 shows a turnover of €378 million Euros (compared to €381 million in the same period of 2004) and a net profit of €23 million (compared to €28 million in 2004). The retained earnings position improves, with €470 million, against €497 million the previous year. LAter, in April a joint venture agreement is signed with the Boyner Group, with the goal of strengthening the Benetton brands in Turkey.
In May 2005 a license agreement is signed with Selective beauty for the worldwide development and distribution of Benetton perfumes. Later in June, the group secures, with a syndicate of 10 banks, a revolving line of credit for €500 million, to be due in 2010. In June a worldwide licensing agreement is signed with Zorlu Holding for the production and distribution of the Sisley Home Collection.
The celebrations featured a fashion show of Benetton’s fall/winter collection, the first time Benetton fashions appeared on the catwalk. The event was held on October 10th 2006 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Also, there was a month-long exhibition, `Les Yeux Ouverts’ (Eyes Open to the World and the Future), funded by Fabrica, its communications research centre, and its association with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP).
In February 2008 Benetton launched a new global communication campaign called Microcredit Africa Works in favour of micro-credit in Senegal. This deal was done in partnership with Youssou N’Dour.
Events & Campaigns
OPENING SOON… is a Benetton exhibition featured at Milan Triennale, from January 27 to February 15th 2009. The exhibition is all about the future of the fashion retail space, in partnership with POLI.design and with the contribution of the Fabrica design group. The central theme of the exhibition OPENING SOON… is the present and future evolution of the retail space, an area in which Benetton has been a leading worldwide player ever since its revolutionary debut in Italy in the Sixties.
“This exhibition,” explains Alessandro Benetton, executive deputy chairman of Benetton Group, “is the starting point for research which once again gives voice to the ideas, creativity and talent of young people. It is our conviction that supporting this type of research and merit is a necessary response to the current economic crisis, in order to be ready to seize the moment of recovery as soon as it arrives. For Benetton, design is the essence of the group, the synthesis of the product and corporate culture, a mirror for brand values, and a decisive form of communication with the world”.
Also at this time, Alessandro Benetton, Tina Brown and Arne and Marc Glimcher celebrate the opening of the Biennale d’Arte in Venice with the “Cocktail in Venice” event.
It’s My Time Global Casting Campaign
In February 2010 the Benetton Group launch the IT’S MY TIME Global Casting Competition. In 36 days there were over 65,000 participants, interest from 217 different countries, a website visited by almost four million people with around 60 million pages viewed. Then, the first ever global online casting closes: the 20 winners will fly to New York and work with world-famous photographer Josh Olins for the autumn-winter 2010/2011 campaign, to then appear in the press, on the internet and on billboards around the world.
Also at this time, Biagio Chiarolanza and Franco Furnò are new Directors with executive powers. A year later, You Nguyen, is appointed United Colors of Benetton’s new Chief Merchandising Officer and Creative Director.
On September 6th, 2011 Benetton opened its doors to host a triple, simultaneous event in its concept stores in Istanbul, Milan, Munich and on the web to present the overall series of 15 art installations. Created by Erik Ravelo, a Cuban artist at Fabrica, these art pieces embody the idea of colour and of a woollen thread linking all humankind. Benetton launches its fall-winter 2011 collection under the sign of art
In November 2011 the Unhate Foundation launched with a worldwide communication campaign. This foundation was created as part of the new strategy of corporate social responsibility, as well as being a channel for the Group’s social engagement. Its objective is to contribute to fighting the culture of hatred, in line with Benetton Group’s deep-rooted values, through global communication campaigns. Severl of the ad’s feature images of world leaders kissing. This was a very controversial campaign, but won the Cannes Ad Festival award in 2012.
In 2012 Benetton Group delists from the Milan Stock Exchange.
In 2013 the company launched an iconic fashion campaign to celebrate the upcoming launch of the Spring/Summer 2013 collection called “Color”. The campaign featured 9 top celebrities, including big names such as Charlotte Free, chef Matias Perdomo, actor Dudley O’Shaughnessy, Hanaa ben Abdesslem. The celebrities embody 9 different colors: red, purple, pink, orange, yelllow, green, blue, black and white. Also, each color reflects their personality and mood, and through the campaign, Benetton delivered one message to its audiences: “To be natural and free.”
In the same year, Benetton Group joined with Greenpeace, and made detox commitment to help eliminate all the releases of hazardous chemicals through its global supply chain and production by 2020.
