Casadei is an Italian shoe factory that was established in S. Mauro Pascoli, Forlì Italy at the end of the 1950s as an artisanal workshop with particularly skilled production. The brand journey as the global footwear leader is anything but ordinary. If you see their success trajectory from an aerial overview, you’ll find that their growth arc is streaked with design excellence and entrepreneurial gut.
The label’s quest for age defying and bold designs began in the year 1958. Quinto and Flora Casadei are the protagonists of Casadei’s spirited tale of two cordwainers who made footwear for the inbound tourists in the eastern Italian coastline. Together, they built the legacy of their humble shoe label in a workshop of two. Tucked away in San Mauro Pascoli in Forli, the provincial town of Romagna Rivera, the Casadei pair brought in the beginning of a new art form of shoe-making, in a region primarily known for agriculture and renaissance frescos.
The 1960s saw the development of a more formal business structure, the beginning of exports to Europe, the U.S. and the Far East, and the start of a full-fledged line dedicated to evening wear and a Collection of bags. By the late sixties, the whispers of Casadei’s detailed luxury spread beyond the Italian frontiers. After dressing feet of strangers on vacation with their exotic offerings, the family-run business expanded in terms of production scale and international presence. The company gained structure and channelled its focus on catering exports to larger sections of European market as well as the United States of America.
First Platform Shoe
They elevated a level above from their initial line of sandals and launched the first series of platform shoes, a popular and trendy choice in the eccentric decade of the ‘60s. Early seventies allowed the two shoemakers to shift their base from the homely workshop to an industrial facility. This change triggered the journey of a new kind of shoe-speech.
Taking the platforms as their prototype, they experimented with the idea of lace-up and slip-on generation of platforms. Further, they added a dose of bravery in design by creating a line of platforms covered with fabrics sporting delicate embroidery. Later, they switched gears to introduce an era of leather pumps balanced on low flared heels.
By the end of the seventies, their instinctual understanding of versatility and utility kicked in with the earliest version of Casadei boots that can be zipped down from thigh-high, to knee-high and finally to short booties. With a new prototype in market to be tried on, they also expanded their presence in Asian market. By 1977 they were now open for business in the Japanese market.
The Famous Casadei Pump
In the early eighties, the label expanded its operation to the Middle East. After the roaring feat in the feet fantasy expedition with their boots and platform shoes, Casadei turned to the category of pumps. Their rendition of pumps saw an imaginative exploration with polka dots and velour tulle, finished with high conical leather heels dipped in golden hue.
In a matter of no time, the pumps secured a spot in their hall of fame, and till date is considered an iconic product by the label. Designed to adapt the graceful curves of the feminine feet, the label continues to dabble with different fabrics, finishes and embroideries to create newer identities with passage of time. Towards the end of the eighties, the label was quick to adapt to the sportswear trend by building a dictionary of hybrid sneakers and football boots with heels.
Like most family-run operations, every company witnesses the arrival of a new protagonist in the story. For Casadei it was appointment of Quinto and Flora’s son, Cesare Casadei, as the next creative director of the business. Cesare took office in 1994 to continue Casadei’s ongoing journey. Cesare’s first-hand experience in production amplified the promotion of their ‘Made In Italy’ brand image at an international level. Cesare’s arrival also marked the beginning of unisex styles. Subsequently, he also signed off the manufacturing of casual footwear, each spectacular in their own regard.
In early 2000s, the label made a decision to relocate its Milanese showroom to Via dell’Annunciata, that was eventually remodelled to become the Milan headquarter for the company. At this time, the brand became a favourite amongst a growing mass of celebrities. Hollywood’s A-listers were photographed wearing Casadei iconic creations, making the label become a significant name to be reckon with in the fashion circuit. Casadei also became a popular choice for various fashion publications when globally recognised photography talents shot the brand’s advertising campaigns.
In October 2002 the company, which employs 200 people, opened a new single-brand shop in the heart of London, at no. 12 Beauchamp Place, in the Knightsbridge section. In the firm’s worldwide activity, Italy is the second market after the U.S., and has 400 points-of-sale, 4 of which are single-brand shops (Milan, Florence, Rimini, and Ferrara). With Germany, it is the most important in Europe. Two more boutiques are opened in Russia, in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The company’s choices for expansion are supported by the excellent turnover, which in 2001 reached €32,604 million, an increase of 14.82% in comparison to the previous year.
The Federation Of Italian Footwear in 2004 launched a limited edition of postage stamps to celebrate and commemorate the legacy of Casadei. This very move reflected a mark of respect for an Italian label that represents the ideology of fashion forward footwear.
Casadei turned 50 in the year 2008. To commemorate the brand’s half a century worth of eye-catching designs and artisanal glory, photographer Ellen Von Unwerth was called on board. The result culminated itself in a grand book featuring Casadei’s footwear through the years, followed by an exhibition at Milan’s La Triennale. Together, they encompassed the celebratory tones of the brand’s golden jubilee.
With every progressing year the label opened its door to a new territory. The beginning of 2010s sees Casadei launching into a full throttle mode in the landscape of brand expansion, with the opening of boutiques in Rome, Cannes, Dubai, Casablanca and finally in New York. Apart from expansion, the year 2010 itself marked the momentous presentation of Casadei heels and shoes during the Milan Fashion Week.
After conquering the brick and mortar setups, the label discovered the digital world with the launch of their website in 2012, followed by the arrival of their e-commerce boutique in 2013. Later in 2015, Cesare Casadei and Architect Marco Costanzi gave Milan its first footwear concept store, followed by the unveiling of a new boutique in the exclusive Albemarle Street, Mayfair London. In the same year, the company re-launches its online shopping portal, a step taken in the direction of establishing new aesthetics and vision.
Casadei kickstarted 2017 with the Super Bowl game in United States of America. Lady Gaga, who was chosen to deliver the prestigious half-time performance was spotted in the famous Casadei blade stilettos during the pre-game show. Also, Victoria Beckham is frequently seen wearing the Blade Stiletto, a favorite of celebrities because its claimed to be the comfiest of all brands.
Till date, Casadei continues to be a story of an entrepreneurial swiftness and smartness, one that is hallmarked by expert craftsmanship and well sought-out innovation. It is a testimony of Italian heritage and vision, all summed up with gracious use of vibrant colours, blended with artisanal values.
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”.
Damiani, a leading company in Italian jewellery manufacturing and trade sector. The brand was established in 1924 with Enrico Grassi Damiani, he began designing and creating jewels with diamonds, and soon he became favorite jeweler to the noble families of Valenza Po, the center of the Italian goldsmith tradition.
Enrico Damiani was acclaimed in the italian jewelry industry as the highest expression of classicism, balance, and preciousness. And his son, Damiano, continued the family business, with his creativity and entrepreneurial spirit he designed jewels with a more contemporary style which remained unaltered over the time.
Damiani D. Icon Ring
Since the beginning each masterpiece created has conveyed the absolute reflection of a woman who believes in inner beauty, elegance, knowledge, and power. A lot of investment was made in research and development as a result of company’s clear-sighted and conscientious character. This power of taking decisions by considering the future is the potion of today’s clairvoyants and Damiani is one of them. The jewelry art evolved with a focus on white gold, as the princely metal of the Collections.
After a time, the firm became a corporation. In 1960 the company started to expand industrially and invested a huge amount of money to build their research and development department. Then, by 1976 the company won the first Diamond International Award with their “Bocca di Squalo – Shark Mount” bracelet. It has received several De Beers Diamonds International Awards, which are the Oscars for jewellery.
From 1980-90 the communication strategy of the brand was changed completely. Celebrity brand ambassadors became the primary source for their new communication strategy, and new collaborations with famous photographers were established for their campaigns. In 1990 the brand opened its first international branches in Switzerland, United States, and Japan during the 90’s. During this time the advertising spokesperson of the griffe was Isabella Rossellini.
The Third Generation
In the early 1990s the third generation entered Damiani. Silvia Grassi Damiani, born in 1966, is in charge of purchase of pearls and global communication. Giorgio Damiani, born in 1971, is responsible for export, development of all the collections and the purchase of precious stones. and Guido who was born in 1968, starting work as sales director, and now the chief executive officer.
