Line of men’s and women’s shoes manufactured by Nuova Centauro. The firm, whose focus is the comparison between tradition (in style and technique) and innovation, was established with the name Centauro in 1947 by the brothers Luigi and Dino Guardiani in Montegranaro, Italy in the Marche region. In 1972 Alberto Guardiani, Dino’s son, took over the business, at a moment when Dino was the sole proprietor.
In 1980 Alberto renamed the company, Alberto Guardiani, launched a women’s line and, while maintaining production of the firm’s classic items. Also, he launched Low Tide, a brand aimed at young people and the sports market.
In 1999 in Montegranaro, Ascoli Piceno, the company built a vertically integrated plant that could design, cut, and assemble garments, with an atelier for the finishing touch.
Alberto Guardiani Development
February 27, 2007 Alberto Guradiani opened a new showroom at 29 Corso Venezia in Milan. The showroom is in an 18th-century building that was originally a monastery where pilgrims could stay and was later turned into a residence by the Calzoni-Sforza family. It is an ideal stage for Alberto Guardiani’s style, a poetic landscape for exclusive goods and an expression of democratic luxury.
Also, in 2007 the brand opened a new store in Piazza di Spagna in Rome and a year later in Naples. “This is the first step on a tight agenda that will see, by February 2008, the opening of two further single-brand stores in Italy, another two important pieces in our retail development plan. So far, there are 11 single-brand shops across the world”, explained Alberto Guardiani.
In March 2009 the brand released the Eiffel Tour limited edition collection to celebrate 120 years off the symbol in Paris. To celebrate, Alberto Guardiani signs a limited edition where a Eiffel Tour shines on the black patent leather like the sky of a Parisian night.
Icon: Lipstick Heel
Alberto Guardiani’s lipstick heel is a pump with a lipstickshaped heel. It is both a shoe and an icon that draws inspiration from the great stars of the past and the present. It plays with the glamorous and provocative atmosphere of La Dolce Vita, symbolised by Anita Ekberg’s sensual ruby lips.
Today, the brand is run by Alberto Guardiani and Rossella Beato Guardiani. In 2016 Serena Guardiani, daughter of Alberto and granddaughter of founder Dino, has been appointed creative director of the brand’s women’s collections. Serena graduated from Milan’s Istituto Marangoni and joins her elder sisters Rubina and Guya within the company.
Gianni Versace (1946-1997) was one of the greatest Italian designers, founder of the company of the same name, Gianni Versace SpA. Born in Reggio Calabria in 1946, Gianni Versace took his first steps in the world of fashion, helping his mother, a dressmaker, owner of a clothing store that, in addition to selling ready-made models, produced its own line. In 1972, a trip to Milan opened the doors of the industry when, called by Ezio Nicosia and Salvatore Chiodini, to collaborate in a collection for Florentine Flowers. His creations were a success and his name began to turn among the insiders, allowing him to continue working in the Lombard capital. He designed for De Parisini, Callaghan, Genny and Alma companies.
The Beginning of Versace
In 1976, with the help of his accountant brother Santo, he founded the company that bears his name and the first women’s collection was presented two years later, at the Palazzo della Permanente. Gianni Versace’s success was instantaneous. A style immediately applauded by the international press, enthusiastic about his clothes full of genre contaminations, paves the way for him.
Also, the brand contributed to the birth of the phenomenon of supermodels: Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, and Christy Turlington. Gianni was the first to bring out the character of the models as well as enhance their beauty. At this time, the Versace model was transformed. She is no longer a model but a role model, she has personality and embodies an ideal to be achieved, for all women.
In the meantime, his sister Donatella, Gianni’s muse and advisor, had also joined the company. Initially she took care of the public relations and brand communication, collaborating in the creation of important advertising campaigns with Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber and Steven Meisel. But, above all, the most memorable shots were with the photographer Richard Avedon. He exalted the image of the fashion house in the world fashion firmament; a partnership that lasted for several seasons and which will wrote many pages of the history of communication. Subsequently, Donatella became creative director of the young Versus line.
Versace was able to mix with ease the contemporary languages of pop art with elements of Greek culture (hence the logo of the Medusa inspired by Greco-Roman iconography), alternating Renaissance and Baroque motifs with precious embroidery and psychedelic colors.
The success of the maison conquered the whole world, even the United States, where the ultra modern and extravagant style was increasingly appreciated. All the Eighties and the beginning of the Nineties were characterized by the territorial expansion of the brand and by very successful collections that built the empire still standing.
The fashion shows presented iconic pieces from the era, including very tight and colorful fuseaux with inlays, dresses in meshes of metal fibers, silks with geometric patterns, jackets with prints of pop culture icons. Versace risked a lot in presenting such a daring and avant-garde fashion, but made every garment and treated it as a work of art and as a result was always rewarded by both the public and the critics.
Collaboration with the Arts
Besides being a great collector, Gianni also worked in close contact with the world of theater, opera and ballet. His long collaboration with the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, which was very important, began in 1982. Gianni created the costumes of the ballet Josephlegende (by Richard Strauss, directed by Luigi Veronesi) and continued to create for many other performances by great choreographers and directors such as as Maurice Béjart, Robert Wilson, Rolant Petit, John Cox, William Forsythe and Twyla Tharp. There were many celebrities that boasted friendship with Gianni Versace, including Lady Diana, his friend and confidant, the singer Elton John, for which in 1992 he designed the cover of the album as well as all the costumes of his World Tour, and the top model Naomi Campbell.
Gianni was the owner of immense villas scattered around the world, and he loved to furnish them with contemporary works of art, imperial furniture and Greek-Roman statues. He was also one of the first designers to launch a line for the home: the Versace Home Collection that will include furnishings, furnishing accessories, lamps, linens, tiles, porcelains and crystals.
Gianni Versace’s Death
The tragedy occurred on July 15, 1997. Gianni Versace is murdered on the steps of Casa Casuarina, in Miami, shot. The murder shocked the whole world raising many doubts and questions about the motive of the murder, which is still unclear. The killer, Andrew Cunanan, was found dead a few days later. It was a blow to the Medusa, for his family, but also for the whole Italian fashion system that will suddenly lose one of its biggest points of reference. After Gianni’s death, the creative direction was handed over to his sister Donatella who inherited 20% of the company’s value and was also the charismatic new face of the fashion house. 30% will go to Brother Santo, president and then CEO. The majority of the stock (50%), for a value then estimated at $700 million, will go to the beloved nephew Allegra, daughter of Donatella and Paul Beck.
The Brand Relaunched
The death of the founder does not open an easy time for the company which saw its business in decline right at the turn of the new millennium. At the end of 2000 the new company structure was outlined, focused on a holding company and two subsidiaries; the same year a long-term agreement was signed with Euroitalia, for perfumes and cosmetics. For several years the company had difficulty competing with the glories of the past. Multiple managers alternated at the top of the administration, until 2004, when the company found stability with Giancarlo Di Risio, who was ready to start the company reorganization by relaunching the brand. Advertising investments were enhanced, which involved more and more celebrities from the world of cinema and music. For Donatella, a famous testimonial communicates the character of a collection more easily and quickly. Celebrities who posed for advertising campaigns worldwide includes; Madonna, Demi Moore, Christina Aguilera, Halle Berry, Patrick Dempsey.