In 2014 the Group launched “On Canvas”, a new store concept that makes the product the real protagonist of the historic United Colors of Benetton brand. First locations: Milan, Moscow and Berlin. The new store concept has an innovative structure, designed to be welcoming, functional and dynamic. It is the evolution of the Benetton store, conceived as an encounter between its history and modernity, between quality and customer care, which is central to an authentic design, technological and emotional experience. The central element of the concept is the frame, which serves as a lightweight, simple but solid and almost invisible structure in which seasons, collections, colours and materials are created. The frame, which is a symbol of tradition and craftsmanship, becomes a symbol of innovation enabling transformations within the store: changing the canvas materials, the canvases themselves, the spaces creates infinite, possible solutions for a brand that is always developing.
Also during 2014 the Benetton Group SpA gained a new Board of Directors including Gianni Mion appointed as non-executive Chairman and Marco Airoldi appointed as Chief Executive Officer and General Manager.
Benetton for Women Empowerment
On November 25, 2014 Benetton releases the New United Colors of Benetton campaign in support of UN Women, on the occasion of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The goal of the campaign by United Colors of Benetton, devised and created by Fabrica, is also to advocate international awareness of the need for concrete actions to support women and prevention programs, beginning with efforts to promote an education for young men and women that develops a culture based on recognition, respect for difference and equal opportunities.
In 2015 Benetton launches the Benetton Women Empowerment Program, a long-term initiative to support women’s rights worldwide. The WE Program (Women Empowerment Program) is a long-term, Benetton Group sustainability program aimed at supporting the empowerment of women worldwide. To fulfill the goal of gender equality and women empowerment, Benetton Group has identified five key priorities in accordance with the UN agenda.
Then in 2017, to celebrate International Women’s Day, 017 Benetton released a brand new campaign “United by Half” to encourage women all over the world to unite and fight for gender equality. This campaign is debuted in India and achieved incredible results. The campaign video was viewed over 7.7 million times on YouTube.
Since 2016 Benetton has started to shift their brand identity with a new creative platform called, Clothe for Humans. This campaignaims to celebrate “the beauty of everyday moments and everyday emotions”. Also, the company has been moving from shockvertising to be ‘never shocking’, however it must surely deserve a place as one of the most effective companies ever to splash its promotional message across a billboard or magazine spread.
Later in September, Benetton organized an exhibition to emphasize its core of identity, color. Benetton Group’s arts and communication research center curated the I See Colors Everywhere exhibition on display at Milan’s Trienniale Through October 2017.
Giuseppe Borsalino (1834-1900) nicknamed “u siur Pipen” (Master Joe) toured through Italy and France to learn about the hat industry. He earned a job at the Berteil hat factory in Rue du Temple, Paris, where he worked for around seven years before becoming a qualified master. Through this journey he gained informations and, in 1857, he established the Borsalino hat factory in Alessandria, Italy. He opened the first artisan workshop for the production of felthats.
In 1897 the Master visits the Battersby hat-making factory in London and legend has it that “without being seen, he dips his handkerchief in a vat of “tar”, and takes back to Italy the English secret for making perfect bowler hats“.
The success continued after Giuseppe’s death, and his son Teresio (1867-1939) took over. At this time the company already had 1,000 workers and produced 750,000 pieces a year. Unfortunately, in the 1940s hat sales declined due to a loss of importance, so the company began to struggle.
Later, during the 1980s the company was completely restructured and began to manufacture a clothing line. Later, in December 1997 Borsalino Spa of Alessandria established Borsalino South, which in January 1998 acquired the hat factory Sabino D’Oria in Maglie.
Not just a hat, but the symbol of a style and world. Other hats with a similar shape are called Borsalinos, as are some obvious imitation. Synonymous with a certain style, this hat has been worn by very famous actors such as Bogart, Redford, and Sinatra and Marcello Mastroianni. In the seventies the company granted the use of its name to two cult films starring Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo: Borsalino (1970) and Borsalino & Co. (1974).
In the early 2000s, the Museo del Cappello was inaugurated, which was meant to enhance the history of the renowned hat through exhibitions, events and publications.
The process of produce iconic Borsalino felt hats requires at least 7 weeks of pure craftsmanship. This process starts with fraying, then fur blowing, basting, pre-fulling, inspection, steeping, fulling, hood assembly, dying, shrinking, stiffening, scotti-blocking, umicing, second blocking, second-inspection, flanging, finishing. The long-established process includes both machines and hand-working and has been passed down from generation to generation.
Felt models require more than 50 manual steps and 7 weeks of processing. Also, the straw models, which are manually intertwined, can take up to 6 months for each single hat.
On the other hand, Borsalino’s famous straw hat Panama was created in 1835, and it has turned into a timeless legend. Borsalino artisans need six months to finish just one Panama hat, and only using vegetable fibers of the Toquilla palm.
