JIL SANDER

Jil Sander is a minimalist German fashion designer and the founder of the Jil Sander fashion house. Her style is intelligent, minimalist, and contemporary.

Index

  1. The Origin: Jil Sander
  2. Jil sander Style
  3. First Boutique
  4. Jil Sander Acquired by Prada Group
  5. Raf Simons
  6. Uniqlo J+
  7. Navy Collection
  8. Current Situation

The Origin: Jil Sander

Jil Sander Designer Portrait in 1983
Jil Sander Portrait in 1983

German fashion designer and entrepreneur, Jil Sander, was born in 1943 in Wesselburen, near Hamburg. Jil is methodical and creative, reserved and determined, fragile and energetic. She has built an empire in just a few years that was quoted on the stock market in 1989. With a diploma in textile engineering from Germany, she went to Los Angeles at age 19, where she completed her studies and had her first experience as a journalist in the editorial office of McCalls. Returning to Hamburg, she became fashion editor for Costanze and Petra and took on management responsibilities. As a freelance designer, she worked with a number of firms, among them, Callaghan.

Jil Sander Style

Jil Sander Minimalist
Jil Sander Minimalist Style

The most important representative of German fashion and one of the biggest names in international fashion, she has succeeded in creating a style that is intelligent, minimalist, and decidedly contemporary. “Strong and pure” are the adjectives that are often used to describe her designs. Considered the German Armani, her clothes are characterized by her use of neutral colors, purified lines, and full-bodied materials. Also, her cuts “made by the knife”, as she herself describes them, to create a femininity deprived of any frivolity, but not without a certain seductive austerity.

First Boutique

Picture of Jil Sander in front of her Hamburg boutique 1968. Photographed By: Hans Rudolf Uthoff
Picture of Jil Sander in front of her Hamburg boutique 1968. Photographed By: Hans Rudolf Uthoff

In 1968 she opened an avantgarde boutique in Hamburg, the first of its type, where she sold clothes that she designed alongside garments bought in Paris and Italy. Strengthened by this experience and with an ambitious project in mind, she opened Jil Sander Moden and presented her first real collection in 1973, with all her pieces in varying tones of khaki. She had a difficult start as a fashion designer wanting to create top quality modern clothes, but of too great an elegance to be produced in Germany, where luxury ready-to-wear was still unheard of. It was only natural that she found the necessary materials, firms, and people in Italy.

In 1975 she was in Paris where she presented two collections in successive seasons. Too purist for French taste, her runway shows were a flop. As a result, she was forced to move to Milan, a city which is more austere and therefore more in tune with her own personality.

Spring/Summer 1977 Campaign Featuring Stella Tennant. Photographed By David Sims
Spring/Summer 1977 Campaign Featuring Stella Tennant. Photographed By David Sims

The first Italian presentations were quite affairs reserved for just a few people, but the important buyers took note and were soon fighting for an exclusive deal over her work. Her designs for intelligent, independent, business-like women were very popular:

“The women who I think about when I am designing are very self-aware and full of self-respect,” she says.

Success came quickly and the purity of her designs, her constant research into materials, and her obsession with quality were all prized. In 1979 she launched Woman Pure, her first perfume, with an advertising campaign built around her own serene, fair and delicate features, ensuring herself instantaneous fame and creating a new stereotype for German women.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Jil Sander Women Pure 1980 Campaign
Women Pure Perfume 1980 Campaign

Her international reputation was confirmed in the following years as her business activities developed and moved into cosmetics, eyewear, leatherwear, and menswear that she showed in Milan in 1996. She has received numerous awards and prizes for her fashions and perfumes. With a passionate interest in contemporary art, she is a discerning collector and a generous sponsor of exhibitions of leading German artists such as Georg Baselitz and Joseph Beuys.

Jil Sander Acquired By Prada Group

From Fall 1999, the Jil Sander label was part of the Prada Group. For 2001 the brand establish a record sales, with a 17% rise in profits. Unfortunately, in 2002 the brand lost 26 million euros, in part of the costs of adding retail stores in London and New York. The number of own-brand shops throughout the world rose to 20.

By May 2003 the Prada group thinks of saving the destiny of the company by calling back Jil Sander as head of the creative team. Bertelli “approached Ms. Sander and began negotiating a truce”. Rehired under a six-year consulting contract with an undisclosed stake in the company. Jil Sander returned to the company she founded, which had been controlled by the Prada Group since 1999.

Raf Simons

Raf Simons for Jil Sander Spring 2007 Advertisement
Raf Simons for Jil Sander Spring 2007 Advertisement

However in July 2005, the creative director Belgian designer, Raf Simons took over Jil Sander after the umpteenth split with the Prada group, Simons will come to the brand to give it a particular international touch, much less rigid, by means of patterns and colours, new shapes and details.

In 2006 Prada declares it has sold it shares to Change Capital that is a specialist private equity firm founded by Luc Vandevelde, focus on consumer related businesses. Then, two years later in September 2008, Change Capital sold Jil sander to Onward Holding Co., Ltd, A Tokyo-listed apparel group and its European subsidiary, GIBO’ Co. S.p.A for a equity value of €167 million.

Uniqlo J+

Jil Sander For Uniqlo J+ 2011 Fall/Winter
Jil Sander For Uniqlo J+ 2011 Fall/Winter

In 2009, Sander announced the creation of her own fashion consultancy having Uniqlo as their first client, where she overseeing the design for womenswear and menswear collection called J+. The line was launched throughout Asia including Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and China and on 7 January 2010 in the London stores. It is to be launched in Uniqlo’s sole US store in New York city on 14 January 2010.