In April 2002 the Damiani Manufacturing Company, led by Simone Rizzetto and his brother Christian, receives the ISO 9001 quality certification. This certification, recognized at national and international levels, recognizes the quality of precious metals, gems, and pearls selected by expert gemologists according to the place of origin, manufacture, and finishing of the jewellery.
In October with 130 linear feet of shop windows and two floors at the corner of via Montenapoleone and via Sant’Andrea in Milan, a new store is opened. This store follows the concept of other stores already opened abroad in Tokyo, Berlin, Dubai, and Honolulu. The project is by the architect Antonio Citterio. Soon there are four stores in Milan, with a total of 25 boutiques all over the world.
Also, after several failed negotiations, the Damiani Group acquires a significant minority stake in the Pomellato Group. The vice president and designer of Damiani, Silvia Damiani, declares her strong confidence in the decades-long experience of Giuseppe Rabolini, the president of Pomellato, whose turnover is about €55 million. For its part, the group closes the year 2001 with a turnover of €219 million and profits of €3.1 million. In 2002, investments remain steady at €36 million.
At this time, Damiani enters the watch industry. The men’s watch Ego Oversize, manufactured in Switzerland, is entirely designed by the griffe‘s style department. There are three versions with a total of seven models.
In February 2003 the brand opens two new stores, in Kiev and Moscow. Also, Damiani collaborates with the soap opera The Bold and The Beautiful. Some scenes are shot in Portofino. For the occasion, during a presentation, the actors and personalities show off Damiani watches and jewellery. June marks the opening in Paris of the international exhibit Diamonds and the Power of Love, organized by Diamond Trading Company. There are unique pieces from the most important international jewellers. Damiani presents the Chakra necklace, a two-section cascade of diamonds symbolizing the union between man and woman.
The firm opens a new boutique on Place VendÂme. In the boutique is an exhibit of unique pieces by Damiani that have received the De Beers Diamonds International Award, which is the prestigious Oscar for jewellery, and for which Damiani holds the world record, receiving it 18 times. The Damiani group is owned entirely by the family, now in its third generation. In December the firm celebrates 80 years of prestige in the world of jewellry with an exhibition. On display are 8 exclusive and unique pieces, including a necklace composed of 1,370 diamonds with 100 carats.
In 2005, after ending the previous year with revenue of €180 million, Guido Grassi Damiani, the general manager of the group, talks about the future with an eye on exports and aims at increasing the turnover, of which 80% presently comes from the Italian market. Later, in 2007, the group went public and was listed in the Milan stock exchange.
In November 2010 The Clean Water project, which was developed in collaboration with Sharon Stone, achieved its first important result. This project was created to build clean water wells to South Africa where an important diamond supply is located. The Maji Collection was designed for this project to collect money from its sales.
In 2011 the Company became the first jewelry brand to reveal its prices on the internet for complete transparency. In August Damiani implemented special project for the women who suffered from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, where a selection of must-have products and special collections were put on sale. The raised money was donated to Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning.
In 2012 Damiani won the Robb Report of the Best 2012 award with their Burlesque Bracelet. Next year, with their Vulcania necklace, the company was granted second time to the Best Annual Fine Jewelry Award. The necklace that took more than 530 hours to finish and became a piece of art with its diamond, placed in the traditional Damiani ‘apparent chaos’ setting.
For their campaigns, Damiani always collaborates with strong women like Sharon Stone, Chiara Mastroianni and Sophia Loren who portrayed the values of the brand. Only a piece created intricately by the hands of a passionate, dedicated and deep-rooted creator can portray the values of the Damiani women.
In April 2013, Sophia Lauren took part in a series of events in Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Seven new pieces were added to the existent Sophia Lauren collection and launched in the tour.
In June 2014 the company celebrated its 90th year anniversary with an exhibition. Damiani’s 18 awarded masterpiece jewelry pieces were exhibited along with the prizes and a special collection in Florence from 19th of June to 7th of September.
Next year in September, Damiani participated in the Italian Open Golf Tournament as a main sponsor. The reason behind this sponsorship is that the values of the company match with the ideology of the sport. Both believe in the power of hard work, focus and being prepared.
In February 2016 the brand launched a collaboration with Microsoft in which they produced a precious smartphone case for the new Microsoft Lumia 950. Also, the company was granted the Ethical Company Prize due to their various social projects.
Currently, the brand is a winner of 18 awards, has 61 direct and 17 franchised stores all over the world. And the Damiani Group ended the 2017 with consolidated revenues from sales equal to 161.5 million euros (+4.8% at current exchange rates compared with 2016)
In 1953, Renzo Rossetti, along with his brother Renato, opened their first shoe factory in Parabiago, which later developed into their brand known as Fratelli Rossetti. Then, the company was officially established in 1955 by the Rossetti brothers, who were born in Sanguinetto, near Verona. The brothers first created sport shoes then moved on to formal shoes.
Renzo began working at the age of 13, and was a typographer, mechanical draftsman, and artisanal producer of shoes for cyclists. Success came through the artisanal perfection. Renzo exclaims,
“We have always worked as if we had to personally answer to the customer for every pair of shoes we sell him.”
This includes innovation applied to a classic style. In the book I Mass-Moda. Fatti e Personaggi dell’Italian Look (Spinelli Publishers, 1979), Adriana Mulassano says “Men, poor things, as to shoes, were really in a bad way.” The market wouldn’t offer anything other than laced shoes with fringes and ‘derbies,’ in black or brown calfskin. There were no new seasonal styles and no imagination. And so they started: the banning of laces, the promotion of loafers, the launch of the first very soft unlined shoes to be worn in summer without socks, the marketing of boots, higher heels, and the introduction of colors through an ageing process that would make them more acceptable.
Signature Moccasin Brera
In 1961, their signature moccasin, Brera, was created. Success was such that in 1966 the Rossetti brothers were forced to expand and build a very modern production plant.
In the 70’S, Fratelli Rossetti, collaborated with the much celebrated Italian designers like Valentino, Armani, and Pierre Cardin, combining creativity and production results.
The first women’s line was created in 1973. Single-brand boutiques followed one after another in Genoa, Venice, Milan (at via Matteotti-via Montenapoleone), Bari, Rome, Paris, and Chicago. Diego, Renzo’s son, joined the family business in 1978. Under his direction, Fratelli Rossetti was the first Italian fashion label to open a boutique on Madison Avenue in New York. Today he is company Chairman.
Dario began working in the style department in 1981, he attended an artistic university with courses for shoemaking. He is an art lover who collects antiques and is passionate about vintage cars and searching for inspiration for new creations to add to the collections. In the Nineties, Luca graduated from Milan’s Bocconi University, and was already involved in the management side of the business. At this time, all three brothers were involved in the business.
The Flexa Shoe
They recently created the Flexa shoe, a 18 piece hand-assembled which adjust to the foot’s movement thanks to unusual flexibility and a removable foot-strap.
The historic shoe factory in Parabiago, near Milan manufactures more than 400,000 pairs of shoes a year, with a turnover that in the late 1990s was about 70 billion liras. Some 50% of the production is sold in Italy and the rest is exported. Each year about 10% goes to the U.S., where the company has been active for more than twenty years and where, in June 1999, it opened a large showroom on Madison Avenue in New York.
In May 2002 the Flexa Sailing model is created at the explicit request of Mascalzone Latino (Latin Scoundrel), the Italian boat competing in the America’s Cup. It has all the characteristics requested by the team members. The first prototypes are tested by the crew during training at Elba and in Auckland. The model goes on sale in July 2002 in two versions: the Flexa Sailing Professional, with the same technical standards as the shoe worn by the crew in the America’s Cup, and Flexa Sailing, less high-tech, for fans of sailing in general. The shoe is available in red and blue, the colors of Mascalzone Latino, and in a sand color.
Later, in November shoes, ankle boots, and desert boots are created in the brightest colors: red, green, and yellow; flats and heels, are created for singing and dancing. In the same style as the costumes by Elisa Savi, these shoes have been designed by the Rossetti brothers for the American musical Fiddler on the Roof, which received three Oscars in its film version and had more than 3,000 performances on Broadway in New York, London, and in Japan.