During the following years, the aim of the brand was to enlarge its production by introducing shoes, helmets and even a kids line. Moreover, Borsalino initiated collaborations with other brands such as Italian Indipendent, Marcorossi and Brands O.I.
The company has new branches in the USA and Europe. Borsalino Fedora hats are very popular among Orthodox Jews and are the largest suppliers to Jews in the United States. In spring 2006 a specific museum was inaugurated with the Alessandria Municipality partnership, to remember the historical steps that characterize the Borsalino company.
2013 marks the beginning of the brand’s downfall; in fact, according to what the local newspapers declared at the time, the brand was accused of evading taxes. This was due to a great number of unregistered sales, that gave a total of €4 million without counting another €2.2 million of Iva. From that moment to date, the brand has been looking for new investors that can provide new capital in order to restore the huge debt. The crisis is still persisting at the beginning of 2017.
Since 2016, the company has been managed by a participated fund of Italian and foreign investors, with the aim of developing the brand internationally and strengthening its role as a protagonist in the world of craft luxury.
September 2016 Borsalino announced their collaboration with Nick Fouquet. He created two exclusive capsule collections, one for SS17 and one for FW17 season, dedicated to both men and women. The collections blend Borsalino iconic flair with Fouquet’s flamboyant soul, in order to deliver something original and unique to all hat lovers.
160 Years of Manufacturing
The company currently produces a wide variety of products such as hats, ties, clothing, watches, perfumes and even old fashioned bicycles, and the company tries to keep all the charm and class from last century’s fashion. 2017 marks the 160 years anniversary of Borsalino, to celebrates industrial excellency, Italian Ministry of Economy launched an official stamp on April 4th.
Also, there was the Borsalino Itinerant Made to Measure ExperienceTrunk, which symbolized the values and the soul of the legendary brand founded in Alessandria on 4 April 1857. The Borsalino Itinerant Made to Measure Experience Trunk will be presented for the first time in France at Le Bon Marché, the historical department store, from September 2 – October 22, 2017 to celebrate the Italian Exhibition “La Famiglia”.
Bulgari is a dynasty of Italian jewelers that started with Sotirio Bulgari, a native of Epirus, Greece. He began his career as a jeweller in his home village Paramythia. He arrived in Italy in 1879 and brought the goldsmith tradition of ancient Greece. In 1885, he opened a shop in Rome, on via Sistina, offering pieces made with both ancient and modern goldsmith techniques. The business developed and, 20 years later, the firm found a new headquarters in via Condotti.
Starting in the mid 1900s, the production took on precise and original physical characteristics. This is the result of the creative commitment and entrepreneurial intuition of Sotirio’s two sons, Costantino and Giorgio, who had joined the company’s management in the early 1930s. Costantino, interested especially in collecting, started to gather artistic objects. Such as icons, carved jades, to deepen his study of the ancient goldsmith’s art. He wrote the book Argentieri, Gemmari e Orafi (Silversmiths, Jewelers and Goldsmiths), a fundamental work for knowledge of the Italian goldsmith tradition. Giorgio was put in charge of the commercial management of the company.
At the end of the 1940s BVLGARI introduced the Serpenti bracelet-watches, with coils in Tubogas or in gold mesh. This style is still popular today. In the meantime, the jeweler’s boutique became a favorite meeting place of the aristocracy, of rich American tourists traveling to Rome, and of the cinema’s international jet set. Introducing the cabochon cut and the use of colored stones set in yellow gold, Bulgari launched a new style of great inventive freedom. The emblem of tradition was instead carried by the ancient Greek and Roman coins that were offered as the central pendants in necklaces and link bracelets shaped like a gas pipe, or as decorative motifs in rings, brooches, earrings, and furnishings in silver. The impeccable manufacturing, refinement in composition, and unmistakable designs turned these jewels into real cult-objects.
Third to Fourth Generation
In the 1960s, the company was joined by Costantino’s daughters, Anna and Marina, and also by Giorgio’s sons, Gianni, Paolo and Nicola. After Giorgio’s death in 1966, his son Gianni led the company as co-chief executive with his cousin Marina. These last two are the present heads of the company, together with their nephew Francesco Trapani, who is general director. In the 1970s, the company began to expand on the international market, opening subsidiaries in New York, Paris, Geneva, and Monte Carlo.
In 1985, Gianni resigned as CEO and in 1987, he left the family business after selling his one-third stake in the company to his brothers Nicola and Paolo. The brothers were named Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the company and nephew Francesco Trapani was named CEO. Trapani’s goal to diversify the company started in the early 1990s.
