Marco Rambaldi, the talented Bolognese designer born in 1990, designs a woman free from preconceptions and constraints, daughter of those 70s and the most sincere Made in Italy.
Marco Rambaldi was born in Bologna in 1990. After graduating in Graphic Design and studies in Product Design, he graduated in 2013 in Fashion Design at the IUAV University of Venice.
His debut took place in Milan on February 2014 and, on that occasion, he won the Next Generation contest sponsored by the Italian National Chamber of Fashion.
In 2017 she is one of the finalists of Who Is On Next?, a fashion scouting project dedicated to young fashion talents, conceived and created by Altaroma in collaboration with Vogue Italia.
“My brand wants to free women from preconceptions, prejudices and stereotypes. He decided in their final intentions, changing in the desire to wear different garments but that enhance the big or small curves that they are, the more or less marked wrinkles. “Marco Rambaldi
Rambaldi starts from here with his stylistic reasoning, but in a post-contemporary key. A changing image, as changing, is the reference woman, staying between new freshness and memories of the past.
“We Also Want Roses”
The cultural and sexual revolutions are the concept of the creative project of the Bologna born, Marco Rambaldi, presented during the AltaRoma edition of January 2018.
The theme of sexual liberation has been debated at night but it is still a taboo. Knowing how to tell through a collection is even more difficult and to do it, you need to have enough sensitivity.
Cropped frames, faded covers and poster fragments: the Rambaldi collection marks the unequivocal seventies aestheticism, underlining it with vibrant prints and colors. The “revolution” of the Fall/Winter 2018-19 line drawn by the stylist highlights the social involution through playful and light items but from the revolutionary aplomb.
The Woman of Marco Rambaldi
On the Fall/Winter 2018-19 catwalk both mature women, like the Valerie transsexual friend, and young models parade: the Rambaldi leaders do not know their age and do not have a defined target.
The sexual liberation of the seventies, source of inspiration for the Fall/Winter Season 2018-19, overturns the taboo of today. Women’s rights, feminist struggles and pornography are the focal themes of the collection. Printed on fabrics, moments set in jacquard, jackets with male cuts, crochet trimmings and tie and dye prints, all to enhance and make the woman free to express herself and always be herself.
Mina, Ornella Vanoni, Anna Oxa, are just some of the divas representing the Rambaldi woman. They are proposals on knitwear, they are the music that accompanied the show and are the muses of femininity and sexual freedom of the 2018 collection.
Made in Italy
The Milanese office is composed of the stylist, the right-hand man Giulia Geromel and Andrea Batilla, a historical fashion journalist. Lately he has joined Rambaldi’s fiancé, Filippo Giuliani, who takes care of the styling. Production remains in Italy, in a town between Milan and Bologna. Above all they are creative Made in Italy, not only for the place where the products are developed, but because the creativity, all the history and the aesthetics behind it is Italian. A sincere Made in Italy.
Gaetano Pollice, who grew up in Guglionesi, is a young designer who, with his bags, becomes the spokesperson of the tradition of Molise and of the made in Italy craftsmanship.
The fashion designer Gaetano Pollice grew up in Guglionesi, a town in the Molise hinterland. He lived and studied in Milan and Bologna, arriving (also for work reasons) up to China, Japan, Russia, Korea, India and the United States.
Despite numerous travels, Gaetano, very tied to the local traditions, has always returned to Italy. And precisely Italy, or rather Molise, with its culture and its flavors, is the protagonist of the designer’s bags. Pollice, therefore, becomes the spokesperson of the Molise tradition through bags that mark the savoir-faire of the artisans who have actively accompanied the brand born in 2015 on the success.
On this resourceful team the stylist says: “I feel like the captain of a boat that goes off and whoever takes it forward is as crazy as me. That madness necessary to risk and to rejoice when finally the dry land is sighted. This boat is called Made in Molise and the Molise artisans and my family all got on board aware of starting an infinite journey. An adventure that every day recognize me as a salvation, because a craftsman today if he can not experience is bored. But we do not even have a moment to get bored; we get our hands dirty every day and with our hands we make these jewels that since 2015 now make us dream. “
The style of Gaetano Pollice
The Tombolo bag is proof of Gaetano’s attachment to his homeland, a fine woman’s handbag whose decoration, in fact, is obtained with the ancient embroidery technique that dates back to the 16th century. In Molise, in fact, there are still women who make these precious embroideries, which weave ivory-colored threads with the help of spindles. A small museum has been founded in Isernia that preserves all the old embroidered canvases in Tombolo.