Navy Collection

Jil Sander Jessica Burley FW15 Campaign
Jessica Burley Featured in Fall/Winter 2015 Campaign

In 2010 Sander decides to expand the brand and launch a new collection line called Jil Sander Navy, establishing a new branch for the a younger customers, completing the aesthetic world of the Jil Sander brand and its design philosophy of pure, essential and innovative luxury. This brand extension add a sophisticated casual and dynamic attitude to the house. A focus on innovative quality cotton, techno fabrics, jerseys and knitwear.

Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2012 Collection
Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2012 Collection. Designed by Raf Simons

After Raf Simons presented the Fall 2012 collection, he announced his departure from the Milan based company welcoming Rodolfo Paglialunga, who will arrive to give an Italian detailed accuracy to brand. A year later, in October 2013, 69 years old Jil Sander left her label for the third time. She presented her last spring/summer 2014 collection during Milan fashion Week.

The Spring/Summer 2015 Ready-to-Wear collection, designed by Rodolfo Paglialunga, according to Vogue Tim Blanks it was a “coalescence of genders. There were fit issues throughout. Clunk was probably the best word for the drop-crotch culottes with the out-of-reach pockets. Same with the apron/skirt wrapped over whatever was underneath it, meaning that there was odd bunching when what was underneath had an elasticized waistband.”

Current Situation

Jil Sander Resort 2018
Jil Sander Resort 2018

After almost four years Pagilalunga, creative director, announces his retirement from the brand in March 2017. In April 2017, Lucie and Luke Meier, a husband and wife duo who have designed everywhere from Dior Haute Couture to Supreme, are named the new creative directors of the brand. The designers possess an intimate connection and a deep understanding. Their first collection is Resort 2018, which is a steady solid start for the duo. The collection was full of their aesthetics including elegance and purity made for fast paced city living.

“They hold a vision that is modern, cohesive, and in touch with what is relevant now, and they beautifully combine it with a subtle sensibility” I expect the creation of very clever collections and a world to be inspired by,” said Jil Sander CEO Alessandra Bettari.

GIORGIO ARMANI

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.

Index

  1. The Origin
  2. La Rinascente & Cerutti
  3. Giorgio Armani’s Company is Born
  4. Partner Galeotti Passes Away
  5. Armani Style 
  6. Collections
    1. 1970s
    2. 1980s
    3. 1990s
  7. 2000 – 2005
    1. Collections
    2. Brand Development
    3. New Store Openings
    4. Giorgio Armani in Japanese Market
    5. New COO
    6. Brand Acquisition
    7. Licensing and Co-branding
    8. Giorgio Armani Hospitality and Distribution Network Expansions 
    9. The First Haute Couture Collection
    10. Armani Designs for English National Soccer Team
  8. 2005 Until Now
    1. Supporting Charity Events
    2. Launch of Cosmetics Line
    3. New Store in Asian Market
    4. Collaborations and Licenses
    5. One Night Only Series of Events
    6. Armani Designs for Team Italy

The Origin

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.

Giorgio Armani in the Store 1970s
Giorgio Armani in the Store 1970s

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.

Giorgio Armani Time Magazine Cover
Giorgio Armani Time Magazine Cover

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. 

Armani Style

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.

Giorgio Armani 1970 Power Suit
Giorgio Armani 1970 Black Suit, Photographed by Barry Lategan

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.

Collections

1970s

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.

Giorgio Armani Collection 1978
Giorgio Armani Collection 1978

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 trompl’oeil designs. The jacket was transformed, becoming an interchangeable item or a piece to be combined freely.

1980s

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.

Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 1985
Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 1985 Collection

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.

Armani 1980 Campaign
1980 Campaign

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.

1990s

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.

Giorgio Armani 1991
Giorgio Armani 1991

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.

Armani 1993 Campaign
1993 Campaign

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

Collections

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 Armani woman 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.

Giorgio Armani Winter 2001
Giorgio Armani Fall/Winter 2001 Collection

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.

Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2003
Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2003 Campaign

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.

Brand Development

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.

Flagship Store in Milan
Flagship Store in Milan

In February 2001 the first Giorgio Armani Accessori 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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Armani Concept Store in Japan
Concept Store in Tokyo, Japan

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.

New COO

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.

Brand Acquisition

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Armani Collaboration with Mercedes Benz
Armani Collaboration with Mercedes Benz

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

Armani Hotel Milan
Armani Hotel Room (Milan)

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.

Giorgio Armani 2005 First Haute Couture Collection
Giorgio Armani 2005 First Haute Couture Collection

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

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Armani One Night Only Event
One Night Only Event in Rome

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

Armani Dress Italian Olympic Team
Italian Olympic Team

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

Armani New Normal
Armani New Normal

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.

Armani Exhibition at Armani Silos MilanoExhibition 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.

Current Situation

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.

Armani Advertising Spring/Summer 2017
Advertising Spring/Summer 2017

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.

Salva

Salva

Salva

PRADA

From Mario Prada’s gallery shop to today’s world-class Miuccia luxury made-to-order Italian fashion group. Read the story and anecdotes of the Prada brand.