There was a lot of focus on upgrading the prêt-à-porter line, enlisting the two new fashion designers Warren Davis and Kinder Aguggini, respectively for the men’s line and the younger line. Also, Versace activated ambitious expansion policies in transversal luxury projects, diversifying its business with interior design and furnishing for private jets, yachts and helicopters.
It will also strengthen its territorial presence in the Far East with strategic agreements and acquisitions for a chain of Versace Luxury Hotels; the first of these opened in 2000 on the Australian Gold Coast, followed by another in Dubai. In 2006 the Versace Theater was inaugurated in Milan, a multifunctional space that also served as a location for future fashion shows. The following year is the tenth anniversary of Gianni’s death, which is remembered with a ballet by Maurice Béjart, presented at the Scala in Milan. Also, the biography The myth Versace (Dalai editore) is also published and a special scholarship is established that bears his name, in collaboration with the European Institute of Design.
Since 2008, while the collections received increasing support, the group announced an important expansion plan in Asia, which took shape in the following years with the opening of several stores in China. In 2010 more than 20 single-brand stores were presented in the “Asian giant” with excellent sales performance and further expansion forecasts. From 2009, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, took over from Giancarlo Di Risio, in the role of managing director. Gian Giacomo Ferraris cut costs, revised the network of direct shops and reduced investments. At this time, the brand officially announced the passage of the license of Versus from Ittierre to the Facchini group, which took charge of the production of clothing and accessories of the young line.
In 2010 there will be an increase in revenues that exceed the ceiling of €292.3 million, up 9.1% compared to the previous year. After the international crisis, a plan to reconquer Japan was planned, which in 2009 saw the closure of its three single-brand stores. Hiroshi Saito was appointed as chief executive officer of Versace Japan and opened new stores as well as additional points of sale to reinforce the presence of the brand in the area.
Collaboration with H&M
In 2011 important collaborations of media impact were signed. In June the partnership between the fashion house Versace and the Swedish clothing giant H & M was announced. Starting from November, the clothing chain would sell 40 women’s and men’s 20 pieces, including several accessories, for a low-cost, strictly limited edition line, signed by Donatella. A way to bring the Versace world closer to a younger and wider audience. There was the most iconic pieces of the whole Versace, but also what the fashion house represents today in its continuous evolution. There were famous prints, lots of leather and studs because Versace is sexy and glamorous but also rock’n’roll.
Starting from July 1, 2011, Versace gave life to another collaboration with a strong media echo, announcing that it will wear the International Football Club of Milan. The agreement is signed between the fashion house and the Nerazzurri company, with the supply of official uniforms for managers, coaches, technical staff and players.
Versace in now owned and managed by the family (50% Allegra Beck Versace, 30% Santo Versace, 20% Donatella Versace). Currently, Santo Versace is president of the group’s board of directors and Donatella is creative director as well as vice president of the board of directors. The company creates, produces and distributes luxury and lifestyle products including the Haute Couture Atelier Versace range, ready-to-wear collections, accessories, jewelry, watches, eyewear, fragrances and home furnishings and the second Versus line.
Today the Gianni Versace S.p.A. It is one of the most prestigious names in the international fashion luxury scene. The brand distributes its products through a network of 110 boutiques present in the main cities of the world, plus the 123 shop in shops dedicated in the main department stores and multi-brand stores.
Alberta Ferretti is an Italian fashion designer, founder of the homonymous clothing line, and vice-chairman of the AEFFE Group board of directors, founded in 1981 together with her brother Massimo.
Alberta was born in Gradara, in the land of Romagna. Always having a great sense of aesthetics, her first steps of success include working in her mother’s tailor shop where she learned how to handle the fabrics, to know the sophisticated colors and become familiar with the workings. Her sartorial DNA and ambition is so strong that, at just 18 years, she opened her first boutique, in Cattolica, an experience which put her in direct contact with the needs of customers and refined her intuition in anticipating the trends of fashion and the desires of women.
In 1974 she produced her first collection that will earn great success among the insiders; encouraged by the public response, six years later, together with her brother Massimo, they founded the company AEFFE, which bears her initials. Over the years the company became a powerful corporate group that controls and produces, in addition to the Alberta Ferretti line, also the Moschino, Pollini brands and Velmar. From the eighties onwards, business developed in an unstoppable way. The company launched the Philosophy line, again designed by Alberta Ferretti, aimed at a younger target and positioned on a lower price range. The company purchased licenses for the production of prominent prêt-à porter brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Authier, Cacharel and Marithé & François Girbaud.
Acquisitions of equity packages from various other companies began, confirming AEFFE’s strength in moving as an international holding company. While Brother Massimo will take care of the economic and management part of the company, Alberta will always keep in hand the creative direction, focusing on his feminine creations distinguished by pure lines, essential and decorations with precious embroidery. Collections that will be appreciated all over the world allowing the opening of numerous boutiques and corner shops in shops on four continents. Particular attention will be devoted, in recent years, to the Far East market, on which the company is moving, in line with market trends, to further expand its presence.
The designer, over the years, stood out as particularly sensitive to the care of artistic and cultural heritage. In 1994, with a group of companies and the patronage of the City and the Region, will promote the titanic restoration of the medieval village of Montegridolfo, near her birthplace, on the border between Romagna and Marche.
After about six years of work, the village regained its lost identity, appearing as it was at the origins and finding economic sustainability as a new tourist destination. The use demonstrated in the enhancement of this architectural and landscape heritage will be worth, in 2000, the honorary degree in Conservation of Cultural Heritage, conferred by the University of Bologna. The same university institute, in 2003, called her by assigning her a chair to hold a master’s degree in “Production and Culture of Fashion”.
Alberta Ferretti Awards
During her career Alberta Ferretti will be the recipient of numerous awards including the The Romantics award from the International Fashion Group in New York, the La Kore Award as Stylist of the Year in 2003, the Career Award given to her by the Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni as well as the prestigious honorary title of Cavaliere del Lavoro of the Italian Republic.
In 2010, as an organic extension for the company, Alberta Ferretti Forever, a special bridal collection was introduced. The dresses are romantic and airy through use of chiffon with delicately added embroidery, lace, ruffles or pleats. According to Aeffe S.p.A. annual report for 2015, the Alberta Ferretti brand increased by 17.0% and the brand’s net sales were €23.94 million, while the company total revenue was €274.04 million.
To keep up with the new trends in the luxury market, the Pre-fall 2017 collection included a capsule called Rainbow Week, which was available for See-Now-Buy-Now sale. Rainbow Week is brand’s first capsule knitwear collection which includes seven sweaters in different colours with the day of week written on them. The sweaters were endorsed on runway by both men and women, which reflect the other tendency in fashion world, gender fluidity. Today AEFFE is a corporate group that generates more than €200 million in revenues per year, employs 1,300 and produces 2 million garments a year, distributed in a network of 190 single-brand stores and over 6500 selected points of sale.
Gianfranco Ferré was born in Legnano (Milan) on August 15, 1944.
After earning his high school diploma specializing in sciences, he enrolled in the School of Architecture at the Milan Polytechnic Institute. In 1969 he graduated, presenting a thesis on the “Methodology of the Approach to Composition” with Franco Albini, an architect, as his major professor.