The 1980’s and 1990’s are marked by an era of opulence. Bulgari’s perfect adaptation to the contemporary world is reflected once more in its masterpieces. This years witnessed the birth the desired exemplary Parentesi; first line of modular jewellery, Bulgari-Bulgari; shapes inspired by the Roman Colosseum, and Quadrato watches. More examples of Bulgari’s adaptation to the world’s current opulence was the experimentation of new materials.
The year 1991 saw the début of the Naturalia Collection, which was inspired by the animal and vegetable world. For the occasion, the film Anima Mundi was produced, with the proceeds given to the World Wildlife Fund. The 1990s saw the creation of men’s and women’s accessories, small leather goods, foulards, ties, and eye glasses.
In 1996 Bulgari started an experiment with new materials, in the jewellery line called Chandra, in which porcelain was used together with gold. In 2001 the firm launched Lucea, a collection that was innovative in style and characterized by a fluid weaving together of gold and precious stones. The advertising for it featured the model Gisele Bündchen.
The year 2002 saw the birth of Bulgari Hotel & Resorts, a joint venture between Bulgari and Luxury Group, the luxury hotel division of Marriott International. They envisioned a series of luxury hotels, the first of which would be in the center of Milan, in via privata Fratelli Gabba, near Piazza Scala and the Brera. In Autumn 2003, the company launched the women’s fragrance Omnia, the eighth creation in the perfume line for men and women under the Bulgari brand.
In 2009 two new collections, Bvlgari New, and B.zero 1 were presented. Bvlgari New was characterized by a gold circle engraved with the iconic double logo. The materials used were 18-carat yellow or white gold, either alone or combined with onyx, mother-of-pearl, or with bright pavé diamonds. The new B.zero 1 is fresh and feminine, thanks to its colored gems. Peridots, blue topazes, garnets, citrines and amethysts with vivid colors. The collection has a particular transparency combined with thin chains and pendants that give life and movement to each piece. In addition, the iconic watches of the Italian fashion house are renewed with three new dials in white, pink and brown mother of pearl. What makes the piece special is the diamonds combined with the strap, proposed in three different colors.
Officially in 2004, Bulgari’s first hotel opened at Via Privata Fratelli Gabba in Milano, besides the prestigious La Scala theatre, in a tastefully renovated 18th-century Milanese palazzo. Later, in 2005 the brands hotels international expansion began establishing a new hotel in Bali, followed by the ones opened in London and Shanghai in 2012 and 2015 respectively. A further expansion is scheduled for 2017 in Dubai.
#Raise Your Hand
Bulgari proudly celebrates its philanthropic, global partnership with Save the Children by launching the new campaign #RAISE YOUR HAND. In 2009 BVLGARI has partnered with Save the Children. The company helps fund the nonprofit’s activities with proceeds from the Save the Children jewellery collection, custom-designed jewels, inspired by the iconic B.zero1 line. Bulgari has raised over $50 million in the past seven years for this charity project. And the purpose of #RAISE YOUR HAND 2016 is to emphasize the importance of children’s health.
LVMH Acquires Bulgari
During the first quarter of 2011, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton acquired the majority of Bulgari S.p.A. shareholdings. In 2014 in pursue of conserving the Bulgari’s heritage, a “unique palace” named DOMVS, in reference to the brand’s major source of inspiration and actual home, was opened to the public that serves as an exhibition and art gallery.
Situated on the second floor of the brand’s boutique at Via Condotti, DOMVS provides a unique storytelling of Bulgari’s stylistic evolution through iconic pieces such as the ones collected for the prestigious Heritage Collection. This temple also displays images and belongings of iconic divas that once embrace the brand such as Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, and Anna Edberg. In early 2015, Bulgari started a long-term collaboration with one of most celebrated design school Central Saint Martins for supporting young fashion designers through design competitions.
In 2016 Le Gemme Men, a new collection of male luxury fragrances, was born, inspired by the tradition and excellence values of Haute Joaillerie. At the same year in July, Bulgari launched a new high jewelry collectionFesta, the spectacular collection has over a hundred jewelers and watches inspired by Italian art de vivre. In particular, the Palio necklace and bracelet are more than exceptional, and stand for the famous horse race in Siena.
In 2017, Rome’s National Museum of 21st Century Arts and Bulgari join together and started a new project called MAXXI Bulgari Prize to support young contemporary artist. An international jury will spotlight and choose features young talents and present their work at National Museum of 21st Century Arts. Today, the name Bulgari expresses in just one word the concept of classic jewelry modeled according to the new dictates of contemporary taste.
From conquering the growing French artistic power in the 20’s, accommodating to resources droughts due to wars in the 40’s, to seducing new markets with creative and innovative designs and brand expansions, Bulgari has earned the right to be called the top of the luxury jewelry industry.