The Fratelli Rossetti Family
By 2003 the company employs 260 workers, and is one of the most important in the field regarding turnover, number of employees, and international image. The entire ownership is still in the hands of the Rossetti family. The president of the group is Renzo Rossetti, who sets long-term strategy. His three sons have other operating functions: Diego, 46, in the company for more than twenty years, is the marketing and commercial director and coordinates all the communication activities in Italy and abroad; Dario, 44, in the company for more than ten years, follows coordination, planning, modeling, and purchases; Luca, 37, a graduate of the Bocconi University in Milan, is the general manager.
February 2003 Fratelli Rossetti opens its first outlet space in Foxtown, a large multi-brand store in Mendrisio, Switzerland. The strategy chosen by Fratelli Rossetti at the beginning has not changed over the years and can be summed up in a concept that is still extremely effective even today: maximum harmony between technology and tradition, maximum equilibrium between quality and price. At this time in Italy, there are 13 boutiques. Abroad, the company’s main locations are in New York, Paris, London, Brussels, and Hong Kong.
Renzo Rossetti Museum
Renzo Rossetti opens his own museum with A rich collection of ethnic and shoes accumulated over a period of 50 years in Parabiago. He began the collection at an early age, before World War II, and very much desired to see it have its own space. The museum can be visited by appointment. It has 3,000 pairs of shoes that are perfectly maintained.
In 2005 after the opening of a third boutique in Paris, on Rue de Grenelle, comes the début of a new franchise store in Dubai. The company has a turnover of €55 million in 2004.
In 2004 and 2008, they opened a franchise store in Dubai and one store in Hong Kong. As China started being the new luxury market, 2010 saw the brand opening its stores in China.
2011 Rossetti collaborated with the Californian Designer George Esquivel, combining the quality of the brand with the innovative colour matches, for their Spring/Summer collection. The same year itself, a virtual store was launched for online sales. In 2012, the brand teamed up with NBC Sports for Super Bowl, providing commentators covering the football event with footwear.
Fratelli Rossetti “Made to Measure”
In the same year itself, they launched ‘made to measure’ service. Fratelli Rossetti launched a limited edition collection for the online platform shoescribe. The ‘Toledo Experience’ was a live show to the audience showcasing the famous hand-colouring technique, happened at the Montenapoleone in Milan in 2013. To strengthen the brand’s presence in Far East, a 100 square meter store in Taiwan was opened, in the Mall of Taipei in the same year.
In 2015, the brand proposed ‘A tribute to Brera’ their iconic moccasin. The same year the brand introduced Dandy, the derby in mirror versions. Also, #sexyinflats was a project done, dedicated to women who can feel sexy even without their heels on. The year was closed with a turnover of €72 million year, which was 4% higher than the previous year, showing the brand has the correct direction for growth.
Fratelli Rossetti, has an aim for 2018, which is to expand itself by opening 11 stores in China. With a wide presence, the brand has expanded while retaining its values and at the same time catering to the changing demands of the fashion and the consumer.
Giorgio Armani is an Italian designer, born in Piacenzwas in 1934. He is by far the dominant figure in the extraordinary flourishing of high fashion prêt-à-porter, which spread from Milan throughout the world.
Giorgio Armani is an Italian designer, born in Piacenzwas in 1934. He is by far the dominant figure in the extraordinary flourishing of high fashion prêt-à-porter, which spread from Milan throughout the world. An individual who, due to his physical charm, detached manner, and ability to merge work and environment in a vision that is simple, concise, rigorous, and clear, has seemed to express a perfect symbiosis between his own lifestyle and the elegance of his models. His economic empire is the reward not only of creativity and imagination, as it is for many other famous names in fashion. His success expresses a creative power that has been able to interpret desires, reconcile opposing needs and brilliantly reinvent a basic article of clothing.
Armani himself embodies the success of his famous jacket, which freed men from the old armor of the bourgeois suit, gave women self-confidence in a masculine look, and, as it was said during the 1970s, helped them more than did feminism itself. The designer began his spectacular career in prêt-à-porter at the age of 40, after a long, multifaceted and invaluable apprenticeship in which he learned much, both about taste and the relationship between fashion and business.
La Rinascente & Cerutti
After interrupting the study of medicine, in the 1960s he worked at La Rinascente, at the time a true crucible for the creative skills of architects, designers, market researchers, and advertising experts. His activity was wide-ranging and went from the buying of men’s clothing, and figuring out from the market, with sufficient lead time for manufacturing, how many people wanted a change of wardrobe, to window displays. Even today he can’t resist the impulse to spend an entire morning on the windows of one of his many boutiques.
In 1965 Nino Cerruti noticed his talent and hired him to redesign his Hitman line. By this time already precise and meticulous, Armani learned the importance of fabrics, both for their creative possibilities and for the economic value of even one inch of material saved in the cost of a garment. He began to design clothes in a way that would afford economies of scale manufacturing. He spent seven years at Cerruti, selecting fabrics that were lighter, colors that were colder, making everything less structured, changing buttons, and narrowing the shoulders. He did this to give the men’s jacket, up to that time a formal and stiff garment, a supple and real-life look, youthful for all ages. It was the 1970s, and the fashion world, on both sides of the Atlantic, adored the early Made in Italy lines, while new social classes were ready for the idea that one needs good clothes in order to emphasize personal success.
Sergio Galeotti, a young man from Viareggio who had just left an architecture studio to become a model buyer, realized that Armani couldn’t remain a designer who worked for others, but had to have a collection of his own. Cautious and somewhat distracted, Armani took two years to convince himself, in 1973, to open his own consulting business with Galeotti in Milan, while still working for various firms including Gibò and Montedoro to Tendresse, Courslande and Sicons. He quickly entered his name in the final fashion shows at Palazzo Pitti in Florence. Scarcely a year later, in 1974, his first men’s Collection came out, then in 1975, the first women’s Collection.
Giorgio Armani’s Company is Born
It was such a triumph that in 1976 the Giorgio Armani company was born. Galeotti conceived the company’s structure: no in-house manufacturing, only the production of ideas. The formula was reaffirmed in 1978 in the agreement with GFT, the first to make possible high fashion prêt-à-porter produced in a factory but under the close eye of the designer. Very soon, Armani’s shows became the most anticipated, both for the clothes and for the decor. The farsightedness of the new griffe was constant, guided by the notion that young people especially would be the consumers of fashion, as long as it remained affordable and did not lose its appeal. Very quickly in comparison with other lines, Emporio Armani became a reality.
The eagle became for young men a sign of belonging to a new style of dressing and of being; a loose-fitting, agile, less solemn look attractive to women. Armani’s fame grew quickly. In 1981, annoyed by polemics over a Collection inspired by ancient Japanese costumes, following some of Kurosawa’s films, he decided to stay away from the fashion shows for a season, and Time Magazine, finding the protest explosive, put his picture on the cover. In 1982 the turnover tripled. Meanwhile, his consulting services were requested by Mario Valentino, for his collection of leather goods, by Erreuno, and by licensees wanting to use his trademark, such as Bagutta for men’s shirts, Hilton for cloaks, and Allegri for raincoats. His unmistakable and ever-varied touch lights up a decade of work, while his fundamental research in high fashion prêt-à-porter leads to results of such refinement that they can no longer be produced in a factory.
Partner Galeotti Passes Away
In 1983 Armani changed his agreement with GFT, which from that point on would produce a new line, Mani, intended essentially for the U.S, while high fashion prêt-à-porter would use the label Borgonuovo 21, the street in Milan where he restored and rented the palazzo that once belonged to Franco Marinotti (Snia Viscosa) and the cotton manufacturers Riva. Shows are mounted in a 513-seat theater that once was the ballroom and swimming pool. Galeotti was barely able to manage the showing of the Spring-Summer Collection for 1985 and would die in August of that very same year.
The second decade of activity finds Armani alone but poised, thanks to study and a strong will, to add to his great achievements a real revolution in women’s clothing. The world was changing and women no longer needed to camouflage themselves, or to hide their bodies in the looseness of a perfect jacket.
Analyzing the stylistic development over what is by now 25 years of activity, certain constants emerge and some variations from his characteristic rigor can be seen. The taste and logic of his first revolution are never diminished, either in the men’s or the women’s collections, with their mutual exchanges of particular elements not only in terms of shape and cut, but also in the selection of interchangeable colors, in their materials, in a masculine appearance, a loose and soft hand or, viceversa, in shirts and jackets with a female touch for a man of a disconcerting freedom.