His very first, quite off-hand entry into the world of fashion took place in the same years. Ferré designed jewelry and accessories that he would then give to friends and classmates. Rosy Biffi, a true talent scout as well as the owner of one of Milan’s edgiest boutiques, had occasion to notice the creations. She mentioned them to Ileana Pareto Spinola and Anne Sophie Benazzo, two women who were so impressed by these handcrafted items that they suggested buyers might take an interest in them. At that point prominent Italian fashion editors (initially, Anna Piaggi and Anna Riva) happened to spy the creations. This led to coverage in major specialty mags and in 1971 one of the accessories appeared on the cover of the Italian monthly “Arianna”. Ferré’s early debut on the scene proved very successful. It even attracted the attention of leading Italian journalist Camilla Cederna, who talked about Ferré in her weekly column for the newsmagazine “L’Espresso”.
In 1973, the young architect-designer made the first of his many trips to India, where up until 1977 he spent long periods working for the Genoa-based San Giorgio Impermeabili clothing company owned by the Borelli family. In India he designed and had manufactured the company’s “Ketch”collection. At the same time, he had the chance to visit every part of the country and to study local craftsmanship and production potential, also on behalf of the Indian government. Ferré fell literally under the spell of India, a land where he consolidated his professional training and embarked on his creative path. From India he learned a fundamental lesson of life, all about the colors, scents and shapes forming a whole with feelings, sensations and emotions. It’s a lesson that he would later transfer to and instill inextricably in his collections, through his own remarkable way of reminiscing and remembering.
The First Collection
In the same years, during his stays in Italy, he did free-lance work designing accessories for prominent fashion names such as Walter Albini and Christiane Bailly, as well as knitwear and swimwear for other companies in the sector. His swimsuits debuted on the catwalk at the “MareModa Capri” event, winning a prize that marked the first of many the designer would earn throughout the course of his career.
In 1974, Gianfranco Ferré began designing his first collections, hosting his first fashion shows, in particular for the “Courlande” and the “Baila” labels , the latter which belonged to Franco Mattioli, a Bolognese industrialist who in 1978 would become his business partner.
A Brilliant Career
In May of 1978, in fact, the Gianfranco Ferré company was set up on Via San Damiano in Milan (later the headquarters would move to Via della Spiga). In October of the same year, Ferré presented his debut signature women’s ready-to-wear collection with a show at the Principe di Savoia Hotel in Milan, truly a thrilling moment.
In addition to the launch of the men’s clothing line in 1982 , and to the introduction of a wide range of accessories and other products on license in partnership with leading companies in the various respective sectors, Ferré made a mark with two other key experiences: the creation of his own Alta Moda collection (1986-1989) and his extraordinary adventure at the finest and most storied of French fashion houses.
In 1983, he helped to develop the curriculum for Domus Academy, the new Milan-based Design, Design Management and Fashion Design Post-graduate School where up until 1989 he taught the course in Dress Design: analysis of dress design and relation to changing fashion, analysis of the design project from start to finish.
In May of 1989, Gianfranco Ferré was appointed Artistic Director of Christian Dior for the women’s Haute Couture, Prêt à Porter and Fourrure lines. Confirmation of the Dior appointment up to 1996 came in 1993.
In the fall of 1998, on the occasion of the brand’s twentieth anniversary a series of events important for the company’s future culminated with the grand opening in Milan of the new headquarters on Via Pontaccio: in the former Gondrand building, after a total renewal based on the initial project by Marco Zanuso, then completed by Franco Raggi both on the level of the executive project and interior architecture.
The Last Years
In 2002, the Gianfranco Ferré Company was acquired by Tonino Perna’s IT Holding Group. Gianfranco Ferré became Artistic Director of the house.
In March of 2007, Gianfranco Ferré was appointed President of the Brera Fine Arts Academy in Milan.
After suffering a brain hemorrhage, Gianfranco Ferré died in Milan on June 17, 2007.
Events, Exhibitions and Projects
1975: Creation of garments for SNIA’s “Dressing in Jersey” project
1976: Creation of garments for the project “Pizzi e Rasi” of SNIA, Milan; creation of garments for the project “The day of a child” by Leacril Montefibre, Milan; creation of garments for the project “New signatures for new projects” of SNIA, Milan
1977: Creation of garments for the “SNIA per 6 sports” project, Milan
1978 / ’79: Creation of garments for the “Zegna Baruffa” yarns at Pitti Filati, Florence; event – fashion show for “Saks Fifth Avenue“, New York
1981: Creation of the representation uniform for Lea Pedini, Capitana del Popolo, Regent of the Republic of San Marino, worn on the occasion of the inaugural ceremony, Milan.
1982: Participation in the exhibition “Intimate Architecture: Contemporary Clothing Design”, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston; Fashion show at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), linked to the exhibition “Intimate Architecture: Contemporary Clothing Design”, Boston; participation in the “Design in Italian Society in the Eighties” exhibition: traveling exhibition in the USA, by the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
1983: Sponsorship of the restoration of the Guercino frescoes in the dome of the Duomo of Piacenza; participation in the exhibition “Creators of Italian Fashion 1920-1980” at the Daimaru and Costume Museums of the Academy of Fashion and Costume, Osaka and Tokyo; participation in the “The Best Five” event, annually organized by the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun and by WWD Japan, Tokyo; parade-night event in Piazza Santo Stefano, Bologna
1984: Event – “Gianfranco Ferré” fashion show, in the setting of Osaka Castle; participation in the exhibition “Il genio antipatico” at the Galoppatoio of Villa Borghese, Rome; participation in the “Alla Moda di Torino” Convention; event-fashion show at the “Modewoche”, Munich; project of a carpet for Sisal, exhibited at the exhibition “Italian design for the western carpet”, on the occasion of the Salone del Mobile, Milan; project for B & B Italia, to dress sofas and armchairs of the series “Gli abiti”, designed by Paolo Nava, Milan; costumes for the theater “Tamara”, Los Angeles and New York; creation of T-shirts for “T-show. History and new styles in the T-Shirt “, project realized by the Cotonificio Cantoni textile group, Legnano
1985: Participation in the “Italia. The Genius of Fashion”, New York; exhibition at the Museo Civico Medievale, Bologna; participation in the “RENart” project, a series of free and different interpretations of the Renault Supercinque model, with Alessandro Mendini, Mario Merz, Ugo Nespolo, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Paolo Portoghesi, Franco Maria Ricci and Ettore Sottsass, Milan
1986: Participation in “Italia: il Genio della Moda”, exhibition curated by Pia Soli, Milan; costumes for “This is the Arena, Maria Callas was born here”, a charity evening for aid to Third World countries, Verona; fashion show at Trinità dei Monti, with a selection of garments from the Gianfranco Ferré Alta Moda Fall / Winter collection 1986-87, Rome