Index

  1. From the Origins to 2000s
    1. The Origins
    2. Miuccia: The Rebellious and Ingenious
    3. The Eighties: Nylon and American Success
    4. The Return to Milan
    5. The Nineties: The Foundation and the Big Acquisitions
    6. The Epicenter Project
  2. From 2000 to 2005
    1. A New Venue for Collections
    2. The 2000 Budget
    3. Acquisitions of 2001
    4. The Epicenter of New York
    5. Financial Situation in 2002
    6. Prada Point to Japan: The Epicenter of Tokyo
    7. The Epicenter of Los Angeles
    8. Departures and the Launch of the First Perfume
  3. From 2005 to 2010
    1. Short Film’s
      1. Trembled Blossoms
      2. Fallen Shadows
    2. Prada and Contemporary Art
    3. The Waist Down Show
    4. Prada Transformer
    5. The America’s Cup
    6. Fondazione Prada
  4. From 2011 to Today
    1. Fondazione Prada in Venice
    2. The “24 Hour Museum” Project
    3. The Exhibition “Impossible Conversations”
    4. Prada “The Great Gatsby”
    5. The Prada Gallery and Journal Projects
    6. Two New Short Film’s
      1. A Theraphy
      2. Cavalcanti Castle
    7. Acquisitions of 2014
    8. Pradasphere
    9. Marchesi Pasteries
    10. The Restoration of the Last Supper by Giorgio Vasari 
    11. The Past Forward Project
    12. Prada Opens Observatory
    13. The Shaping Conference at Creative Future

From the Origins to 2000s

The Origins

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada Van For Deliveries 1918
Van For Deliveries 1918

The origins of Prada begin in 1913 when Mario Prada, Milanese luxury craftsman, opened a shop at Galleria Vittorio II in Milan.

Prada is innovative in the field of travel goods, accessories, and luxury goods. The branded uses refined materials, high quality craftsmanship and state of the art design for its products. The brand has quickly become a point of reference for leather accessories and items precious from all over the world.

Thanks to the quality of its creations, Prada meets the demand of the most demanding, experienced clients of the international market, and of high society. In 1919 Mario became an official supplier of the Real Casa d’Italia, obtaining the right to include the coat of arms and the Sabaudi knots in his own brand. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).

On the other hand, Mario Prada ideas made it clear, his goal was to:

“Collapse the shortage of objects that participated in the adventure of stylism, but with detachment; They were fashionable, and unable to go fashionable in the course of a season.”

Miuccia: The Rebellious and Ingenious

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Portrait of Miuccia Prada
Portrait of Miuccia Prada

Mario’s granddaughter, Miuccia Prada, is an ex-jury of the good bourgeoisie, a sixty-year-old passionate about theater and mime, enrolled at the Small Theater School and the Udi (Union of Italian Women) of the Communist Party.

In 1978 Miucca became part of the family business. Together with her partner and husband, Patrizio Bertelli, they transformed the brand into a world-class luxury goods Made in Italy business. After Miucca took over, the brand begins to compete with Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès, Gucci.

The company becomes highly industrial, and at the end of 1997 Prada can rely on:

  • 8 establishments with 1184 direct employees;
  • 119 single-store shops, of which 94 are directly controlled;
  • A total turnover of 1,147,202 billion lire.

The stages of this ascent to the top of international fashion are marked by Miuccia’s creative intuitions and Patrizio Bertelli’s clever business strategies and communication.

The Eighties: Nylon and American Success

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada Nylon Shopping Bag 1978 By: Albert Watson
Prada Nylon Shopping Bag 1978 By: Albert Watson

In the early 1980s, Nylon handbags arrived in a patented material, Pocono, originally used for military parachutes. Bags are identified by the iconic logo: an inverted metal triangle inspired by the closure of Mario Prada’s trunks, which soon become objects of worship. In 1979 the first shoe collection was launched.

In 1983 he opened the first Green Store in Milan, designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi. It is characterized by a particular shade of light green that will soon be recognized worldwide as Green Prada. From this moment on, Prada opens a network of Green Stores all over the world, the color remaining so unique. (Source: “Prada“, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).

In 1988 the big jump in women’s clothing took place. The decade of the most spectacular hedonism and consumerism of the century. Opposed to “minimalism”, Prada’s fashion is actually the conceptual elaboration and aesthetic disorder of our time, but without any abstraction.

The return to Milan

Prada is Miucca, a bourgeois and schismatic girl who has become a character, with her stage in New York. She turns naked legs even at 10 degrees below zero, wears woolen socks with sandals, and wears a second-long chiffon skirt over rough tweed, which invented her wind-jacketed jackets.

Only after becoming a “case” in the United States and the Anglo-Saxon press, the Prada-Bertelli reported collections on the Milanese catwalks. The Italian journalists who, before the American trip, left empty whole files of the fashion shows in Melzi d’Eril , are left outside the door of the new Via Maffei.

There is a scandal in print, with accusations of censorship. But, the name Prada becomes popular far beyond the fashion world. Also, because the couple follows the common passion for contemporary art, and become collectors to patrons.

The Nineties: The Foundation and the Big Acquisitions

  • 1993: Prada Foundation was founded, followed by the first exhibitions: Eliseo Mattiacci and Nino Franchina. In the same year the Men’s line and Miu Miu, the independent brand created specifically for Miuccia, were created.
  • 1995: The Prada Foundation, a Milan art space, hosts artists such as Anish Kapoor, Michael Heizer, Louise Bourgeois, Dan Flavin, Laurie Anderson, Sam Taylor Wood, Mariko Mori.
  • 1997: Patricia Bertelli, a sailor expert, decides to sponsor and take part in the 2000 America’s Cup in New Zealand.