Loved by the elite and by mass consumers, adored by the critics, Armani was three times awarded the Occhio d’Oro in Italy for the Season’s Best Collection, and has received many honors throughout the world. He dressed Catherine Deneuve in Speriamo che sia femmina, Richard Gere in American Gigolo and provided costumes for the Strauss opera Elektra at La Scala, directed by Luca Ronconi with stage-designs by Gae Aulenti.
The George Sand of Spring 1976, in the winter of that year wore tweed jackets with a bold pattern, very masculine, but accompanied by a plissé skirt which, like trousers, allowed a loose and long stride. In Spring 1977 there were two skirts, overlapping, while the men’s jacket took on sophisticated accents, and the idea of “doubling” passed to men’s clothing as well, when a knitted jacket was put over a blazer. The jacket was destined to join every other element of clothing.
Then, in 1978 it went with a bathing suit, and in the fall Armani combined it with military colors. There was continuous research into everything to do with the shoulders, and the result was a “Garbo” long-wearing even in crêpe de chine. But the evolution of the jacket in 1983 was based on three items: the blazer in black velvet, the long-sleeve jacket with round shoulders, and the caban of Andean origin. There were few trousers and, instead, many varieties of culottes in very new tromp–l’oeil designs. The jacket was transformed, becoming an interchangeable item or a piece to be combined freely.
In 1984 there was a return to the taste for a men’s wardrobe with a hint of the feminine, an androgynous collection like no other. But the following year, for the Autumn-Winter Collection, Armani showed his sweet side, presenting a masculine jacket, but loose and down buttoned, for an easy-going woman with hair up and a neckless blouse. It was a show with 350 different fabrics varying in shades of blue, grey, and brown.
In October 1985 the Spring-Summer Collection won extraordinary success with its ethereal, stylized woman, her legs covered by very clear stockings and completely in view, wearing high heels. It was a femininity somewhat difficult and yet in some ways too much on display. It was a change in Armani’s usually sober look. The jacket is always the clue to understanding a style, but new suggestions came from the princess dresses in printed silk.
The novelty of the Autumn-Winter 1986 Collection was the evening dress. Armani’s woman, a mix of seduction and common sense, could count on an Armani universe: from perfume to timeless high fashion prêt-à-porter, similar to himself with minimal change, from writing paper to lamps, in a line that was more free and well-developed in the various aspects of its diffusion, the Emporio line.
In 1986 evening wear out-did day clothes, according to the demands of the American market. The Armani woman, self-confident and without nostalgia, chose a jacket that was no longer rigid and severe, breaking the rules of jacket-and-blouse in favor of daring new combinations (1987). From then on in 1988, the Autumn-Winter Collection was characterized by an atmosphere that was soft and light in color, and by the subtle provocation of a jacket resting on the waist and the hips, with long, double skirts.
In 1990 once again the jacket was the focal point, slim, wrapped, with small shoulders and a marked waist. The skirts were short or to the calf, the trousers sometimes straight and severe or else full like a man’s. It was a choice of dusty, sharp colours, though tempered by the greys and sandy earth tones typical of the Armani palette. In addition, there were the great envelopping overcoats such as the Tunisian djellaba.
In 1992 smoking was the season’s trademark, variously interpreted in combination with extremely feminine fabrics and details. New flexibilities, new concessions, very new luxury. Elegant fabrics used in casual clothes was a special characteristic of 1994, enhanced by a color palette in ruby inspired by Matisse. Waistcoats peep out under jackets; trousers are as long as they can be, and long skirts trimmed with fringes take center stage. Evening dresses display an imperious elegance in their colors and precious fabrics, yet with shapes reduced to the essentials.
The Autumn-Winter 1996 Collections showed great refinement and a love for structure which revealed itself in the ankle-length overcoats with velvet facings and matelassé lining. The repeated and refined use of fabrics cut on-the-bias, caressing the body, is more popular than ever. Also the favorites of the evening, from the “boldinian” style dress in silk velvet tied at the neck by a necklace of roses, to the sheath dress in black stretch tulle with tatoo embroidery.
The year 1997 saw the arrival of “sophisticated grege,” a new shade between grey and beige. Lean shapes, small proportions, a symbolic simplicity. Refined fabrics such as plissé wools, matelassé, and double crêpe. For the evening, everything is precious: graphic embroidery in ivory, ebony, lace, and velvet. The style is by now more and more defined and authoritative. It doesn’t change. What do change are the methods, the movements, and the details, with greatest importance given to refinement in materials and the finishing touches of master tailoring, which combined to make sophistication the main idea of the season.
During 1998-1999 evening is more and more the singular moment, with embroidered dresses inspired by oriental porcelains. The jackets, slim, without lapels, and with fastenings that are hidden and often on the side, have lost the connection with tailored suits and are worn even with long dresses, low-waist trousers, and long, straight skirts in order to accentuate the silhouette. And there are plenty of dustcoats, a series of overcoats cut like jackets, which are long and slinky.
In September of 1999 Giorgio Armani SpA opened the accessories division, with the goal of improving their results in leather goods. Dawn Mello & Associates entrusted with the account for the new division. The commercial structure of the Group (direct and franchising), operating in 33 countries, includes 53 Giorgio Armani Boutiques, 6 Collezioni stores, 129 Emporio Armani, 48 A/X Armani Exchange, and 4 Armani Jeans.
2000 – 2005
For 2000 the image is strong, consistent, glamorous, pure, and precise. The collection is love at first sight with English pastel shades and a special regard for black. Ankle-length skirts, short jackets with wide kimono sleeves, jackets cut like Indian blouses, slim trousers under tunics and extra-large trousers with a man’s shirt. A refined evening with the new idea of “light catchers” made of stretch tulle worked in the shape of a web, with a deliberately consistent choice of clear and sharp lines on the body.
The Armaniwoman entered the third millennium with an allure that was modern and sparkling, with one eye on the use and management of style, and the other on the passions of the young. The Armani woman is always aware that the power of her own image lay in the unbeatable Armani style, with his special colors, a skillful line and expert cut. This is a woman gliding with lightness, grace and incomparable class, leaving behind her the inevitable strains of a modernism that is often coarse or simply too ugly. The latest Collection, already looking toward the new millennium, G.A. Man in Spring-Summer 2000, has reconfirmed the primary place Giorgio Armani in the men’s wear industry.
Femininity and romanticism: from these two words Armani’s new woman was born. The look came out for Winter 2001-2002 and evoked the emotion of a debutante’s ball with skirts of frilly tulle and handkerchiefs of organza cut on the bias worn with long pullovers inspired by the sea or with small tops. Graceful girls paraded past, as if dancing on pointe: “Ballet is the apotheosis of elegance”, said the designer. Everything was delicate and ethereal, seeming to hint at dreamy sensations. The show’s finale was memorable, with 30 real ballet dancers posing like those of Degas. It confirmed what had been seen in the previous season, with tailored pantsuits characterized by an unusual sweetness, a vague re-collection of the manager-woman. The soft mood was also more in evidence in the shows that followed. And the classic blazer? It adapted to the new trend and in Summer 2003 became longer, almost a tailcoat waving on a slender body. Unusual pieces broke the familiar rhythm of the ensembles, sensuality was all on edge without any exotic nostalgia or erotic aggression.
In Autumn-Winter 2003-2004 Armani again changed course. His designs gave the body a new outline, emphasizing it and caressing a waist made prominent by short and close-fitting jackets. Then, in a surprise, he pays tribute to women’s legs with triangular miniskirts and shorts, a gentle reinterpretation of the hot pants of the 1970s. It was a very stylish woman, almost dipped in ink, in the severity of black broken up by lines of white, for an evocative graphic effect. As usual, his clothes needed to be admired up close, for the sophisticated details and refined fabrics. It was like a heaven of embroidery. He lowered the age of the fashion-conscious, which the Emporio line accentuated through the impertinent and teasing style of the French tomboy, with everything made “short.” His men’s style was also updated, an image somewhere between reason and sentiment, the silent revolutionary of a new classicism that still observed the rules of comfort, particularly in his knitwear creations.