1987: Event for the presentation of the “Gianfranco Ferré” Women’s Perfume in Greece at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens; event for the inauguration of the Gianfranco Ferré boutique, Rome; participation in the RAI television event, organized by the magazine “Moda” of Edizioni E.R.I. at the Gardens of Villa Reale, Milan; fashion show at the Yurakucho Asahi Hall on the occasion of the opening of the boutique in Sonnette Aoyama, Tokyo
1988: Participation in the “Tartan” exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York; participation in the “Moda Italia” exhibition organized in collaboration with ICE, New York; participation in “Progetto Uomo ’88” organized by Saga Furs and dedicated to men’s fur, Milan
1989: Participation – the only fashion designer – at “Italian Manifesto”, 39th International Design Conference, Aspen; lecture: “The path of the project”; creation of garments for “Lana Gatto” collection A / W 89-90 at Pitti Filati, Florence; participation in the “La Moda Italiana for the Floriani Foundation” event with Gianfranco Ferré Fourrures, Milan; sponsorship of the project of the European School of Oncology aimed at creating the Foundation of the same School, aimed at financing its activities, Milan; participation in the “La Moda Italiana for the Floriani Foundation” event with Gianfranco Ferré Fourrures, Venice; charity event in favor of the Italian Association for Cancer Research at Palazzo Butera, Palermo
1990: Creation of a new mask for the Ambrosian Carnival proposed in the exhibition at Palazzo Dugnani, Milan; participation in “The Art of Fashion”, Diana Vreeland Fund for Exhibitions of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; participation in the exhibition “Moments of Italian design in industry and fashion”, Seoul; participation in the “Florence dreams” event in the Loggia of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence; participation in the “Italia ’90” fashion show, with clothes inspired by Europe, at the San Siro Stadium, Milan; creation of mink garments for the American Legend show, Palazzo della Ragione, Milan; event-fashion show for “Association of Total Fashion”, Tokyo
1991: Participation in the International Textile Forum, organized by the Ratti Foundation, Como; lecture: “Stilism and creativity before the challenges of the new millennium”; charity evening in favor of ANLAIDS – Lombarda section with Gianfranco Ferré fashion show and Gino Paoli concert, Galleria Theater, Legnano; fashion show at the opening of the Gianfranco Ferré boutique in Washington D.C
1992: Participation in the first “Convivio”, as promoter with Armani, Valentino and Versace, Milan; “Gianfranco Ferré” fashion show and launch of the “Ferré by Ferré”perfume at the Opéra Comique, Paris; event-show “Das Gesicht 92”, Berlin
1993: “Chic ’93” event, promoted by the China Tiangong Clothing Science & Technological Development Group, Beijing; “Gianfranco Ferré Uomo” fashion show at the Stazione Leopolda, Florence; guest of honor at the inauguration of the “Creative Haus“, Duesseldorf
1994: Heads exhibited in the exhibition “Japonism in Fashion” at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; participation in the Ravenna Festival, Ravenna; lecture: “Dreams and visions”; participation in “The Fashion Group International Night of Stars”: special tribute to Bernardine Morris, New York; participation in the Enka Viscose project “Creativity at the Opera”, Milan
1995: “AIDS Project Los Angeles” event-show at Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles; event-fashion show at the National Palace of Culture, Sofia; “Rédacteur en chef” of the special Christmas issue of “Le Point”, Paris; participation in the exhibition “Between Fashion and Design. Infinite line “at the Palazzo della Triennale, Milan; Studio 000.1 event by Ferré, New York; creation of a dress for the fashion show “Fashion’s world health to peace”, Caesarea / Israel; creation of a quilted stole for the project “A heart for a friend” by ANLAIDS, Milan
1996: Gieffeffe perfume launch event at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York and San Francisco; lecture: “Créateur and couturier experience”, Fashion Institure of Technology, New York; exhibition of drawings, Academy of Art College, San Francisco; participation in the Second International Forum on car style, Turin; lecture: “Design in Fashion”; participation in the first Fashion Biennial “Time and Fashion”, installations in the Cappelle Medicee, Florence; creation of a Christmasgateau exclusively for Lenôtre, Paris
1997: Sponsorship of the F.A.I. event al Castello di Masino “The elegance of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, historical clothes from the Masino Gallery of the Costume of Florence”; participation in the seminar of courses in “Theories and techniques of Architecture” at the Polytechnic, Milan; lecture: “Composition and Fashion”; “Ferré Week”, with a show at the “Sezon Theater”, Tokyo; exhibition “A white story”, Seibu Ikebukuro, Tokyo; lecture: “Designing the subject”, United Nation University, Tokyo; lecture: “The jewel between East and West. A path between design and fantasy “, Domus Academy, Milan; creation of clothes for Dario Fo, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and for his wife Franca Rame, Stockholm; creation of a sheepskin blouson for the charity event “21 designers rething shearling for benefit”, Paris; creation of a denim blouson for DIFFA – Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS “, Dallas
1998: Lecture: “Fashion in the Present, Fashion in the Future: the Values of Creativity” Association for Development in the Fashion Industry, University of Bologna, Bologna; participation in the final plenary session of IAF 1998, Palazzo dei Congressi, Florence; lecture: “The consumer at the center of the fashion designer’s strategy”; opening of the headquarters in Via Pontaccio 21, Milan; party to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the “Gianfranco Ferré” label, Milan; “Immaginario” exhibition-labyrinth in via Pontaccio, Milan; fashion show and charity event in favor of British Red Cross, Banqueting House, Whitehall, London; lecture: “Designing the subject”, Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts & Design, London; participation in the “Intimare” exhibition with the collection “Gianfranco Ferré Underwear” Uomo e Donna, Bologna; fashion show of the GFF Donna Fall / Winter 1998-99 collection, Teatro Franco Parenti, Milan
1999: “F & F” project: packaging for the “Brunello da Montalcino Riserva 2000”, production by Marchesi Frescobaldi, Milan, Berlin, New York, Tokyo; event of Ideacomo, Villa d’Este, Cernobbio; exhibition “Fifteen years of partnership with Sàfilo”, via Via Pontaccio, Milan; costumes for the Biennale Danza created for Carla Fracci and Carolyn Carlsson, Venice; creation of a leather model for the sprinter Marion Jones for the “Tag Heuer” exhibition, Milan; participation as a guest of honor at “Donna sotto le stelle” at Trinità dei Monti, to celebrate 20 years of activity, Rome; creation of costumes for “Le ballet du cadre noir de Saumur” with the étoile Patrick Dupont at the Stade de France, Paris; participation in the “Furtherfantasy” photo exhibition organized by Vogue Italia at the Galleria Giò Marconi, Milan; participation in the exhibition “50 anos de mode italiana”organized by the National Chamber of Fashion Italy, curated by Fiorella Galgano, with the support of Italian and Brazilian authorities and cultural institutions in several cities of the country.