The choice is to support the new line Prada Sport, a research laboratory for new materials, forms, and behaviors.

  • June 1998: Prada becomes an important shareholder of Gucci, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. However, in January 1999, with 34.4% of Gucci by the French group, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), Prada surrenders its shares to Bernard Arnault. In six months the brand achieved a surplus of 192 billion Lire to invest in the increasingly international brand development.

In the following years:

  • The purchase of the majority of Helmut Lang;
  • Participation in De Rigo (glasses);
  • A minority stake in Church’s, English shoes;
  • Then the big hit, the purchase of Jil Sander (75 percent of ordinary shares and 15 of those listed on the Stock Exchange);
  • Finally the winning public offering of the Church’s majority and the alliance with Bernard Arnault and his Lunch for the holding of the Fendi brand. It is the end of August 1999.

The Epicenter Project.

In 1999, the brand inaugurated a unique project in collaboration with AMO, the think-tank of Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and the architect Rem Koolhaas. Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli entrust AMO with the task of analyzing world shopping trends, conceptualizing new products and applying their findings to new types of stores. Thus, the project of three Epicenter projects, designed outside the type of Green Store, is designed to become a true experimental laboratory.

Strong with an identity that transcends the simple brand, the company continues to affirm its originality in new and unexpected ways. He is among the first to collaborate with visionary architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron, winners of the prestigious Pritzker Prize. The Epicenter of New York, Tokyo and Los Angeles, so different from the classic concept of the store, are the result of A careful analysis of the dynamics of the market in contemporary society and of revolutionary architectural innovation. In these boutiques are exposed luxury goods that are the result of extraordinary technology and design, alongside a multitude of exclusive activities and events. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project)

From 2000 to 2005

A New Venue for Collections

At the beginning of the year, the company is recognized by Interbrand among the 100 most important brands in the world. Starting in 2000, Prada presents its collections in Fogazzaro Street, Milan, in a former industrial establishment. The building, renovated for this purpose, is constantly being reconfigured, giving rise to new architectural environments. In order to enhance the concept of collections, in fact, unique movies, videos and sound settings are projected. (Source: “Prada“, 2009 edition, Prada Arte project)

A joint venture with LVMH, called Lvp Holding Bv, is formed in July for the acquisition of 51% of Fendi’s ordinary shares. In October, the acquisition of 100% of Azzedine Alaia’s shares will take place. The Eyewear and Beauty collections debut.

The 2000 Budget

Consolidated sales grew 56.6% compared to 1999. Gross margin increased by 49.8%. Net income was down 184 billion lire (-42.7%). However, the 1999 figure is influenced by the gain on the sale of Gucci shares to the LVMH, net of which the profits would be 134 billion.

The debt remains high, but it is not due to financial mismanagement, but from the many acquisitions carried out in 1999 and 2000: Church’s, Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, Fendi (joint venture with LVMH) and Azzedine Alaia. Significant ratio of net debt to net equity improved in 2000, thanks to Prada Holding’s capital increase of €260 million.

The budget of the Jil Sander House, which accounts for 10% of total turnover, showed a turnover of €134.8 million. The markets with the largest competitive presence is Germany and American. In Italy, the brand is present in Milan, with a showroom in Piazza Castello.

Acquisitions of 2001.

  • February: Acquisition of 70% Santacroce.
  • April: Acquisition of 51% of the company Car Shoe, a brand created and patented in 1962 by the Lombard artisan Gianni Mostile, shoe manufacturer for motorcycle enthusiasts. The value of the operation was not known.
  • July: Acquisition of 70% of Genny, a Marche company led by Donatella Girombelli. Rumors add up to $100 billion to $120 billion in sales, a figure that must be taken out of the high debt.
  • November: Agreement with LVMH for the sale of 50% of the Prada Group’s holding in Lvp Holding BV (holding Fendi’s shares owned by LVMH and Prada) for a value of €295 million. Prada and LVMH had purchased 51% of Fendi in 1999, paying $425 million. The figure serves to lower the indebtedness of the Italian Group.

The Epicenter of New York

After three years of research, Prada opens the first Epicenter in New York, at Broadway’s Guggenheim Museum SoHo. Rem Koolhaas and OMA create a scenic spectacular design of a wooden wave linking the ground floor to the bottom. With suspended and motorized hanger cages that move along a network of ceiling mounted rails, and a real stage that Gets out of the wave to host special events. The project has an immediate success and remains one of the most prominent contemporary Prada stores worldwide.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada 2001 Epicenter of New York
2001 Epicenter of New York

One of the most important features of the New York Center is the northern wall that extends for a whole block, reaching the length of sixty meters. From the earliest designs, OMA conceived the wall as a kind of canvas on which to apply temporary wallpaper. Prada and New York Design Studio 2 × 4 have created different wallpaper to produce ever-newer content. Almost at the same time as the opening of the New York Center, Prada started designing the second Epicenter, located in Tokyo, with the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. (Source: “Prada”, 2009 edition, Prada Arte project)

The long-awaited listing on the Milan Stock Exchange is postponed due to the unfavorable time. The multiple acquisitions made in recent years have exacerbated the debtor situation of the Group, which, in order to face it, is considering issuing. It paves the €700 million bond in favor of Prada. The demand from investors was five times higher than the availability. The €700 million will be used: 300 for capital increase and 400 for repayment of debts.