In January 2000 Giorgio Armani SpA raises its stake in Giorgio Armani Japan Co. Ltd., a joint venture founded in 1995, to 85% of the shares, leaving the remaining 15% to Itochu. Then, in February the birth of Armani Collezioni which brings together, in Europe and in Asia, the already-existing Giorgio Armani, Collezioni Uomo and Mani Donna. The new label is also introduced in the U.S., while the Mani Uomo line of suits and shirts remains solely in the American market. Later, in June the Armani Group purchases for 55 billion liras from GFT the manufacturing business of the men’s line Armani Collezioni as well as its distribution and sales in the U.S.
In July Armani Group and Zegna Group agree to create a joint venture (51% to Armani, 49% to Zegna) to manufacture and distribute the Armani Collezioni lines. The goal is to exploit to the maximum the potential of the Armani Collezioni Uomo brand throughout the world, and the Mani Uomo brand in the U.S., using the manufacturing and organizational skills of both groups.
New Store Openings
The opening of new stores continues. In October an Armani shop opens at via Manzoni 31, in Milan. Designed by Studio Gabellini Associates, in collaboration with Armani himself, the megastore has some 80,000 square feet on three floors. The 1,000 square foot basement is used to sell electronics, especially by Sony. On the ground floor are Emporio Donna, Emporio Uomo, Emporio Accessori, a space dedicated to perfumes, and Armani Jeans for men and women. On the second floor, in addition to the restaurant Nobu and to Armani Caffé there is Armani Casa. The year 2000 shows consolidated revenues of 2,002 billion liras, a 20% increase compared to 1999, a gross margin of 374 billion liras, a net consolidated profit of 235 billion liras, an 11% increase, and a net worth amounting to 618 billion liras.
In February 2001 the first Giorgio ArmaniAccessori boutique opens at via della Spiga 19, Milan. The boutique includes high-quality bags, shoes and leather goods. Later in May, Giorgio Armani SpA, already owner of 53.2% of the capital stock of Simint Spa, an Italian company listed on the Electronic Stock Exchange, announces a tender offer for the Simint common stock that it does not already own. The price offered per share is €6.2. The goal is to activate a process of internationalizing the production and marketing activities of Armani products within the companies of the Group. As of July, the result of the bid for Simint, is that 39.49% of Simint’s shares are added to the 53.24% already owned by the Armani Group, thus giving Armani control of 92.73% of the company.
Giorgio Armani in Japanese Market
In 2001, Giorgio Armani Japan, founded in 1987 as a joint venture with Itochu Corporation, reorganized its retail activities in Japan. The program entailed the reopening, after a thorough renovation, of the world’s largest Armani store, in a manner consistent with the image of the new Armani boutiques on via Sant’Andrea in Milan, on Place VendÂme in Paris, and in Kioi-cho, Tokyo. Then new Emporio Armani stores were opened in Marunouchi and Aoyama, and the Emporio Armani in Midosuji was renovated. The Japanese market ranked third in order of importance after the U.S. (34%) and Italy (15%). Giorgio Armani Japan distributes five lines belonging to the Armani Group: Giorgio Armani, Giorgio Armani Accessori, Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani and Armani Jeans. The company manages 22 shops; 10 Giorgio Armani boutiques, 1 Armani Collezioni shop and 11 Emporio Armani. The Giorgio Armani and Armani Collezioni lines are also sold through the shop-within-a-shop formula.
In July of 2001 Roberto Pesaro was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Giorgio Armani Corporation. One month later, Armani opened its first boutique in Rusia, in Moscow at no. 1 Tretyakovsky Lane. It was the 33rd point-of-sale opened by Armani in the year 2001, resuming the strategy of expanding the exclusive retail network. Twenty shops were completely renovated. A new joint venture, Borgo 21, was created to develop the top line of the Armani brand.
The year ended with Consolidated revenues reached €1,272 million, an increase of 23% which included all the geographic areas and all the lines. The turnover was distributed as follows: Europe 45%, North America 28%, Asia-Pacific and rest of the world 27%. The net consolidated profit was €110 million, the net worth €122 million, with investments of €307 million.
In January 2002 Armani acquires 100% of Miss Deanna, a firm specialized the production of high quality knitwear. Then, in November the Armani-Chater House megastore in Hong Kong opened, with 30,000 square feet on three floors, second in size only to the one on via Manzoni in Milan. Meanwhile, Armani Group and Luxottica Group ended their licensing agreement for the production and distribution of glasses in the Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani lines.
The yearly results showed growth in the main indicators. The consolidated turnover, €1,301 million, showed a 2.3% increase compared to 2001. The induced turnover, €1,691 million, grew 6.4%. There was considerable growth in Emporio Armani Watches, 24%, and in cosmetics, 11%. Profits before tax, €199 million, grew 9.7%. Also noteworthy were investments of €87 million, devoted, among other things, to the expansion of the distribution network (30 new stores and 16 renovations) and to the acquisition of manufacturing plants. Finally, the Group invested 10% of the induced turnover communications.
Licensing and Co-branding
In February 2003 the Group gave Sàfilo a long-term license for the production and worldwide distribution of the Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani watch Collections. At the same time, the Group’s exclusive distribution network comprised 57 Giorgio Armani boutiques, 12 Armani Collezioni shops, 115 Emporio Armani shops, 66 A/X Armani Exchange shops, 10 Armani Jeans shops, 5 Armani Junior shops, and 12 Armani Casa shops, in 35 countries around the world.
Then, in June the Giorgio Armani boutique on via Condotti in Rome reopened after a total renovation. Armani himself worked on the restyling along with the architect Claudio Silvestrin. Also, Mercedes-Benz and Giorgio Armani entered into a joint venture for the creation of the Mercedes-Benz CLK Giorgio Armani Design Car. Armani said,
“Mercedes-Benz has achieved extraordinary fame for the quality, style and elegance of its cars. For me, it’s been very interesting to observe how similar our design philosophies and system of working are. This makes me think that in the future there will be more opportunities to carry out common projects which can develop our respective strengths.”
In October, John Hooks was appointed the new President of Giorgio Armani Japan and Giorgio Armani continued as commercial director of the group. Then, the third and largest of Armani’s multi-concept stores, the Armani/Funf-Hofe, was opened on Theatinerstrasse in Munich, joining in the Armani on via Manzoni in Milan and the Armani/Chater House in Hong Kong. The economic-financial results for 2003 were brilliant. The consolidated turnover €1,255 million grew 3% at constant exchange rates. The net profit of €134 million increased 14%. Also excellent was the increase in net worth which grew 149%, In 2002, it grew to €264 million. In the same year the company invested €38 million, mainly in distribution, with 30 new sales points opened and 11 restyled.
Armani Hospitality and Distribution Network Expansions
In February 2004, the Armani group diversified into luxury hotels. It signed with EMAAR Properties PJSC, the largest real estate company in the Middle East, a memo of understanding for the creation of Armani resorts and luxury hotels. The collaboration called for the opening of ten hotels and four resorts within seven years. The total investment was projected at about 1 billion dollars. EMAAR was to manage the construction and managerial aspects and Armani would be responsible for style and design. In March, the company signed a multi-year license agreement with Wolford AG for the production and worldwide distribution of the Giorgio Armani hosiery line. Later in April. The fourth multi-concept store was opened in the Three on the Bund, Shanghai. Followed by an Armani store opened in Dubai.
Later, in July Fortune Magazine published a list of the 25 most powerful men in European business. Giorgio Armani was the only Italian, ranked number 25. Then, in August New Emporio Armani stores opened in Riga and Shanghai, one month later a shop with the new Emporio Armani concept opened in Paris.
“The new design of the Emporio Armani in St. Germain belongs to a strategy aimed at strengthening and differentiating the various product lines and at creating an environment in which the store’s architecture lends support to the presentation of the Collections in a way that is modern and accessible to the clients.” Giorgio Armani.
In September an Armani Jeans shop opened in Corso di Porta Ticinese in Milan. It was designed by the architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas. An Armani Jeans Café was opened inside. Also, at the Armani boutique on Maidson Avenue, the model Eugenia Silva organized a charity sale for the benefit of the American Museum of Natural History. Meanwhile, Armani was given the Superstar Award at the Night of Stars Awards of Fashion Group International.
The year of 2004 closed with a turnover of €1,299 billion, an increase of 6.5% at constant exchange rates and 3.5% at current exchange rates. The net profit was €126 million, a slight decline -5.2% compared the previous year. The net worth was €397 million, an excellent increase of 50.3% over the €264 million of 2003. Investments were €50 million, of which €35 million was used for the opening of 16 new stores and the restyling of the existing ones.