2000: Participation in the “Le Teddies de l’an 2000” project in favor of British Red Cross, Montecarlo; donation of clothes and accessories from the historical archive Gianfranco Ferré to the Costume Gallery of Palazzo Pitti, Florence; exhibition “Other Emotions”: garments donated to the Costume Gallery of Palazzo Pitti, in an exhibition by Margherita Palli, Florence; donation of archive items to the Fashion Institute of Technology, exhibited at the exhibition “The Corset Fashioning The Body” at the F.I.T. New York; creation of personalized labels for Evian mineral water bottles at Milano Moda Donna AI 2000/01; participation in the “Momi Intimo Designers” event, Fiera Milano
2001: Heads exhibited at the exhibition “Uniform. Order and disorder”at the Stazione Leopolda, Florence; guest of honor at the “Shanghai International Fashion Culture Festival”, Shanghai; lecture: “Creativity and working method”, Fashion Institute, Dong Hua University, Shanghai; event-fashion show at the Museum of Art History, Vienna; participation in the exhibition “Silk. The twentieth century in Como “, organized by the Antonio Ratti Foundation in Villa Olmo, Como; participation in the exhibition “The Entertainers. The power of accessories” at the Stazione Leopolda, Florence; participation in the “Frock and Roll” fashion charity event, organized by Naomi Campbell and Harvey Goldsmith in favor of the “Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund”, together with Alexander Mc Queen, Barcelona; dresses from different collections selected by Luca Ronconi for the “Phoenix” show by Marina Cvetaeva, Piccolo Teatro, Milan; “Gianfranco Ferré Style for men” event in collaboration with Esquire USA, with a still-life display of garments and accessories from the different lines by Man designer, New York
2002: “The Best of Gianfranco Ferré” fashion show at the headquarters via Pontaccio, Milan; joining Poste Italiane’s initiative: series of “Design Italiano Alta Moda” stamps, Milan
2003: “Gianfranco Ferré” fashion show-run at the Jeau de Paume Museum, Paris; event for the opening of the spa “E’SPA Gianfranco Ferré” in the renovated boutique in via Sant’Andrea, Milan; event-fashion show with the direction of Asia Argento for the debut of the GF FERRE ‘Donna e Uomo line at Superstudio +, Milan; event-parade of garments inspired by the female characters of opera, State Opera, Vienna; garments exhibited at the Musée des Tissus in the “50 and de mode Italian” exhibition, Lyon; leaders exhibited at the exhibition “Noches Italianas: trajes de excepcion para mujeres extraordinarias” (1950-1990) “hosted in museums in Latin America; guest of “The Monday of Milanese friends” at the Center Culturel Français, Milan; lecture: “The tailor of the two cities”; participation in the “GenovanversaeviceversA” exhibition, promoted by the Modemuseum, with clothes, fabrics and accessories, Antwerp; dresses from different collections selected by Luca Ronconi for the show “Peccato sia sia un sgualdrina” by John Ford on stage at the Piccolo Teatro, Milan; participation in the “Pigotte d’Autore” project, with a charity auction for Unicef, Reggio Emilia; participation as guest of honor at the inauguration of the exhibition “I mantelli delle Castellane” at the headquarters of the Banca di Legnano; event – “Oiseaux d’art” exhibition with an exhibition of the works of the artist Gregory Morizeau in the Gianfranco Ferré boutique in Milan; presentation dinner of the “Essence d’Eau” Women’s perfume in the Gianfranco Ferré offices, Milan; creation of representation seals for football club FC Bayern Muenche
2004: Protagonist and guest of honor of the “Life Ball” event-show, 2004, Vienna; items exhibited at the “Excess” exhibition at the Stazione Leopolda, Florence; participation in the TV event “La notte delle stelle” at the Teatro Ariston, Sanremo; participation in the “La mode dessine l’espoir” project, at the invitation of the “Dessine l’espoir” association and under the patronage of the French Ministry of Culture, Paris; supply of archival clothing as costumes for “Peccato alle puttana” by John Ford, directed by Luca Ronconi for the Piccolo Teatro, Milan; opening event of the Gianfranco Ferré boutique on Madison Avenue, followed by dinner at “Le Grenouille”, New York City; participation in the “Carousel Ball of Hope’s Toy Car” solidarity project promoted by Mercedes Benz for the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, Los Angeles; participation in the fashion event organized by Ferrari and the Italian National Chamber of Fashion, Shanghai
2005: Creation of flight and ground personnel uniforms for Korean Air, Seoul; participation in the “Una notte a Roma” television event in Piazza Navona, Rome; fashion show-event for “Fashion in Motion”, Victoria & Albert Museum, London; guest of honor of “Festa Italiana”, Mumbai and New Delhi; creation of uniforms for the hostesses of “Première Vision”, Milan; participation in the “West looks East” solidarity show-event, Washington; participation in the exhibition “The thread becomes history”, organized in the Costume Gallery at Palazzo Pitti on the occasion of the thirty years of Lineapiù, Florence; “stamp” creation for the ten years of “Io Donna”, Milan; launch of the “Gianfranco Ferré Special Order” project: creation of evening garments in different sizes and colors from those presented on the catwalk for individual clients, Milan
2006: Event-fashion show for the inauguration of the Boscolo Hotel in the historic building of the New York Café, Budapest; exhibition “MEx32”, with the creation of 32 T-shirts inspired by the countries participating in the World Soccer Championships, proposed in the Gianfranco Ferré, Florence and Milan boutiques; participation in the “Human Game” exhibition at the Stazione Leopolda, Florence; participation in the “Genio y Figura” exhibition at the Museo del Traje, Madrid; participation in the “Passion for fashion” TV show-event at the Manoel Island, Valletta; participation in “Luxury Conference 2006” organized by the International Herald Tribune at the Sheraton Hotel, Istanbul; lecture: “Exotic inspirations”; solidarity event in favor of the Francesca Nava Foundation: a show by René Fleming at the Teatro alla Scala and a gala dinner at the Gianfranco Ferré headquarters in honor of the soprano, Milan
2007: Sponsorship of the restoration of the painting “Adamo crying Abel” by Johan Karl Loth, exhibited at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence; Donna AI 2007/2008 fashion show: the rock singer Skin wears a top studded with authentic diamonds, at the fashion show follows a live concert at the headquarters in Via Pontaccio, Milan; TV show-event at the Lufti Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Center on the occasion of the first edition of the “Fashion TV Turkey Awards”, Istanbul; lecture: “The forms of emotions. Shaping emotions” at the Faculty of Architecture, Politecnico, Milan; creation of a wedding ring for the exhibition “Eternal Platinum – The ultimate Symbol of Love”, hosted at the Palazzo della Triennale, Milan; October: Participation in the exhibition “Contro Moda. The contemporary fashion of the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art”, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
Awards and Recognitions
70s / 80s
1976: July, Capri: “Tiberio d’oro”, prize of “MareModa Capri”
1982: October, Milan: “Golden Eye” for the best women’s collection P / E1983
1983: March, Milan: “Golden Eye” for the best women’s collection A / W 83-84; November, Tokyo: “The Best Five”, recognition of the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun and WWD Japan
1984: September, Genoa: recognition of the Chamber of Commerce; October, Milan: “Occhio d’oro” for the best women’s spring / summer collection in 1985; November, Hollywood: Recognition for the costumes of the theatrical piece “Tamara”
1985: March, Munich: “Modepreis”, as the best fashion designer of the year for women’s fashion; April, Bologna: Recognition of the Municipality; May, Mantova: recognition of the “Gazzetta di Mantova”, as part of the “Fashion Awards” event; June, New York: “Cutty Sark Men’s Fashion Award”, as the best fashion designer of the year for men’s fashion; September, Varese, Golf Club: Cup for participation in the collection of vintage bouts and Haute Couture; December, Milan, Palazzo Marino: “Ambrogino d’Oro”, medal of civic merit of the City of Milan