All the pieces of the collections are created and made in Italy, precisely in Campobasso, in the Made in Molise laboratory. And not just for the production of leather goods: all professionals (graphic designers, photographers, illustrators) were born and live in Molise, which incredibly strengthens the image of the brand. Gaetano says convinced:
“The perfume of Molise must come out all when you open my bag […] Craftsmanship. Creativity. Manuality. Tradition. Passion. Joy. With these words I want to summarize my brand. “
Gaetano Pollice is among the talents selected by Showcase, a new project by AltaRoma and Agenzia Ice in favor of emerging Made in Italy fashion and design. For the occasion, the designer presents “What it is, is Beautiful”, a new collection of Made in Molise bags.
The new collection this time speaks of the sea, of saltiness, of the Molise sea that I love so much and with whom I grew up. Water is life and water gives life. In these years I have made my own a quote, “what it is, is beautiful”, in fact. Whatever we do, whoever we are and whatever we want to achieve, everything will still be beautiful. “Gaetano Pollice
Jellyfish and starfish are the protagonists of the collection. The color palette rotates all around the burgundy, the main color: ink violet, nude, light blue, gold and silver, red.
The brand was born in 2012 from the homonymous designer Marianna Cimini, from the Amalfi coast. The talent of Marianna is immediately recognized by the fashion business, for its ability to merge fashion and art, giving life to a unique vision.
Marianna Cimini is a fashion designer from Campania, who grew up on the Amalfi Coast. She moved very young to Milan to attend the prestigious Istituto Marangoni and her attitude towards fashion was immediately appreciated by several brands. He soon began collaborating with important and established Italian brands including MaxMara, where he designed the MaxMara and Tod’s line for more than three years, where he was responsible for a capsule collection (limited edition) for Fay Donna.
Style of the Brand
In 2012, the designer launched the eponymous brand Marianna Cimini during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Milan, meeting with critical acclaim. Entirely Made in Italy, immediately distinguished by the balance between femininity and actuality. The brand combines love for well-defined lines with simplicity and the functionality of sportswear gives the collections a sporty-chic essence.
Marianna Cimini has a contemporary image that is not without refinement. The collections, in fact, are composed of extreme linearity, occasionally distorted by overlaps and overlapping volumes.
Awards and Recognitions
Marianna Cimini has a career full of awards. Among his successes, the victory at the Premio Moda Italia sponsored by the CNA and a special mention of the Next Generation competition organized by the CNMI. She was also a finalist in the Muuse for Vogue Talents for the Young Vision Awards. In 2014 has the opportunity to show for the first time in Rome, on the occasion of the tenth edition of Who is on Next? – competition organized by Vogue Italia and AltaRoma. Several times reported by Vogue, in September of the same year is included by Vogue Talents among the best 200 emerging designers.
Fashion and Art Come Together
The autumn / winter 2018-19 collection, presented at Altaroma, is inspired by “La femme à l’ombrelle” by Claude Monet. The collection turns out to be a sort of play on the reverse, a bit like the painting, one of the most representative paintings of Impressionism, but already so vivid of the imminent modernity.
The stylist, always fascinated by the painter with strong contrasts, reasons on the ambivalence of Monet, both in the composition and in the color palette. There are two levels of reading, one romantically evanescent but readable in the female figure – in the white of her dress and in the blue of the sky – the other dark and disordered, tending to grasp the unknownity of modernity through the nervous brush stroke of the lawn shaken by the wind. Two similar but opposite souls merge to recreate a new, different one, interpreted by Marianna Cimini with an idea of New Romanticism.
The looks presented in the fashion show, without following chromatic balances, followed the “chaos” of opposites of the generative act, as well as the musical choices that accompanied them. The silhouettes are aimed at recreating these contrasts and their contradictions, overlapping shoulder pieces from the masculine cut to the more romantically soft lines of the long and mini dresses, generating new volumes. Then there are the technical fabrics such as nylon, faux fur and eco-leather combined with silks, decisive colors illuminated by sequins and the most delicate colors such as sage green as a background for the macro-floral prints or the soft knit azure lit by lurex.