Borbonese remains as an Italian luxury brand which constantly cultivate its perspective to meet the needs of nowadays’ contemporary society. Borbonese is an established “Made In Italy” player who values its rich heritage and tradition, craftsmanship, and always strive for perfection.
Borbonese started as a humble workshop that produced jewels, accessories from ribbons to bows, gloves to hats, and shawls. The company supplied the most prestigious tailors in Turin, a city that was, at the time, very aware of couture and a small Italian capital of fashion. In 1910 Lucia Lorenzoni Ginestrone, an established milliner, took over the workshop and Borbonese was born.
Later in 1950, thanks to the help of Lucia’s son, Umberto Borbonese Ginestrone, along with his friend Edoardo Calagno, they worked to help run the family business. Borbonese successfully developed an eclectic and sophisticated aesthetics in creating jewellery made of innovative forms and peculiar materials.
Collaboration With Luxury Fashion Houses
Through 1960 Borbonese became highly influencing and gained trust from various luxury fashion houses to create numerous accessories to complement their collections. It was the creation of jewellery combined with great imagination and exquisite workmanship that made the brand so popular. The ability of the company to establish a harmonious connection between clothing and jewellery is why the most important fashion houses want to work with it. Among the most prestigious fashion houses were Fendi, Valentino, Ungaro, Galitzine and Yves Saint Laurent, who appreciated the inspiration, experimentation and beauty of its costume jewellery.
During the 1970s, Borbonese began the partnership with the Bologna-based expert in leathergoods, Redwall, owned by Rossi family. This well-grounded collaboration brought a revolutionary line of high quality leather bags which combine light, unlined and restructured forms with a unique softness and resistance. At this point, the firm found their distinctive element of its griffe in a new material that was soft like lamb skin. With colors in a beige or honey color, and treated to reveal a “partridge-eye” dot effect, in bags, cases and a wide range of leather goods. Also, some of their items are manufactured with plasticized fabric, and those showing a dot effect called “graffiti,” in beige, very dark brown, blue, light blue, and black. It was the birth of the iconic O.P. or Occhio di Pernice (Eye of Partridge).
Borbonese launched its infamous bag Luna to commemorate the landing of the first man on the moon, followed by Sexy, Tango, and Mambo which remains as a cult classic until today. Borbonese is the pioneer to affix its logo on zippers along with the distinctive rivet which become an everlasting signs of the brand. Much imitated, but never equalled, Borbonese bags are light, practical, always elegant, and now a classic. The most acclaimed photographers during this era, including Giampaolo Barbieri, Helmut Newton, and Satoshi Saikusa contributed for Borbonese’s advertising campaigns.
Starting from 1980s, Borbonese invented an actual lifestyle and became one of the most notable Italian brand by expanding its production of ready-to-wear, accessories for both men and women, footwear, fur products, and sophisticated line of home furnishings to confirm the brand’s status in the luxury industry that creates a true style of Global Living.
In 1992 the Sexy Bag celebrates its 20th birthday. At the big party in Tokyo, it is presented in a limited edition of 100 pieces with accessories in 18-carat gold. A year later, after twenty years of working together, Redwall, which operates in the same field of bags and leather accessories, takes over the brand. Then, in 1999 the first Borbonese women’s prêt-à-porter Collection produced by Redwall is presented for the Autumn-Winter season in Milan. On March 27th of that same year the French-American family Arpels, current owner of 20% of Van Cleef & Arpels, acquires 50% of the company. That same day at a shareholders’ meeting the corporate name is changed to Rossi 1924 Spa.In September 2000 a line of women’s wear is added to the accessories Collection.
Borbonese Acquired by Van Cleef & Arpels
The year 2001 ends with a break even and a turnover of €21 million. In 2002 the brand appoints creative director, Alessandro Dell’Acqua. She designs a line of women’s clothing that is presented during Milano Moda Donna and meant to accompany the accessories line.
Officially in November, Arpels purchases the remaining 50% of the company, acquiring the shares owned Dario Rossi and Alberto Vacchi. Claude Julien Arpels becomes managing director, while Alberto Vacchi remains on the board of directors. For 2004, the Arpels family considers making a strong effort in the North American and Far East markets.
In 2009 Borbonese presented the Spring/Summer 2010 collection during Milan Fashion Week in the via della Spiga store. This was a successful event in collaboration with contemporary artist Amedeo Martegani, who transformed the boutique’s windows into a theatre and formed the perfect scenographic backdrop which tell a story of seven Samurai, inspired by the sharp cutting that creates the form of O.P. bag. Accompanied by the sound of sabers, slashing knives, and metal sound by musician Giuseppe Ielasi, the installation really caught the attention and created a novel ambience throughout the store.