1986: January, Rome, Palazzo del Quirinale: honor of “Commendatore of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic”, by the President of the Republic Sen. Francesco Cossiga; March, Milan: “Golden Eye” award for the best women’s collection A / W 86-87; May, Bologna: plate of “Linea Pelle” to recognize the creative commitment; May, Palermo: AIRC recognition from the City of Palermo; November, Legnano: “Tessera d’Oro” of the Legnanese Family
1987: arzo, Milan: “Occhio d’oro” for the best women’s collection A / W 87-88; May, Tokyo: plate of the “Association of Total Fashion”; November, Legnano: recognition of the Legnano Lions Club and Legnano Carroccio Lions Club in joint session; Turin: “Cavour d’Argento” award. City of Turin”
1988: April, Busto Arsizio: Rotary Professional Award
1989: May, Milan: “Telegatto” Prize, among others awarded, Giulio Andreotti and Enzo Biagi; July, Paris, Palais Galliera Gardens: “Dé d’or” after the first Haute Couture collection for Christian Dior, as the best couturier of the season; July, Rome: special recognition as a fashion character in 1989, by the Associazione di via Borgognona; September, Ischia: “Modaischia 1989” award; November, Legnano: certificate of civic merit of the City of Legnano; December, Milan: “Occhio d’oro” which consecrates the “signature of the year of Italian fashion”; December, Milan nominates “Milanese of the Year” from the “Meneghina Family”
1990: March, Milan: “The great protagonists”, prize of the “Italian Fur Association”; June, Milan: recognition for participation in Italy ’90; October, Florence Palazzo Vecchio: “Lorenzo the Magnificent”, award of the “Medicean International Academy”
1991: prile, Legnano: recognition of the Busto Arsizio Cisalpino Lions Club; June, Florence, Palazzo Vecchio: “Il Fiorino d’oro” award, from the City of Florence; June, Los Angeles: Recognition of the County of Los Angeles and Music Center of the County of Los Angeles
1992: September, Mexico D.F .: “El sol de oro”, recognition of the Circulo Nacional de Periodistas as “Creador de la elegancia y distinction en European fashion”; December, Vienna: “Diva-Wollsiegel”, IWS award in collaboration with the magazine “Diva”
1993: May, Beijing: appointment to “Senior Adviser” from the “China Tiangong Clothing Science & Technological Development Group and National Garments Research”; official meeting with the President of the People’s Republic of China, Jan Zemin, in the Forbidden City; June, Florence, Palazzo Vecchio: “Pitti Immagine Uomo”, special prize of Pitti Immagine; November, Milan: “Paul Harris Fellow”, Rotary International Rotary Foundation Award
1994: May, Baveno: Lions Club “recognition” plaque; September, New York: “The Fashion Group International” award; November, Campione d’Italia: “Maschera d’oro”, from the Mayor of the City of Campione
1995: May, Los Angeles.Century Plaza: “Crystal Apple Award” special award of the “California Fashion Industry Friends of Aids Project Los Angeles”; November, Milan: “Circolo degli Incontri” plaque, awarded annually to Milanese personalities distinguished in the field of Art and Culture
1996: September, New York and San Francisco: recognition for the participation in the special events Saks Fifth Avenue dedicated to Gianfranco Ferré; October, Milan: “Masters of Linen” special prize of the “European Confederation of Linen and Hemp”
1997: May, Legnano: “Always Licenses” award from the city’s State Scientific Liceo
1999: March, Como, Palazzo Cernezzi: delivery of the City of Como’s keys by the Mayor; March, Como, Villa’D’este “Certificate of Ideacomo” in recognition of his talent and his culture; March, Milan: “Fur Fashion Award – special 50 years” special prize of the “Italian Fur Association”; July, Rome: award of the “National Chamber of Italian Fashion” for twenty years of activity, during the event “Woman under the stars”
2000: November, Legnano: card of the “Legnanese Family” “Member in the fiftieth year”
2001: April, Shanghai: appointment to “Senior Adviser of Garment Arts” by the Mayor of the City of Shanghai; May, Legnano: Grand Priory of the Contrada della Flora
2002: June, Milan: frieze from the Municipality of Milan
2003: November, Düsseldorf: “Kinder in Not”, UNESCO special prize
2004: March, Berlin, “Star Diamond Award” of “American Academy of Hospitality Sciences” for E’SPA at Gianfranco Ferré; April, Milan: “Silver lady”, prize of the “Association of Friends of the Poldi Pezzoli Museum” awarded to “Men and Women Who Make Great Milan”; September, Sanremo: recognition for participation in “Sanremo Fashion”; September, Milan: career award from “Chi è Chi del giornalismo e della moda”
2005: February, Milan, Teatro alla Scala: “Sigillo Longobardo”, from the Lombardy Regional Council
2006: July, Milan: “Certificate of Appreciation” by the Lions District 108Ib1
2007: March, Milan: appointment as President of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts
Founder and designer of the homonymous clothing brand. Brunello Cucinelli was born in Castiglione (Perugia) in 1953. In 1972 he became a surveyor and enrolled in the faculty of engineering, which he left shortly thereafter. Starting in 1978 he began his career as an entrepreneur and proposed his distinctive character, the colored cashmere.
In 1982 he married Federica Benda, with whom he had two daughters, and moved to Solomeo, where he gave life to his company. In 1987 he inaugurated his new company headquarters in the fourteenth-century castle of the village.
Brunello Cucinelli Foundation
Instinctively brought to the knowledge, he devoted himself to humanistic studies (especially to philosophy) and began an activity of recovery and redevelopment of the ancient country, creating spaces dedicated to meeting and culture. The site chosen for the renovation project is the architectural and landscape complex of the Foro delle Arti, where under the aegis of the Brunello Cucinelli Foundation, a theater, an amphitheater and a Neo-nationalist academy are created, with a precious library inside.
At the same time he led his company to the most important successes, inspired by the great ideals of man: ethics, dignity and morals. From the beginning of 2000 his entrepreneurial and humanistic work is celebrated by a series of prestigious national and international awards. This includes: the Presidency of the Teatro Stabile dell’Umbria, Ernst and Young Award as an Italian entrepreneur of the year (2009), Prize Leonardo Qualità Italia (2010), delivered to the Quirinale by the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, Cavalierato of the Italian Republic and Honoris Causa degree in Philosophy and Ethics of Human Relations conferred by the University of Perugia. In 2011 Brunello Cucinelli, was recognized worldwide as one of the most important brands in the luxury sector. The brand is present with several cashmere collections in more than 1000 multi-brand stores, 50 single-brand stores and numerous “shop in shops” spread throughout the various high department stores of the world.
Michael Kors is an American designer born in 1959 and raised on Long Island, near New York City. His mother was a model. For school he attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, but dropped out after 9 months. He started his professional career at the age of 19, when he designed a collection for the Lothar boutique in New York, for which he started to work as sales assistant. His success with the industry was such that he was urged to start his own business.
In 1981 the Michael Kors label made its début and the first collection, based on perfectly structured luxury sportswear, was presented. It was distributed, among the others, by Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue. In 1995 he launched the line Kors Michael Kors manufactured by Onward Kashiyama USA, the brand factory of Onward Kashiyama Japan. In November 1997 he presented his first line of men’s prêt-à-porter.
The Céline Era
At the same time, Kors was appointed the designer for Céline, of which he was made artistic director in 1999. He is considered a pioneer of the minimalist style. He lives in Paris and New York.