The First Haute Couture Collection
In January 2005, the designer made his début in haute couture, presenting in Paris the first Giorgio Armani Privé Collection. Thirty-one clothes in pure Armani style, very precious and unique. This year also witnessed the company’s 30th anniversary, to celebratied anniversary and in honour of his historic friendship with actress Michelle Pfeiffer, Giorgio Armani commissions famous photographer Mario Testino to create a series of shots of the actress for the women’s spring/summer 2005 collection catalogue, which are signed by the designer.
In June 2005 Armani designed the uniforms of the crew of the Bribon, the new sailing ship of the King of Spain. The first quarter registered growth in direct sales in company-owned stores of 16% compared to the first quarter of 2004. In particular, sales in China increased 52%, in Japan 15%, in Europe 10%, and in the U.S. 3%. At the same month, a new single-brand Armani Casa store opened at via Manzoni, 37 in Milan.
Armani was appointed Designer of the Year by the Fashion Editors Club of Japan. Later, the Giorgio Armani retrospective exhibition moved from the Guggenheim to the Mori Art Museum of Tokyo. For the occasion, the men’s and women’s Collections of Autumn-Winter 2005-2006 were presented. The show was followed by the first presentation of Armani’s haute couture Collection. So far, the group had 4,700 workers, 13 production plants, 58 Giorgio Armani boutiques, 11 Armani Collezioni stores, 121 Emporio Armani stores, 70 A/X Armani Exchange stores, 12 AJ/Armani Jeans stores, 6 Armani Junior stores, 1 Giorgio Armani Accessories store, and 17 Armani Casa stores, distributed in 37 countries throughout the world. The group’s brand are: Giorgio Armani, Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani, AJ/Armani Jeans, A/X Armani Exchange, Armani Junior and Armani Casa.
Armani Designs for English National Soccer Team
In May 2004 Armani dressed the English national soccer team for its tour of exhibition matches in the U.S. June. Armani designed the uniforms of the crew of the Bribon, the new sailing ship of the King of Spain.
Today Armani has five lines: Borgonuovo 21, G.A., Collezioni Mani, AX (basic fashions sold in the shop of the same name in the U.S.) and Armani Jeans, plus the linen, underwear and swimwear lines.
2005 until Now
Supporting Charity Events
During the World Economic Forum held in Davos in January, Armani announces its participation in (PRODUCT) RED, the revolutionary global initiative launched by Bono and Bobby Shriver to raise funds for the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. In support of RED, Armani designs its first two products for (Emporio Armani) RED, consisting of a pair of sunglasses and a watch. Moreover, the Emporio Armani women’s collection for spring/summer 2007 is presented at London fashion week instead of in Milan, during an exclusive fashion and music event that also celebrates the launch of the first Emporio Armani (PRODUCT) RED capsule collection. Alicia Keys, Andrea Bocelli, Beyoncé, Bono, 50 Cent and Leonardo DiCaprio are just some of the celebrities who take part in this presentation, which is called One Night Only. At the end of the year, Giorgio Armani receives the Leonardo 2006 Award from President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, as an important representative of quality Italian products abroad.
Launch of Cosmetics Line
In 2007, Giorgio Armani launched Crema Nera, the first product of the skincare line, along with Attitude, the new fragrance for men and Diamonds. Emporio Armani’s new feminine scent, the advertising campaign for which features Beyoncé. The Giorgio Armani retrospective exhibition arrives in Milan at the Triennale Museum. Meanwhile, The Giorgio Armani Privé Spring/Summer 2007 runway moved to Los Angeles to coincide with the 79th Academy Awards. Giorgio Armani opens its fourth concept store worldwide in Ginza, Tokyo, called Armani/Ginza Tower.
New Stores in Asian Market
Next year, Giorgio Armani entered the Indian market with the first Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani stores in New Delhi. Also, the first Emporio Armani stores are opened in Moscow and Beijing. On the other hand, in the Europe market, the largest Giorgio Armani boutique in the world opens in Milan on Via Montenapoleone, as well as the lauch of Emporio Armani e-commerce site in Europe, and the Emporio Armani Samsung Night Effect mobile phone. Emporio Armani Underwear for women is launched in the United States. Giorgio Armani becomes an honorary member of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum in New York during the opening of the exhibition Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy.
Collaborations and Licenses
2012, At the Cannes Film Festival, Giorgio Armani launches a one-year collaboration with J/P HRO (Haitian Relief Organization), which includes an exclusive media campaign in which the designer and Sean Penn pose together for the first time. During women’s Fashion Week, the designer opens Eccentrico at the Armani/Teatro in Milan, an exhibition of clothing and accessories from 1985 to 2012, which embodies a point of fusion between art, fashion and design. The Armani Group signs an exclusive license agreement with Luxottica for the design, production and worldwide distribution of the collections of sunglasses and prescription eyewear under the Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and A|X Armani Exchange brands. In collaboration with the Astas Holding/Bemes group, the completion of the project Maçka Residences is announced, which includes the development of an exclusive residential area in the centre of Istanbul.
One Night Only Series of Events
The same year also sees the celebration of the Armani Group’s 10-year anniversary in China, which is marked with an event: One Night Only Beijing. In 2013, Giorgio Armani continues the successful One Night Only series of events, first in Rome and then in New York, where on October 24, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaims it Giorgio Armani Day. The following year, Giorgio Armani presents One Night Only Paris.
Armani Designs for Team Italy
In 2013 Giorgio Armani also announces the continuation of the brand’s agreement with the Olympic Committee, confirming that Armani will be the Official Outfitter of Team Italy for the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. And in May of 2014, Giorgio Armani continues his long-standing relationship with the world of international football announcing the collaboration with Bayern Munich to create the club’s official clothing.
Celebration of 40th Anniversary
2015 marks Giorgio Armani Group’s 40th anniversary, earlier in this year, Giorgio Armani launches New Normal, a continuing and concise collection that creates the ideal wardrobe for today’s woman, and that summarises 40 years of style that have defied the testo of time. Giorgio Armani has been nominated Special Ambassador for Expo Milano.
Later on 30th of April Armani continuing to celebrate with a big party involving 500 guests including VIPs, celebrities, authorities and the international press. The same day Armani/Silos, the large exhibition space dedicated to Giorgio Armani’s professional experience, opened its doors for the first time.
Exhibition at Armani Silos Milano
For this occasion, the Ministry of the Economic Development and Poste Italiane celebrate Giorgio Armani’s 40th anniversary and the opening of the Armani/Silos with the issuance of a dedicated stamp. October 1st marked the launch of Giorgio Armani’s book (published by Rizzoli New York) in which he recounts forty years of career, style, excitement and vision in the first person. The volume was presented to the public on September 28th, at the end of the Giorgio Armani show, by the famous English journalist Suzy Menkes.
In 2016 Giorgio Armani was awarded the “Collare d’oro al merito sportivo” (“Golden Collar for Sports Merit”) as a figure who has stood out for his contribution to the world of sports. On April 14th, Giorgio Armani traveled to Moscow for a series of events celebrating the presence of the Armani Group in Russia. After London 2012 and the Sochi Winter Olympics, the collaboration between Giorgio Armani and the Italian National Olympic Committee continued: EA7 Emporio Armani was, once again, the official outfitter of the Italian Olympic and Paralympic team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. In July, Giorgio Armani announced the creation of the Giorgio Armani Foundation to implement projects of public and social interest and to ensure that the Group’s governance assets are kept stable over time, in respect of and consistent with the principles at the basis of his activities as a designer and an entrepreneur.
In September, at Armani/Silos, “Emotions of the Athletic Body” was inaugurated, the photographic exhibition dedicated to celebrating sports and athletes, curated personally by the designer, drawing from the vast archives of photographs that he himself had commissioned over the years. In September in Paris, Giorgio Armani presents the Emporio Armani Womenswear SS17 collection for the first time during Paris Fashion Week. The two-year partnership between EA7 Emporio Armani and RCS Sport was announced for the Milano Marathon: the sportswear line will be the title & technical sponsor of the 17th annual marathon, which will take place in Milan. The exclusive club, Armani/Privé, was reopened with a completely renovated look.