Financial situation in 2002

  • March: Debut in Moscow, in the central Tretyakov Passage, the first single-member in Russia. Group Partner is Mercury Distribution.
  • June: A joint venture was established with the Puig group for the creation and distribution of perfumes and cosmetics marked by the Prada brand. With the purchase of the remaining 25% of Jil Sander, Prada has total control of the German brand.
  • August:. The remaining 24.29% of Genny Spa is found. The Genny and Byblos brands, to which Ozium is added, are present in the high-end prêt-à-porter and in other product lines including leather goods, glasses, and perfumes through contracts License.
  • September: Fabio Zambernardi is the design director of the Prada and Miu Miu brands for clothing, footwear, and accessories lines. The limited edition GTS Chrono-Automatic IWC for Prada watch is launched.

Prada and Miu Miu’s direct sales outlets total 160. Group revenues amounted to €1.57 billion. The business volume has maintained a balanced geographical distribution: 26% Italy, 25% rest of Europe, 23% North America and 26% Japan and Asia-Pacific area. Historical brands Prada and Miu Miu contributed 83% of total revenues. Consolidated net income is €27 million.

Prada points to Japan: The Epicenter of Tokyo

  • March: An agreement was reached for the distribution of Prada glasses with the company Avante-Garde Optics (Luxottica Group) in the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Bertelli announces Group plans for the year. Investments will fall from €130 million in 2002 to €100 million, and will be channeled mainly in the relaunch of younger brands.

Debut a new flagship store in the Ginza district of Tokyo. The third in the Land of the Levant. For the occasion, Prada has produced a Limited Edition Series (2000 copies) exclusively for the Japanese market.

The new Epicenter Prada debuted in Tokyo, designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron. The six-story building, located in the Aoyama district, is one of the city’s most recognizable architectural works. The green glass façade protrudes from a diagonal grid that forms the structure, while it houses commercial areas, lounges and spaces for events. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada 2003 Debut of Prada Epicenter in Tokyo
2003 Debut of Prada Epicenter in Tokyo
  • July: A ten-year license agreement with Luxottica Group, a world leader in the optical industry, for the production and distribution of sunglasses and watches with the brands Prada and Miu Miu, begins. The deal contemplates the acquisition by Luxottica of the 100% production and distribution companies of the Prada Group, for a total value of €26.5 million.

The Epicenter of Los Angeles

In 2004, it opens the flagship store of Hong Kong. Miuccia receives New York’s International Award from Cfda.

After the success of the New York Center, OMA plans a new space on the historic Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. In some respects, the new project is the reverse of New York: a wave rises from the road level, rises to the second floor and goes down again. The facade is made up of a single aluminum plate. Many of the inner walls are made up of a special resin sponge that gives an unusual ‘porous’ appearance to the spaces. (Source: “Prada”, 2009 edition, Prada Arte project)

Mame Fashion Dictionary: 2004 Debut of Prada Center in Los Angeles
2004 Debut of Prada Center in Los Angeles

In the same year, the brand expanded its activities by sponsoring Luna Rossa, a sailboat participating in the America’s Cup, and the consequent introduction of the ad hoc technical clothing line the following year.

In April, an agreement was reached with Aedes. This will give rise to Real Estate International, which acquires Prada Group real estate assets for an estimated value of about €100 million and with a capital gain of €30 million of Prada.

Meanwhile, Helmut Lang’s acquisition is completed. The brand headquarters in New York are moved to Milan, while opting for the suspension of Genny’s clothing line, acquired three years earlier.

Departures and the Launch of the First Perfume

In 2005, Simonetta Ciampi was appointed design director for bags and accessories. In the following period, the Prada Group became lighter. With the sale of Helmut Lang, Jil Sander (2006) and Azzedine Alaïa, which returned to 100% in the hands of the Franco-Tunisian designer, while investors entered Banca Intesa, a 5% stake. This involves the incorporation of the Lamos shoe factory and in conjunction with the announcement of the start of the auction.

Also in 2005, for launching the first female fragrance, Miuccia Prada invites filmmaker Ridley Scott, and her daughter Jordan, to collaborate on the production of a short film. To represent the complexity of the feminine essence, Jordan chooses an ancient 1st-century poem entitled “Thunder Perfect Mind”, which illustrates the countless facets of the female psyche. “Thunder Perfect Mind” is shot by father and daughter in Berlin, and has Daria Werbowy, protagonist of the different female roles of wife, virgin, mother, daughter, and lover. (Source: “Prada”, 2009 edition, Prada Arte project)

From 2005 to 2010

Short Film’s

In March 2007, Prada launched Prada Phone by LG, the first fully mobile touch screen phone. More than a million pieces sold in 18 months of presence on the market. The process of asset optimization gives its fruit: Prada S.p.A. Closes 2007 with record profit of €127 million, up 65.8% over the previous year.

Trembled Blossoms

At the beginning of 2008, during the New York Fashion Week, Trembled Blossoms is presented. In line with Prada’s creative process, Tremclothing, bags, and packaging. The Trembled Blossoms movie is presentedbled Blossoms is born out of contradictory ideas. The interweaving of Miuccia Prada’s many inspirations, ranging from Art Nouveau to Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings, are perfectly restored by surreal designs by artist James Jean, which stimulate the creation of wallpaper, animated shorts, printed fabrics,  at the New York Center in the fall of 2007, accompanied by a live performance by the Coco Rosie group, which made up the soundtrack of the film.