In 2010 to celebrate 100 years of Borbonese, the brand initiated a special project in collaboration with Roy Lichtenstein Foundation to create the Art Bags, a limited collection consists of twelve bags that reproduce some of the pop artists masterpieces. This exclusive collection was exhibited at Triennale, Milan. Also, Borbonese 1910 was launched, a collection of iconic Borbonese bags dedicated in honour of the centenary celebration under the creative direction of Gabriele Colangelo, a talented young Italian fashion designer with an innate propensity for craft fur and embroidery.
In 2013 a red sealing-wax Borbonese logo became a distinguished symbol that introduces a new direction of the company. It’s a decision to stay focus on the core business of the brand, creating impeccable collection of bags and accessories, derive from never-ending research into new materials and techniques that make every product unique and special. Iconic bags of Borbonese were reinterpreted by using new combination of leather and metal-crafting techniques to give a modern and contemporary impression.
In September 2015 at Milan Fashion Week, Borbonese launched a new book titled “Inspirations” edited by Ginevra Elkann and published by Rizzoli in its headquarter on Via Monte di Pietà. In this book, Borbonese poetically and imaginatively presented to the audience of how the brand always took artistic inspirations from nature, which has characterised in the production and its signature Italian craftsmanship.
Later, in November the brand became the sponsor of the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli in Turin for the exhibition featuring American pop artist, Ed Ruscha titled “Mix Master” curated by Paolo Colombo. This exhibition consisted of photography, painting, and books by Ed Ruscha which tell a story about the transformation of American life over the past half-century.
In 2016 Borbonese sponsored the exhibition titled “Riflessioni / Reflections” featuring Rosemarie Trockel and the Turin collections. Also, in September they opened their new flagship store in Corso Matteotti 8, presenting a new concept that reinforces the brand’s image in Italy.
In April 2017, Borbonese made significant investment on its Global Living collection and presented a new home collection, as well as furnitures during Milan Design Week. And in order to reinforce Borbonese’s logo, all the structures of products are designed with round lines. Later in September, Borbonese launched a new footwear collection for both men and women, and presented its spring/summer 2018 footwear collection during international footwear show.
Borbonese remains as an Italian luxury brand which constantly cultivate its perspective to meet the needs of todays contemporary society. Borbonese is an established Made In Italy brand that values its rich heritage and tradition, craftsmanship, and always strive for perfection. Never ending research for the latest technology and being innovative, Borbonese always combine precious materials and refined techniques with masterly crafting to emphasise details and characteristics of each unique product. Borbonese is “The New Spirit of Tradition”.
Thomas Burberry born in 1835 first was an apprentice draper, then by age 21 he established Burberry specializing in outdoor clothing. As with the Barbour jacket, Burberry is one of those cases of absolute identification between a brand and its product. When you think Burberry, you automatically think of a raincoat-overcoat in beige with a black-and-red tartan lining, with or without a belt at the waist. This prototype was created in 1856 when Thomas Burberry opened his first fabric shop in Basingstoke (Hampshire) under the name T. B. & Sons.
Together with the owner of a cotton mill, Thomas Burberry invented the fabric gabardine, which was breathable and made waterproof a first time during spinning, and a second time when already closely woven. He used the fabric to produce an overcoat-raincoat that was generously sized. This revolutionized rainwear. In 1891 the company moves into its first London store at 30 Haymarket.
In 1901, the Department of War commissioned him to make a model fit for military use. It would make his fortune. The new uniform gave a new shape to the person who wearing it. The following year he took out a patent on gabardine, and, in 1912, he patented the Burberry trench-coat.
At the dawn of World War I, it became the trench-coat of the British Royal Flying Corps. The garment had shoulder straps, a waist belt with rings from which to hang anything a soldier might need in a trench, more small belts to make it a sort of diving suit to protect oneself from water and cold, doubled fabric in the parts most exposed to rain, and many pockets.
By 1914 Burberry was used by several polar explorers. In 1911 it became the outfitter for Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole. Also, Sir Ernest Shackleton, an acclaimed polar explorer, wore Burberry gabardine for three expeditions in the early 20th century.
Starting in 1920, after being tested in that terrible war, Burberry was offered to a middle-class clientele and was immediately successful, a success which has continued until today, without downturns, despite dozens of imitators.
In 1937 Burberry designed aviation garments for A.E. Clouston and Betty Kirby-Green who broke the world record for the fastest return flight from London to Cape Town in “The Burberry” plane sponsored by the brand.
Until 1955, Burberry remained a family-controlled company, until it was reincorporated. By this time Burberry was so apart of British culture that Queen Elizabeth II and Prince of Whales granted the company Royal Warrants.