In 1999 Kors sold one third of his company share to LVMH, also the owner of Céline. One year later, Michael Kors launched the first perfume produced and distributed by Parfums Givenchy. During this time, he opened two sales points in Madison Avenue, New York, following in 2002, more boutiques opened in Soho and Tokyo. The same year, the Council of Fashion Designers of America names Kors Womenswear Designer of the Year.
The year 2002 also witnessed the launch of Michael Kors full men’s collection. A year later the designer announced that his contract with Céline ended, he would leave the maison. The Fall-Winter Collection 2003-2004 was the last collection he designed for Celine. The announcement came only a few weeks before the renewal of his annual contract with LVMH, Kors had lead them to believe his collaboration with the group was to continue for a long time.
Sportswear Holdings Limited Acquired Michael Kors
At the same year, two entrepreneurs, Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll, through their company, Sportswear Holdings Limited, acquired 85% share of Michael Kors including the one-third stake in Kors’ business held by LVMH Group, the 10% that Onward Kashiyama USA bought in 2000 and the remainder owned by John Orchulli, Kors’ long-term business partner who stay with the firm as chief executive officer for a short-term interim.
In 2004, Kors became a judge on a new reality television show called Project Runway. Project Runway immediately became a hit show, his blunt criticisms comments were fan favorites. Kors was on this show until 2012, he announced that he would be retiring from Project Runway. By that time, the series had garnered several Emmy Award nominations.
New Lines Launched
Also in 2004, Michael Kors launched two new lines, MICHAEL Michael Kors, and KORS Michael Kors. These lines are sold in 350 stores in the United States offer ready-to-wear, handbags, swimwear, jeans, footwear and other accessories. Meanwhile, the company signed a contract with the Fossil to create and launch the Michael Kors watch line.
March 2011, the company celebrated its 30th anniversary with a new flagship store in Paris opened and one dinner party, the party is full of celebrities, models, singers, editors, It girls, actresses were attended.
Later in this year, Kors became the youngest designer who received The Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award from CFDA. A year later, Michael Kors company renewed its contract to work with Fossil, besides the watch line, Michael Kors Jewelry line were set to be created.
Kors has always been involved in charity, fighting hunger for more than 20 years. In 2013 he partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to help fight world hunger by designing the 100 Series watch. A portion of the proceeds from his special-edition timepiece helps WFP deliver food to children through its school meals program. In 2015, the designer is announced as a Global Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme, together with its customers the company has helped deliver over 10 million meals to hungry children around the world through the programme.The company is also a longtime supporter of God’s Love We Deliver, and worked with the New York-based organization to help distribute meals to people with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses.
In 2016, Michael Kors signed a major partnership with McLaren-Honda, becoming the official lifestyle partner of the world championship Formula One team for boosting the brand’s jet-set associations.
In July 2017, Michael Kors company announced its acquirement of the luxury footwear and accessory brand Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion. In November, the brand announced that Francesca Leoni was appointed as the new Senior Vice President and Chief Brand Officer for the Michael Kors brand.
Currently, Michael Kors stores are present in the most prestigious cities in the world including New York, London, Milan, Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Through company owned shops and licensing partners they offer their consumer products including accessories, footwear, watches, jewelry, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, eyewear and a full line of fragrance products.
Vivienne Westwood is a famous British fashion designer who was born in 1941. She changed the history of fashion as the “muse of punk.” Born in Glossop, Derbyshire, she was the daughter of textile factory workers Dora and Gordon Swire who named her Vivienne Isabel in homage to the actress Vivien Leigh.
She was educated at the Glossop Grammar School. Prophetic, for her future career, was the school’s motto: “Virtus, veritas, libertas.” She studied silversmithing at Harrow School of Art, then later became a primary school teacher while also making her own jewelry. After a short marriage to Derek Westwood she began a relationship with the musician Malcolm McLaren, and they had a son in 1968, Joseph Ferdinand, now the owner of a fetish shop in London’s Soho.
In 1970, the couple opened a shop called Let it Rock at 430 King’s Road. A forerunner of the cultural contaminations that were to come, the store sold 1950s records and outfits inspired by that period. In 1972, in the same store with a new sign, reading Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, she presented her first collection, dedicated to the Rockers. Among her first celebrity clients was Ringo Starr for whom the fashion designer invented the costumes for the movie That’ll Be the Day.Decisive to her work and her success, in any case, was certainly her ties with McLaren. With him, in 1974, she introduced leather outfits, rubber shirts, chains, and T-shirts with pornographic images.
The Sex Pistols
The setting for the succession of provocations is the usual boutique on King’s Road, appropriately renamed “Sex.” The police raided the place, in an attempt to shut down the den scandals, but behind the now shuttered windows of the shop, even more-revolutionary fermentations were bubbling away. Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm were getting ready to launch the band the Sex Pistols. At the time the band was an aesthetic and musical icon of the punk movement, which abhorred the hypocrisy of the time and which fought it, lambasting the codes of behavior of the establishment.
For the occasion, the shop changed its name to Seditionaries: a play of words between seduction and sedition. As Giannino Malossi noted in his book Liberi Tutti (Mondadori) “The punks knew that clothing can be a weapon of subversion, just as books and manifestoes can be.” And Seditionaries supplied, in terms of fashions and poses, the manual of the new anarchists who were playing at London’s Roxy, piercing their cheeks with safety pins and combing and gelling their hair into menacing crests. Also, the adoption of traditional elements of Scottish design such as tartan fabric were essential to the punk movement.
The couple of “lost souls” reached the culmination of their greatest provocation and popularity in 1977, when the Sex Pistols, in tribute to the Silver Jubilee celebrating the 25th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, recorded on the Virgin label, God Save the Queen. It was not exactly pleasant or pleasing. The song called Her Majesty a “moron” immediately shot to the top of the hit parades and become an anthem of the punk movement, now a worldwide phenomenon.
From the rebellion of the 1970s to the hedonism of the dawning 1980s, Vivienne Westwood, along with McLaren, together designed their official collections, and were showed in Paris and London. Their first official collection together was the Pirates collection, which launched the New Romantic look, and also witnessing the entry of Vivienne’s clothing into the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Perhaps it was the decline of the punk rebellion that inspired the new name of World’s End for her London shop and her move onto the runways of France. In 1982, after Mary Quant, she became the first English designer to be accepted into the calendar of French défilés. And even the fields of collaboration of “Lady Viv” changed, shifting from the world of music to the world of art.
In 1983, she presented her Witches collection, which were created with close ties to the graffiti artist Keith Haring, corresponding to the end of her relationship with McLaren. Some thought that this transition also marked the end of the genius of Vivienne Westwood.
In 1985, the fashion designer’s farewell to the French runways only seemed to confirm this view. But she continued to enjoy success with her Crini Collection that year. The collection included crinoline minis, incredibly high stacks, and footwear, according to its creator, that was “designed to place feminine beauty high on a pedestal.” And it was on those shoes, now called platforms, that the top model Naomi Campbell fell victim to an accident during a runway presentation, tripping over her dizzyingly high heels, she fell in a disastrous spread-eagle collapse.
The Six Best Fashion Designers On Earth
The increasingly dizzying ups and downs of the fashion designer, however, did nothing to undercut her prestige and her high consideration in the world of fashion. For her and for her fashion shows, always featuring a title as if there were pieces of conceptual theater, all the most famous top models were willing to work free of charge. While John Fairchild, publisher of WWD, in his 1989 book, Chic Savages, included Westwood as the only woman among the six best fashion designers on earth.