The film is subsequently screened during a series of exclusive events in the Epicenter of Los Angeles and Tokyo. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).

Fallen Shadows

An animated short film, entitled Fallen Shadows and directed by James Lima. Inspired by the collection by Steven Maisel in the campaign with Linda Evangelista, features an innovative technique of overlapping digital and traditional images: a hand-painted backdrop makes the background a new generation animation created entirely on the computer. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).

Prada and Contemporary Art

The Waist Down Show

Mame Fashion Dictionary: The Layout of the Waist Down exhibition
The Layout of the Waist Down exhibition

Among the projects for art, Waist Down, is an itinerant exhibition that collects and exhibits the most original and significant models of skirts created by Prada from 1988 to today. The show is conceived by Prada and AMO as a modified event from time to time based on the exhibition space intended to accommodate it. The inauguration of the exhibition takes place in 2004 at the Tokyo Interstate, the second location is the famous Peace Hotel in Shanghai.

In 2006, Waist Down moved to New York City Center in SoHo to continue at the Los Angeles Downtown in Beverly Hills and finish with the inaugural installation of the Prada Transformer in Seoul. Each evolution interprets and conforms to the different exhibition spaces, mixing activities and features of the event with the culture of the host city. With Tokyo in 2004, Shanghai in 2005, New York and Los Angeles in 2006, and Seoul in 2009. (Source: “Prada”, edition 2009, Prada Arte project).

Mame Fashion Dictionary: The Waist Down show
The Waist Down show

Prada Transformer

Subsequently, the Prada Transformer project is an installation housed for six months next to the historic Gyeonghigung Palace in downtown Seoul, capital of South Korea. It will combine several disciplines within a single building, gathering the various facets of Prada while respecting its autonomy and uniqueness.

Designed by Prada, in collaboration with architect Rem Koolhaas, tetrahedron has been conceived to host four events dedicated to art, cinema, fashion, and the world of culture. Each event has a distinct planimetry: hexagonal, rectangular, cruciform, and circular. Compared to any typical exhibition space that suits everything, the Transformer literally overturns, adapting its appearance to the features of each event.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: The Prada Transformer Project in South Korea
The Prada Transformer Project in South Korea

In recognition of the cultural value of this cutting-edge project, the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano wanted to include the Transformer on his state trip to Korea. This is the only case in the history of the Republic, where a private building is included in the program of the official visit of the Head of State.

The America’s Cup

Mame Fashion Dictionary: "Luna Rossa" the Prada Catamaran
“Luna Rossa” the Prada Catamaran

The Prada Group’s horizons transcend the boundaries of fashion: art, architecture, cinema, culture. Also, major challenges such as the America’s Cup are an integral part of the core values of the brand. Passionate and competent sailor, in 1997 Patrizio Bertelli launched an Italian challenge to America’s Cup, the most important sailing international competition. The ‘Red Moon’ boat wins the Louis Vuitton Cup, the Challenger selections for the 2000 America’s Cup, thus winning the right to challenge the New Zealand defender, which will then be defeated in a fierce final. But ‘Luna Rossa’ will remain a national phenomenon, an icon that has written one of the most important pages in the history of Italian sports. Never before had a sailing event been so followed in Italy.

Fondazione Prada

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada Foundation Milan Across Isarco 2
Prada Foundation Milan Across Isarco 2

A few months later, the new Prada Foundation in Milan, curated by Rem Koolhaas, opens to the public in May 2015. An area of 17,500 square meters in an industrial complex of the early twentieth century. In the field of art and culture, the Foundation is considered a true reference world-wide. The attention and interest of Miuccia and Maurizio Bertelli for the contemporary art world lead to the decision to open a space where presenting exhibitions realized in full collaboration with Italian and international artists.

“Prada Foundation is an initiative that aims to receive and retransmit the deepest mental provocations of the art of our time.” Miuccia Prada.

Over the years, the Prada Foundation has explored several research subjects, opening up to issues related to areas such as architecture, philosophy, science, design, and cinema.

From 2011 to Today

Fondazione Prada in Venice

Starting June 2, 2011, the Foundation opened a new exhibition space Ca ‘Corner della Regina”. A prestigious eighteenth-century building overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice, after an important conservation restoration intervention. This impressive historic building, which was made available by the Venice Civic Museum Foundation for 6-12 years, has inaugurated a complex and articulated exhibition that reflects the multifaceted activity of the Foundation.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada Foundation in "Corner of the Queen in Venice"
Prada Foundation in “Corner of the Queen in Venice”

As of June 24, 2011, the Group placed 20% of its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, recording an initial valorization of the company at €9.2 billion, with the offer covered 3.5 times the available shares.

The “24 Hour Museum” Project

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada "24 Hour Museum" Project
Prada “24 Hour Museum” Project

In 2012, Prada launches the “24 Hour Museum” project, conceived by Francesco Vezzoli, in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas’s AMO study. The installation for the “24 Hour Museum” has proposed three distinct moments, each inspired by a particular type of museum space: historical, contemporary, and forgotten. In the three areas, Francesco Vezzoli has imagined a “museum that is not there.” Where he exhibited his homage to the eternal feminine, and the interpretation of classical sculptures that allude a contemporary feel.