Creative Director: Christopher Bailey
At the end of the 1990s, the company hired a designer, Roberto Menichetti, who started a line that was extremely innovative when compared to the company’s stable tradition.
In 2000, the company is restructured and promoted, revitalizing its success and its sales also in new market fields. Later in September the Spring/Summer 2001 Collection designed by Menichetti is presented in London. In September 2000 the Spring-Summer 2001 Collection designed by Menichetti is presented in London. In the Gubbio workshop where Mrs. Ivonne, the mother of the Italian-American designer, works in an artisanal manner, the garments are manufactured in silk and cotton sewn with carbon threads. Later in May 2001, Menichetti leaves the company. His position is taken by Christopher Bailey.
The characteristic elements of Burberry remained over time: English tweed and trenches are re-proposed in different ways every year. The breath of news brought by the arrival of Bailey as new creative director was shown in the creation of a second line, Burberry Prorsum, more linked to trends and aimed at a younger audience. The tradition of the brand and its essential elements (the use of tweed, the trench revisited with their iconic pattern, and the color palette) mingled with a need of modernization and conquest of new consumers.
The same name of the brand, Prorsum, is the Latin motto of encouragement (let’s do it!), which is written on the flag of the Burberry logo to symbolize a look at the future, without sacrificing the tradition, and the core business, that has made the fortune of the brand.
Christopher Bailey not only revisited shapes and volumes, colors and materials, but brought to the brand a breath of glamor that cannot be renounced for visibility. In addition to the involvement of movie stars, music and fashion, even the advertising campaigns became modern and competitive.
The brand launched itself in unexplored sectors of the market, such as perfume, cologne, accessories, a denim line for women and men in the spring/summer 2009 collection and the announcement of the imminent realization of a line of underwear. The rediscovered vivacity also led the brand to the expansion of its boutique chains and to a restyling of the stores, as well as a new focus on promotional languages, such as the online sale of its products.
By March 2002, the company acquires its own distribution network in the Korean market. In June, they announce that the previous year ended with a 220% rise in operating profit, equal to 69 million. By the end of the year, shops in San José, California, and New York are opened, the latter after a restyling of its six floors.
Later in July, the British Group, Great Universal Stores (GUS), which among the various brands controlled also Burberry, decided to go public. The share price is fixed at 230 pence, or 3.6 Euros. The total value of the shareholding is 1.15 billion. For the moment, only 25% of shares will be offered, which will bring 282 million into the coffers of GUS. At the end of the year, the second single-brand shop opens in Knightbridge, and a new space is opened in Barcelona. The year ends with a 19% increase in revenue.
For Autumn-Winter 2003-2004, the Thomas Burberry brand for leisure and sport is relaunched. This low-price line is offered for young people between 18 and 25 and is inspired by rugby uniforms and jeans. During June 2003, Rose Marie Bravo of Burberry receives the Eleanor Lambert Award during the annual ceremony organized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).
New CEO: Angela Ahrendts
In 2006, Rose Marie Bravo, Chief Executive Officer who was said to have led the company to mass market success through licensing, retired. She was replaced by Angela Ahrendts,who previously worked for Liz Claiborne, and took up the position of CEO on 1 July 2006. A year later in 2007 the brand started selling online.
In November 2009 Christopher Bailey became Chief Creative Officer. Through the next years, Ahrendts and Bailey successfully turned around the company’s reputation by removing the brand’s check-pattern from all but 10% of the company’s products.
April 2014, Angela Ahrendts left Burberry for Apple Inc. and Christopher Bailey became CEO and remains Chief Creative Officer.
In February 2017 Burberry revolutionizes the fashion industry and does the first ever See Now Buy Now fashion show for Fall/Winter 2017 collection. Meaning fans can buy the products that were just shown on the runway right after the show.
“The changes we are making will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience that we create with our runway shows and the moment when people can physically explore the collections for themselves.” Christopher Bailey.
In 2017 Burberry announced a new partnership with Coty to grow and development its beauty lines. Later, in July previous Celine boss, Marco Gobbetti, replaced Bailey as CEO and Bailey will remain Chief Creative Officer.
Luisa Beccaria is an Italian designer that represents femininity, grace, and romance. A “contemporary dreamer”, which brings the spirit of every woman to dream. Read the history of the brand from the first collection to today.
Luisa Beccaria (1956). A designer from Milan, and a descendant of Cesare Beccaria, the 18th century jurist and author of Of Crimes and Punishments, and Giulia Beccaria, the mother of Alessandro Manzoni. Married with four children, she defines herself as a designer who had a calling:
“When still quite young, I designed my first ball gowns.”
In 1989, on the occasion of her début at Milano Collezioni, she amazed the public by presenting a tableau vivant in which young girls from high society participated. But her real début goes back to 1980, when she presented a few of her designs at the Fornasetti art gallery, just for fun. Everything sold within three days. The fun, then, had turned into work.