In 2017 The Giorgio Armani Group announces the reorganization of its portfolio of brands. As from the Spring/Summer 2018 season, the brands will be Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and A|X Armani Exchange. Also, Emporio Armani is presented for the first time during London Fashion week for the Spring/Summer 2018 read-to-wear collection and reopened their newly renovated Bond Street store.
In 1954 Ada Masotti, a corset maker from Bologna, set up a lingerie production company and named it La Perla. Not having elastic fibers available, she focused on tailoring handmade pieces. During this time, female silhouettes were accentuated in fashion and her creations matched latest fashion trends. Ada Masotti’s motto was “never compromise on quality and innovation.”
The brand DNA is based on Leavers lacework (named after an English loom, of which only 1,200 examples remain in the world), Cornellyembroidery, macramé (embroidery on a fabric which is later destroyed), soutache (an ornamental braid applied by hand usually in fancy pattern); the frastaglio (traditional Florentine flat stitch working). La Perla gained exclusive worldwide rights to the production of the extremely elastic Lycra crépe-de-chine.
During the 60s there was a lot of change and rebellion going on around the world. The hippie movement was taking over the fashion world. Ada Masotti realized the changes and adapted the lingerie. So, La Perla launched more colorful creations including multi-colored floral, plaid and checked patterns.
Through the 70s, La Perla introduced more silk, lace and transparent lightness. Including the creation of the silk jersey triangle bra, which allowed more movement. In 1978, La Perla launched its stretch lace sets, mirroring fashion trends with its clinging dresses and natural flowing lines.
Ada Masotti also created La Perla Maison, a collection featuring a range of garments in pure silk satin with embroidered inserts and frastaglio finishing, a technique that to this day is carried out by hand by the artisans of the La Perla atelier.
Starting in the 80s, La Perla started its international expansion under the management of the second generation, Alberto Masotti, who became president. He is responsible for the company’s huge growth, with more than 20 brands. Also, Alberto Masotti’s wife, Olga Masotti, was hired by Ada Masotti as a designer. Through the years the Masotti family redefined lingerie as a clothing accessory.
By 2001 La Perla offered a limited range of women’s clothing and was looking to expand. So, in September 2001 the brand débuted their new underwear and beachwear lines at Milano Moda Donna. To achieve its sales targets, the group created a new styling department and allocated investments in marketing and distribution. Shops were opened in Monaco, Moscow, and Chicago.
Also during 2001 a new Creative Coordinator was entrusted, Sigurd Steinunn, 35, from Iceland who previously worked with Calvin Klein and Tom Ford. Steinunn was supported by six designers and by Anna Masotti who, after graduating from Dams, was made Fashion Coordinator.
By the end of 2001, the company had a consolidated turnover of €235 million, 48% in the Italian market, 52% abroad. The company had 54 own-brand shops, 38 of which were abroad, and the workforce totaled 1,400 people, plus as many in the associated company. Also, the début of the new boutiques in Japan (Fukuoka), US (Costa Mesa, Chicago) and the web boutique.
In April 2002 Grigioperla Touch is the new men’s prêt-à-porter of La Perla, which made its début at Milano Moda Uomo. Then, in September an alliance was created between technology and fashion, and with Nylstar, a giant in technological innovation in the field of fibers and yarns. In addition to product innovation, the distribution network was further expanded through new own-brand shops, in addition to the 15 in Italy and 24 abroad. After the début in Madrid, La Perla also opened in Soho, New York. Later, in December, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, designer from Naples, became the new Creative Director of the prêt-à-porter lines. The year closed with a turnover of €250 million.
In November 2004 the company celebrated 50 years of business with an exhibition dedicated to the Bologna painter, Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665). The choice was dictated by the desire to pay tribute to female creativity. Also, for its 50th anniversary, the brand created a limited edition collection made with Valencienne lace, produced on the ancient mechanic looms of Calais, the most important Leavers lace centre in the world.
In 2007 the brand launched the iconic Cage bustier, worn by Victoria Beckham, for the Spice Girl reunion video “Headlines”.
La Perla Purchased
2011 was an important year for the brand with a collaboration with designer Jean Paul Gaultier, and the incursion in the shapewear market. Later, in 2013, La Perla was purchased by Italian entrepreneur Silvio Scaglia and Pacific Global Management. Also, during this year the brand launched a Made to Measure service available at the brand’s most important flagships stores.
Through 2014 strategic changes took place, including a new conceptual store design developed with Italian architect Roberto Baiocchi. Also, a new creative turn headed by French art director Fabien Baron.
La Perlashowed its first Atelier Collection in Paris 2015, the runway took place at Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild. The pieces were made by hand and its elaboration took about 14 months, after the show the pieces were displayed at the Brands boutique in Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
In 2016 the shoe designer Julia Haart was named Creative Director, and debuted with the Spring/Summer 2017 collection in September 2016 at Milan Fashion week.
Currently, the brand is owned by Pacific Global Management, overseen by Chairman, Silvio Scaglia, and Creative Director Julia Haart. The current muse is Kendall Jenner who appears in all their campaigns. The company continues to live by the founder Ada Masotti’s motto, “Never compromise on quality and innovation.”
Missoni is a luxury Italian fashion house known for their colorful knitwear. The company was founded by couple, Ottavio (“Tai”) and Rosita Missoni, in 1953. Read more to discover the couple built a multi-million dollar luxury business.
The company was founded by Ottavio (Tai) Missoni (1921) and his wife Rosita Jelmini (1931) in 1953, also the year they got married. They met in London during the 1948 Olympics. Ottavio was the Italian 400-meter running champion in 1938, world student champion in Vienna, and a finalist in the 400 meter hurdles. He also had a small firm in Trieste that produced tracksuits. The tiny Rosita, was young, but determined, and came with fashion experience gained. She gained this experience from her family’s firm, which produced shawls and linens for the home. The couple began with a small workshop in the basement of their home in Gallarate.
Their first client was the Biki boutique in Milan and then, in 1958, La Rinascente. Anna Piaggi was the first person to cite them in the press (Arianna, 1965), which also gave them their first cover in 1967. The first runway show, a collaboration with Emmanuelle Khanh, came in 1966. In 1967, they debuted at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, with a preview of the nude look. In 1969, they built the factory at Sumirago, with their house attached. Although, it was still a house and workshop, their success was by then worldwide. In 1970, Bloomingdale’s opened a Missoni corner in their New York headquarters.
The same year marked the invention of the “put-together” look, a free casual mixture and juxtaposition of stitches and designs. This became the distinctive feature of the Missoni style. Also, mixed with patchwork, colored stripes, and the black-and-white and rainbow “flame motif.” These were followed by Greek key motifs, grids, Scottish checks, folklore designs, and especially abstract African designs.
Materials included knitwear, furs, felts, tweeds, and elasticized fabrics. The variable thickness, textures, technical inventions, and color combinations of the yearn link to abstract and informal art. Decorative elements were taken from Anglo-Saxon applied art, a careful evolution of forms, and above all freedom and joyful creativity. These are the elements that have turned Missoni into a way of life, and their garments loved objects. All their garments are flattering in shape, color, and substance.
Womens Wear Daily listed them among their top 20 Fashion Powers, and Vogue America among the top 10 European designers with the greatest influence on international clothing trends. In 1972, The New York Times wrote:
“Missoni makes the best knitwear in the world and, according to some people, the most beautiful fashions in the world.”
In 1973, Missoni was awarded the Neiman Marcus Award. It was the first in a long series of recognitions: The Tony Award in 1976; the Premio Italia in 1986; and the Pitti Immagine in 1994. Rosita received the International Design Award in New York; Ottavio was made a Cavaliere del Lavoro in 1993, received the Pitti Immagine award in 1994, followed by the Honorary Royal Designer for Industry honor in 1997 in London. Towards the mid-1970s, they added furnishing fabrics and household linen to their collections of knitwear, accessories and jewelry. Ottavio began to display his tapestries in art galleries, first in Venice and then throughout the rest of the world.
In 1976, the first boutique was opened in Milan: 5 more followed in Italy, 2 in Paris, 3 in Germany, 3 in Japan, another 5 in the Far East, and 1 in New York.