In the tradition of collaboration with artists and multiple approaches to the creative process, Prada intervenes to create a new project of linguistic and visual experimentation. The whole exhibition lasts 24 hours, a stage for a great party Baroque.

The Exhibition “Impossible Conversations”

Also in 2012, the Costume Institute, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, hosts the exhibition Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations. From May 10 to August 19, 2012 (preceded on May 7 by the Gala Benefit Event), the exhibition explored the unexpected affinities between the two Italian stylists belonging to different epochs.

Taking inspiration from Miguel Covarrubias’s “Interview impossible” for Vanity Fair in the 1930s, curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton gave rise to unreal conversations between these two women. Suggesting, new keys to reading their innovative work.

Elsa Schiaparelli’s and Miuccia Prada’s icons are presented in galleries. Along with 8 videos that simulate a series of conversations between the two stylists directed by Baz Luhrmann to illustrate how in their work they have explored similar themes through very different approaches.

Prada for “The Great Gatsby”

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Catherine Martin and Miuccia Prada for The Great Gatsby
Catherine Martin and Miuccia Prada for The Great Gatsby

In 2013, Miuccia Prada collaborated with costume designer, Catherine Martin, to create a collection of over 40 exclusive evening cocktail dresses by Miu Miu and Prada for “The Great Gatsby” by Baz Luhrmann. A special show of selected costumes was exhibited at the New York Center from May 1 to May 12, then moved to the Tokyo Expo Center from June 14 to June 30, and finally moved to the IFC Mall in Shanghai from 11 to 21 September 2013.

The show, “Catherine Martin and Miuccia Prada Dress Gatsby”, combines evening dresses, hats, footwear, and jewelry with sketches, scene photos, backstage footage, and movie trailer. Also, mannequins wore the looks of each character accompanied by video from both the film and behind the scenes. Curated by New York’s 2 × 4 studio, the show was designed to change at each stage in order to reflect the unique features of each city that hosted it.

The Prada Gallery and Journal Projects

In 2013 Prada acquires an entire sky-earth portion of a property in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II overlooking the Ottagono and overlooking the historic store dedicated to female collections.

The project “The new Prada Gallery” is being developed in several phases. The first one sees the opening in 2013 of the new Prada Man shop on the ground floor of the palace. The spaces are entirely restored according to the aesthetic and architectural apts of the historic store of 1913.

The next phases of the project include the opening of a dining area on the mezzanine floor and the opening of exhibition spaces devoted to the Prada Foundation.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II After Restoration
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II After Restoration

Also, in 2013 is the launch of Prada Journal, a literary competition in collaboration with Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore and Luxottica. The literary competition also arises from the curiosity of exploring innovative languages ​​through forms of expression that converge on the written word, creating an independent platform of interest and an unusual editorial search reserve. Prada Journal had two more editions in 2014 and 2015.

Two New Short Film’s

A Theraphy

In 2013, Prada presents Cannes’s short film “A Theraphy”, written and directed by Roman Polanski, starring Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham Carter. The author of The Pianist and Carnage has imagined a somewhat weird psychoanalytic sitting where Tim Burton’s wife interprets a rich and bored lady, gripped, while Kingsley is her analyst.

Cavalcanti Castle

In 2014 another film collaboration: an 8-minute short film directed by critically acclaimed American director, Wes Anderson. Cavalcanti Castle is perfectly located in Anderson’s authoritative universe, only this time in Italy. It’s September 1955, and Jason Schwartzman just went to slam with his racing car against a statue of Jesus. The result is a popular story about cases of fate in a typical ‘Andersonian’ style.

Close to its first centenary, is a holding company employing more than 7800 employees and distributing its products through a network of 353 stores in more than 70 countries.

Acquisitions of 2014

In March, Prada SpA announces the acquisition of 80% of Angelo Marchesi Srl, owner of the Milanese pastry factory founded in 1824. The same year is the acquisition of the historic tannery Mégisserie Hervy at Isle, near Limoges. The acquisition was carried out jointly with Conceria Superior SpA of Santa Croce, a long-time industrial partner of the Prada Group. The aim of the operation is to ensure the recovery and revival of a productive structure which is an example of excellence in the tannin tradition of lamb skins and in particular of “plongé” tassels, with the aim of preserving its precious craft know-how.

Pradasphere

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Pradasphere in Hong Kong
Pradasphere in Hong Kong

Also in 2014, the launch of the Pradasphere project, an exhibition dedicated to the Prada brand and curated by the 2 × 4 studio in New York. The first edition is hosted by Harrods in London for a month. The exhibition follows the multifaceted obsession of the brand through fashion, art, architecture, cinema, sports and more, forty showcases, a pop-up store, video installations, and the elegant Marchesi pastry shop. The second edition of Pradasphere took place in Hong Kong, in a space specially created for the occasion.

Marchesi Pastries

After the acquisition of Angelo Marchesi Srl, in September 2015 Pasticceria Marchesi presents at the space, via Monte Napoleone 9. This is the first place after the opening of the historic Milanese coffee. Marchesi Monte Napoleone remains faithful to its style and its impeccable quality, offering a wider range of products. Designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi, the new shop extends over an area of ​​120 square meters and the interiors reinterpret the atmosphere and charm of Via Santa Maria at Porta 11 / a.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Marchesi Pastry Shop on via Monte Napoleone 9
Marchesi Pastry Shop on via Monte Napoleone 9

Within a year, Pasticceria Marchesi opened a third shop in the heart of Milan, within the emblematic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a symbol of the city. At the new space, located on the mezzanine floor of the building that houses Prada Man. You can access via stairs or elevators from both Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the Prada store. The new Marchesi space is spread over an area of ​​250 square meters and reinterprets the atmosphere and fascination of the historic shop of Via Santa Maria alla Porta. Located in a charming setting marked by numerous arch windows, overlooking the beautiful frescoes and precious floors to the mosaic of the Gallery.