“Extravagance and creativity do not have time, they have no space. They have no words that describe them, they simply manifest themselves. “
Since childhood Luisa Beccaria has been surrounded by art, poetry, music and nature. She invented a super feminine aesthetic that speaks of herself as a “contemporary dreamer“, which brings the spirit of every woman to dream. Her inspirations include art, literature, music and philosophy of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Neo-romance is the signature that the brand. This romance is embellished through the use of special fabrics; lace, brocade, polished white tulle embellished with three-dimensional velvet flowers, and brought to life by fantasies that evoke the lightness of a dream. It fascinates the originality of its creations, made with special features, precious fabrics, unusual and surprising colors. In addition to these inspirations, there is also a vibrant Mediterranean touch coming from Sicily, home of Luisa’s husband.
Luisa Beccaria presents her first haute couture collection in Rome in 1991. The rest is common knowledge: her Collections became an important part of each season, she opened a single-brand (monogriffe) boutique for women, children and bridal-wear. Also, she opened an atelier handling tailor made creations. Along with names such as Versace and Valentino, she became a guest of honor at the French fashion week with her haute couture fashion show at the invitation of the Italian Cultural Institute in Paris.
Later, she organized other haute couture walkers in Ville Lumière. Luisa Beccaria’s work revolutionized fashion, as she herself said:
“For women it is time to embrace grace, romance and femininity.”
Her woman of dreams is charming, sometimes frail like a Lalique crystal, or an echo of memories past, wearing clothes inspired by the paintings of Fragonard and Winterhalter. Also, there are references closer in time that remind us of the stars of Hollywood and bring a contemporary romanticism that is rich in suggestiveness.
Luisa Beccaria Turns Down Chloé
The Vendôme group proposes Luisa Beccaria to replace Karl Lagerfeld with the Chloé maison, but she, though flattered, had the courage to decline. Luisa chooses to stay in Italy to develop her personal line and to stay close to her family.
The Family of Luisa Beccaria
Her incredible decision became big news in the U.S. Major articles in Vogue America and Woman’s Wear Daily, who were devoted to her. At the start of the millenium in 2000 she designed a prêt-à-porter couture line that was presented at Milano Collezioni. Her clothes are available in exclusive shops like Barney’s New York and Barney’s Japan.
For Autumn-Winter 2004 she is inspired by the woman of the 1950s, with her full, flared skirts, and bags and shoes made from the same fabric as the clothes, in velvets, macramés, and chenilles.
In 2006 Lucilla Bonaccorsi, Luisa’s eldest daughter, decided to join the team and to handle the prêt-à-porter collections of the brand. Lucilla has cultivated a particular aesthetic vision for a lifetime. Her interest in fashion has blossomed prematurely. At age 8 she closed a high fashion show wearing a gold brocade dress, dancers, and a flower in her hair.
Lucilla not only emphasized the super-feminine style of the brand, but also made a young touch with playful details and new ideas. Lucilla and Luisa, together, have brought the brand to the way of eternity. The style is always cool, typical of women who are able to dream. The world of Luisa Beccaria is inhabited by nymphs in light and impalpable clothes, decorated with precious embroidery, wide, endless, sleek shades of the sea. The Dresses become more fascinating from one collection to another.
The Recent Years
Over the years, the fashion of Luisa Beccaria has continued to be very successful, thanks to impalpable fabrics, soft colors, dresses characterized by grace and lightness for a poetic but transversal and contemporary woman. The collections continue to confirm the presence of the designer in the international fashion scene.
Luisa Beccaria’s creations are well-known and sought after by celebrities around the world like Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Angelina Jolie, Lady GaGa, Kate Winslet, Halle Berry, Madonna and Fan Bing Bing. Women who love her style continue to dream with passion, strength, beauty, and freedom are also reflected.
The Autumn / Winter 2017 collection, presented at Milan Fashion Week, was a collaboration with Tiffany & Co. The eyes of everyone are dazzled by the beauty of Luisa Beccaria’s dresses combined with Tiffany jewelery, both on the walkway and worn by celebrities and dinner party guests. Prêt-à-porter collections were presented in a context recalling the scene of Il Gattopardo by Luchino Visconti. After the fashion show, guests were invited to lunches and dinners inspired by Sicily at Il Castelluccio, the family castle in the Noto countryside, the interpreter of the charm of Made in Italy.
The flagship store of Luisa Beccaria is located in via Formentini 1, in the heart of Brera, Milan. Here is the Neo-Romanesque world of the designer, with all collections: woman, bride, children, accessories, and furniture.