Missoni in the Arts
Ottavio, who always wears a sweater, is listed among the ten most elegant men in the world. Also, a flower and a star were named after Rosita. They were a highly viewed couple in the fashion world.
25 years of their work was celebrated, in 1978, at the Rotanda della Besana in Milan, with a retrospective that moved to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York two years later. In 1994, in Florence and later in Milan, the Missoni world was described in the exhibition, Missonologia. In 1995, Gallarate celebrated with the exhibition, The Ottavio and Rosita Story. In 1996, there were two exhibitions in Japan: at the Sazon Museum of Art and at the Nagoya City Museum. Missoni creations feature in the permanent collections of the MoMA in New York, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Museum of Costume in Bath. The Missoni pair have also designed costumes for the opera (Lucia di Lammermoor at La Scala in Milan, 1983) and for ballet (David Parsons Dance Company, 1994).
The Next Generation
In 1997, the first all-fabric collection was created, produced and distributed by Staff International. In 1998, Missoni M was presented for men and women, in collaboration with the Marzotto Group. In the same year, the Missoni company acquired a new headquarters, a 6-storey building in Via Durini, Milan. Rosita and Tai moved there with their children, to whom they passed on the firm in 1997, at the peak of a series of new successes, feted by the press and consumers for their exemplary faithfulness to their own style.
Angela (1958) became art director, responsible for style; Vittorio (1954) commercial director; and Luca (1954) technical director. Nine grandchildren make up the Missoni tribe, guaranteeing the future of the firm. And so the tradition continues, with strong family connotations and an artistic-artisanal character, which, despite its vast expansion and international success, has made the name of Missoni so loved, and not just in the worlds of fashion and culture.
In 2000 Luca Missoni presented his first menswear collection for winter 2001-2002. Knitwear is reinterpreted with superimposed graphics, stripes, zigzags that look like brushstrokes, and flame motifs. It was the fruit of continual research into textiles, stitches, weaves, and patterns that has always been a part of the history of Missoni and of fashion itself. The collection played on the contrast between dry, plain fabrics, and soft silks and luminous knits. For Spring-Summer 2002, faded colors, pierced cotton piquet, very light cashmeres.
Later, in December of 2001, the Missoni Sport shoe collection would officially be produced and distributed by Big Time. The license is worth more than €13 million. As for the rest of the production, Missoni announced,
“We will not create any more licenses. From 2002, we will produce and distribute the Missoni Sport line ourselves.”
Powerful investments were made in a 2,500 square-meter space near Samirago, dedicated entirely to the Sport line. The shops and corner spaces were also restructured. Within the brand, the search for new types of fabric and knitting techniques continued. The white, beige, and gray flame motif remained popular.
In January 2003, after approximately 20 years of collaboration with Seibu, the company changed its Japanese distributor for its primary line. It signed a five-year distribution agreement with Kashiyama Onward, one of the largest textile industrials. Japan represents a market worth roughly €15 million and 25% of the brand’s business. The Missoni company closed 2002 with a turnover of about €130 million, which about €62 millions were made from its primary line. Also, new for 2003, celebrations for the company’s fiftieth anniversary, marked by two exhibitions, one in Milan and the other in Tokyo. Also, the opening of a new 70 square-meter boutique inside Harrods in London.
In April 2003 the new showroom was opened in Via Solferino in Milan. The building was an umbrella factory in the late nineteenth century, it is situated at the end of a courtyard in the historic center. Vittorio Missoni explained that the location is perfect, not just to present the different lines but also for shows, exhibitions, and other types of event. The former-factory belonged to distant relatives of Rosita’s grandparents.
Missoni Celebrates 50 Years
In May 2003 Missoni celebrated 50 years in business with a large runway show in the Town Hall square in Vienna, for the opening of the 11th Life Ball, a traditional charity evening held to raise funds to combat HIV/Aids. Later, in June the menswear collection, which represents roughly a third of the company’s turnover, was relaunched, focusing primarily on the development of accessories. In 2002, Missoni made €51 million on direct sales, compared to €48 millions the previous year. Exports (main markets Japan, USA, and Germany) accounted for more than 85% of the entire business. Alongside multi-brand stores, the company owns 12 directly controlled own-brand boutiques and about one hundred franchises.
In June 2003 at Milano Moda Uomo, Luca Missoni presented his collection: knitwear with a thousand colors mixed together, tight, micro polo necks in cotton crêpes printed with lozenges, sweaters in viscose and tulle. Including, cardigans with large, ostentatious zigzags, very light vests in linen thread, in a small net weave, or interspersed with lurex threads, transparent tops that simulate tattoos, and sweater-shirts in silk and lamé for evening wear.
In July 2003 fashion and design for the Japanese car Mazda, the sponsor of the AltaRoma runway shows. After the series of MX-5 sports cars, with exclusive interiors in numbered series, Missoni created the colors and interiors of the latest MX-5, made as a one-off and sold in an online auction to raise funds for AISM (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association). The fashion house celebrated its first half century.
Through November 2003, the celebrations continued and new Spring-Summer 2004 collection was presented in Tokyo, at the Yoyogi National Stadium. In addition, Tai and Rosita displayed more than a hundred outfits from the retrospective held in Milan the previous month, including the very famous blue tracksuit marked “Italia,” by Ottavio for the national athletics team in 1948, and the first gold Lurex suit from a far-off 1958. Japan, which represents a fifth of the company’s turnover, loves the Italian style and the event attracted 3,000 people.
January 2004, a contract was signed with Pagnossin, the head of the Richard Ginori 1735 group. It created the license for a line of tableware and household objects designed by Rosita, part of the Missoni Home project. Later, in April the third Golden Dame Award is held at the Poldi Pezzoli museum in Milan. “The people who make Milan great” include Ottavio and Rosita Missoni. The license for the production and distribution of the spectacles and sunglasses lines was agreed with Silvio Vecellio Reane (Allison, It. Holding Group), for a five-year period. Later, in September the license linking the company and the Marzotto Group was renewed until 2010. The launch of a women’s perfume signed by Estée Lauder was announced for Spring 2006.
The Universal Expo 2005 is held in Aichi, Japan, and Tai was invited to represent the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. The stand includes the installation “Harmony from Diversity.” The work consists of mannequins “dressed” completely in patchwork knitwear and was the result of collaboration between Ottavio and Luca Missoni (Tai and Rosita’s second son) and the designer Angelo Figus. Later, in March the first Missoni shop in Catania was opened. Also, The Aramis and Designer Fragrances division of Estée Lauder and Missoni create a license that enables the beauty colossus to produce and distribute the perfume line.
In November 2005 Missoni signed a licensing agreement with Rezidor Hotel Group in order to create Missoni Hotel chain. The idea was to open 20 hotels around the world under Missoni trade mark. However, the agreement was terminated in 2014 and the two hotels under Missoni name, one in Edinburg and one in Kuwait, were rebranded and stayed as a property of Carlson Rezidor.
In September 2011 Missoni made a 400-piece collection in collaboration with Target. The collection was sold out in one day. Considering great success of the first collection Missoni collaborated with Target again in 2014, this time with Target Australia. Due to high interest for the collection, Target’s website was down on the day of launch.
2013 was a hard year for the whole Missoni family, Vittorio Missoni, CEO of the brand, died in an airplane accident near the coast of Venezuela. Then, 4 months later his father and creator of the brand, Ottavio Missoni, died in his sleep.
In April of 2015 MA*GA Museum in Gallarate (VA) is dedicating the exhibition MISSONI, L’ARTE, IL COLORE to Ottavio and Rosita Missoni. This exhibition created a dialogue with twentieth-century European art. the exhibition explored the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of a great Italian fashion house. The extraordinary culture and brilliance of its two founders.
Also, in May of 2016 The Fashion and Textile Museum hosted the exhibition MISSONI, ART, COLOUR, in partnership with The Woolmark Company. It explores the influence of 20th-century European art on Missoni’s fashion and textile designs
In 2017 Missoni created a capsule activewear collection for luxury e-commerce site mytheresa.com The collection include six pieces, created by Angela Missoni and the face of the campaign is Jennifer Missoni, Angela’s niece. On the last Fall Winter 2017 collection Angela Missoni gave a speech after the fashion show, reminding people to embrace unity, human rights, and family. She stated that pink is the new black, and walked with her whole family who are key representatives of Missoni’s knit unity.