The Restoration of the Last Supper by Giorgio Vasari

Mame Fashion Dictionary: The Last Supper by Giorgio Vasari
The Last Supper by Giorgio Vasari

On November 4, 2016, Giorgio Vasari’s restored the masterpiece in Santa Croce, fifty years after the Flood. Thanks to the commitment of Opificio delle Pietre Dure and the contribution of Prada, Getty Foundation, and Civil Protection. The ceremony takes place in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella and Patrizio Bertelli, Managing Director of the Prada Group, Irene Sanesi, President of the Opera of Santa Croce, Marco Ciatti, Director of the Dure Stone Store, and Antoine Wilmering, Getty Foundation Senior Program Officer.

Giorgio Vasari’s Last Supper, which water and mud swept through this museum’s hall on November 4, 1966, has been preserved for decades in a Superintendency depot along with many other flooded works. After fifty years, thanks to new technologies, the restoration and the painting have been relocated to the Cenacolo. Thanks to the new technology, the Structure of Pietre Dure and the support of Prada, Getty Foundation and Civil Protection to make this possible. The Return of the Last Supper to Santa Croce is a virtuous example of patronage that has seen together in more than ten years. Thanks to Prada, who made it possible to intervene on the painting, the Getty Foundation for wooden support, and Civil Protection who allowed studies and surveys.

The Past Forward Project

Past Forward is a multi-platform film project born in 2016 by the collaboration between Miuccia Prada and US director and screenwriter, David O. Russell. Acclaimed for films such as American Hustle, The Fighter, and The Positive Side. Russell has imagined Past Forward as a dreamy, surreal, and silent landscape with an eclectic cast that re-plays scenes in variable combinations. The result is an unreliable story, a parallax view in which scenes, characters, costumes, genres, and even multiple endings, repeat and turn away. Rejecting the logic of conventional fiction. Russell represents his characters as elements of a complex collage, leaving the spectator the task of decoding what experience, memory, dream, and understanding overlap and differences between them.

Prada Opens Observatory

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Prada Foundation Opens Observatory
Prada Foundation Opens Observatory

In December 2016, the Prada Foundation opens Osservatorio, a new exhibition space dedicated to photography and visual languages. Located at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. Observatory is a place of exploration and investigation of the trends and expressions of contemporary photography. The constant evolution of the medium and its connections with other creative disciplines and realities. In a historical moment, in which photography is an integral part of the global digital communication flow, the Prada Foundation, through Osservatorio’s activities, questions the cultural and social implications of current photographic production and its reception. It extends the repertoire of modes and tools with which the Foundation interprets and relies on the present.

Located on the fifth and sixth floor of one of the central buildings, the Osservatorio is above the octagonal, at the level of the glass and iron dome covering the Gallery created by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1867. The environments, rebuilt in After World War II following the bombings that struck the center of Milan in 1943, they underwent a restoration that made available an 800 m2 exhibition space developed on two levels.

The Shaping Conference at Creative Future

In March 2017, the Prada Group presented to Milan “Shaping to Creative Future”, a conference organized in collaboration with the Yale School of Management and the Politecnico of Milan School of Management. The event explored new possible connections between sustainability and innovation. This led to a confrontation between entrepreneurship, culture, and the international academic world. During the first day, at the Prada Foundation, teachers from both universities met with representatives of companies and associations to work out a critical perspective that was the focus of discussion on the next day. The following day, at Prada’s headquarters, entrepreneurial personalities, and spokespersons of international organizations met at a plenary conference, enriching the debate with inspirational insights and personal experiences.

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MISSONI

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.

Index

  1. The Origin
  2. Missoni Style
  3. Recognitions
  4. The Next Generation
  5. Brand Expansion
  6. Missoni Celebrates 50 Years

The Origin

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Missoni Ottavio and Rosita on the day of their Wedding April 18, 1953
Ottavio and Rosita on the day of their Wedding April 18, 1953

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Missoni Nude Look Runway Show at Palazzo Pitti in 1969
Missoni Nude Look Runway Show at Palazzo Pitti in 1969

Missoni Style

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Missoni Fabrics Displayed at MISSION ART COLOUR Exhibition
Fabrics Displayed at MISSION ART COLOUR Exhibition

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.

Recognitions

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Missoni Ottavio Portrait in Office
Ottavio Missoni Portrait in Office

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Missoni Family Portrait
Family Portrait

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.

Brand Expansion

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Missoni Fabrics
Popular Missoni Fabrics

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Missoni Celebrates 50 Years
Missoni Celebrates 50 Years

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.

Recent Years

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Missoni Home Project
Home Project

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.

Current Situation

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Missoni Collection for Target
Missoni Collection for Target

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Missoni Exhibition MISSION, ART, COLOUR at The Fashion and Textile Museum in London
Exhibition MISSION, ART, COLOUR at The Fashion and Textile Museum in London

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.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Missoni 2017 Fashion Show Pink Pussy Hats to Support Womens Rights
2017 Fashion Show Pink Pussy Hats to Support Womens Rights

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