She began to present in London again in 1987 with her collection Harris Tweed, and from 1989 to 1991 the fashion designer agreed to lecture at the Academy of the Applied Arts in Vienna, as a professor in fashion. During this experience she developed her ideas for a menswear collection which she presented in a preview showing in 1990 in Florence, during Pitti Uomo.
Her reputation by this point was so great that even Queen Elizabeth, forgiving the insult of God Save the Queen, awarded the fashion designer in 1992 with the honor of naming her a member of the Order of the British Empire. But it was at the end of that ceremony, seemingly a marker of a truce with the establishment, that Vivienne flipped up her skirt for the cameras of the photographers, showing the world that she does not wear underwear. “Never,” she added publicly, doubling the dose of provocation.
New Stylistic Path
And yet the Harris Tweed collection seems to have marked a new stylistic path, a nostaligic love of the past without the slightest avant-garde sneer or snicker, taking refuge in the period clothing of the eighteenth century. Vivienne Westwood exclaimed,
“As soon as I realized that the establishment requires opposition,” she later explained, “I began to ignore them and focused my attention on more important things, like history.”
In fact, to the simpering notes Vivaldi, the former muse of punk brought out into the spotlight crinolines and white wigs. This did not prevent her from experimenting with new fields of contamination, however. In 1993, she was the first big fashion designer to design a Swatch wristwatch: the pop Putti with baroque angels, followed the next year by the Orb. This latter creation featured the fashion designer’s logo, which summarizes her philosophy: a royal orb, symbol of tradition, surrounded by a ring of Saturn, emblem of the passage of time and the new creations that incessantly emerge from the past.
And, in keeping with these concepts, in 1996, when, at the invitation of Nicola Trussardi, La Westwood launched her first menswear collection at the former Motta factory in Milan. The logo of the line, Man, was written in characters shaped like dolmens. Although she remained loyal “to the quality of stylistic research in opposition to the quantity of items manufactured.”
New Lines and Store Openings
At the end of the 1990s, she reorganized and articulated her production. She added in 1997 to the Gold Label, which was produced in England, with tailoring techniques and presented in Paris. The second line, the Red Label, she presented in London but manufactured in Italy, along with the Man Label, which was produced by the Italiana Staff International. That same year Anglomania made its debut, which was men’s and women’s streetwear manufactured and distributed by the Italian company G.T.R.
In conjunction with the rapidly proliferating number of products, she opened single-label boutiques around the world: from Tokyo to London (Conduit Street). Also Westwood launched a women’s perfume in London in 1998, and in 2002 a men’s scent would join it. Among the many marketing strategies, Westwood artistic and provocative genius continued to prove its fertility.
While in 1996 the fashion designer took part in the exhibition New Persona at the Stazione Leopolda in the context of the Biennale della Moda di Firenze. Then, in 1998 she returned to the front pages of newspapers throughout the world, because one of her models was caught sniffing on the runway. “It was just snuff, tobacco,” she claimed. “Something less legal,” theorized the media. Always and in any case a gesture somewhere between “tradition and transgression,” representative of this interpreter of highly discipline anarchy. Or, if you will, of the discipline of anarchy, however we choose to phrase it.
An exhibition on the most delirious styles of British fashion could not fail to include items from Vivienne Westwood’s production, and indeed, the creations of the London fashion designer were present in the exhibit “London Fashions,” held by the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. From October 16, 2001 to January 12, 2002 there were one hundred original creations on view, from the work of Mary Quant to Stella McCartney, based on the idea that “London is the only city on earth capable of creating street styles that wind up on runways.”
Success in Foreign Market
At the end of November 2002 the griffe was present during Moscow’s fashion week at the “Rossia State Central Concert Hall,” along with the names of Emilio Pucci, Julien MacDonald, and Emanuel Ungaro. For Christmas 2002, a collection of apparel and accessories for dogs was inaugurated, following in the footsteps of fashion designers who were the first to think of satisfying the needs of the four-footed “clientele”, Hermès, Gucci and Burberry.
In 2003 the brand experienced one step backward in the United States and two steps forward in Paris and the Far East, with the closure of the New York flagship in the neighborhood of SoHo and the announcement of openings in Asia and in the French capital.
For the Austrian Wolford group, she designed a line of body outfits with laces, knitwear, and jackets.
In 2006 Vivienne Westwood was appointed with the title of Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, one of the most important rewards in the United Kingdom. In the same year, the brand significantly expanded into the Soviet market, through the opening of several new stores in the cities of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kiev and Baku. The following year, in honour of her 35 years of career, Palazzo Reale in Milan dedicated an exhibition to her, presented by the Italian art critic Vittorio Sgarbi.
Vivienne Returns to The Runway
After 10 years of absence, in 2008, the eccentric Vivienne Westwood made her come back on the London fashion scene showcasing the Fall/Winter Red Label collection, whose aim was to draw the attention on the climate changes that were affecting the planet, in order to push fashion to become more and more sustainable and accessible.
Later on, the fashion house decided to take on a partnership with the American label, Lee Jeans, to produce a mini-collection called “Anglomania.” The aim of this collection was to give a new sense to denim and therefore to open its first U.S. store in the heart of the Melrose shopping district in L.A. At the same time, the Vivienne Westwood Red Label line launched a new eco-friendly collection called “CHOICE”, whose products included T-shirts, skirts, dresses and jackets made with organic fabrics through a particular manufacturing technique where style could meet sustainability.
In 2011 Vivienne Westwood had the honour to open Shanghai Fashion Week as the icon of European fashion. In the same year she produced a T-shirts line exclusively created for charity purposes, which she called “Red Nose”, in honour of the red nose printed on the iconic pictures.
Entering the Asian Market
The following year, after seeing a raise in revenues, the brand was ready to conquer the Asian market, in particular China’s. That was the same year when the eccentric Vivienne sided with Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, in order for him to obtain political asylum from Ecuador Embassy.
The 2013 collections were inspired by the Middle Ages, more precisely by Alessandro Magno’s achievements. The highlights on the runway were heavy pieces layered one on the other, wide hooded capes and metallic meshes mixed with courtesans dresses, all of which summarized a kind of contemporaneity that recalled past times.
The punk activist also re-elaborated the western theme in a new key, sending a political and eco-friendly message against the intensive animal farming, to support the Pigledge association, whose main aim is to protect pigs.
She also sided with the “No Brexit” protest, wearing a t-shirt with an ironic sentence that seeked to push youngsters to vote in order not to be subdued by older generations. One of the most important happenings in the last years took place in the London School of Economics where Vivienne Westwood gave a lecture on a very sensitive subject that she always tried to stress through her collections, that is the protection of the environment.
In 2016, Vivienne Westwood appointed her husband, who has been by her side for the last 25 years, to the main line of her brand which will be called Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood. Also, through December 2016 to February 2017 the Art K11 Foundation curated the exhibition “Get a Life”, which is dedicated to the “Woman Who Co-Created Punk” and will take place in Shanghai.
To this day the activist-designer is one of the 10 most paid designers in the world, boasting a $96 million dollar capital and she continues to keep on growing in the market by opening new stores and launching new capsule collections, like the “ready-to-buy” of the main line.