With the Fall/Winter Collection 2018-2019 Marianna Cimini offers her personal interpretation of a new woman, emancipated, at ease with herself in any context and at any age.
“Each garment is intended to be worn at any occasion or time of day. A simple trouser suit with a masculine cut can be transformed, with the addition of an accessory like a knit collar, into a refined glamorous outfit for a sudden dinner. The silk dresses, but with sporty lines, can be used to satisfy every need simply by playing on accessories or on jewels.” Marianna Cimini
The Cimini Woman
The Fall/Winter 2018-19 collection connotes a pleasant romanticism that sometimes contrasts with the highly contemporary line of the garments. These proposals are aimed at a woman who fully lives her contemporaneity, able to exploit the inherent creative ability, properly feminine, to face the challenges and rhythms that modern times impose.
That of Marianna Cimini is a woman who does not withdraw from the unexpected, is imaginative and ironic and this allows her to be impeccable and at ease always.
With a refined but not rigorous presence, it is elegant and contemporary: freshness and lightness of lines and prints for a sophisticated charm. The colors, powerful, are combined with contrast, according to the style that Marianna defines “metropolitan graphics”, minimalist graphicism that smells of Mediterranean boldness.
“My collection, like the others that preceded it, is aimed at interpreting a decisive and dynamic woman who does not renounce her femininity in its most romantic but not necessarily mawkish meaning, or her intimate fragility that is not to be understood as a synonym of weakness. If I had to translate into a message what I pursue with my vision, I would say that it is to show with pride every little facet of one’s being a woman, without conditioning.” Marianna Cimini
Salvatore Ferragamo (1898-1960). Famous Italian shoemaker. The 11th, out of 14 children, born in Bonito. A small village about 160 miles from Naples.
From a young age Salvatore Ferragamo had clear ideas and wanted to become a shoemaker. Although, in southern Italy a shoemaker is one of the humblest professions, his parents, despite their poverty, were not happy with his choice.
At 9 years old he created, in only one night, his first pair of shoes for his sister’s communion, and he managed to convince his family that the shoemaker career was the best choice for him.
Later he was an apprentice in Luigi Festa’s workshop and once he finished this experience he moved to Naples to learn something new and try in a real way his abilities. After he returned to Bonito, by the age of 13, he had his own shop where he began to create shoes.
Immigration to the U.S.
Then, in 1915, he immigrated, via the ship Stampalia, to the United States to join his brothers who were already there. But in Boston, his brother-in-law, had already found him a job at the Queen Quality Shoes Company. They produced thousands of shoes a day, soles and heels in half a second, and one minute for sewing.
Anyone would have been thankful for such a job, but not the young Salvatore. He had a more noble idea of the shoemaker’s profession. He couldn’t stand those machines. He exclaimed, “They made shoes that were heavy, clumsy, and squat, with a toe shaped like a potato and a leaden heel.” He left the factory, joined his brothers in Santa Barbara.
As told in his autobiography, Il calzolaio dei sogni (The Shoemaker of Dreams, Skira), Salvatore immediately understood that California, with its fast-growing film industry, would be the Promise Land.
It all started when the property manager at the American Film Company complained about the boots worn in the western movies. He believed, if they were easy to wear, the styling was no good, if the style was attractive, they hurt the feet of the actors. Ferragamo offered his services and produced boots for the manager. This was a success and the director Cecil B. De Mille said, “We would have won the West sooner if we had had your boots.” Salvatore and his brothers Girolamo, Seconding, and Alfonso opened their first shop in the center of Santa Barbara.
This is the beginning of a good relationship between Ferragamo and the Film industry, which will go on even after the American experience.
Shoemaker of the Stars
At this time in Hollywood 1923, the future of the movement was beginning. The biggest stars visited his boutique, including Mary and Lottie Pickford. He created the original Ferragamo model for her in brown kidskin, “with two ears standing up in front.”
When the Film industry moved from Santa Barbara to Hollywood, Salvatore Ferragamo decided to take a risk and follow the studios in order to find new possibilities of expansion.
In 1923 he opened his new shop “Hollywood Boot Shop”, and the Hollywood stars would only feel famous if they wore Ferragamo’s shoes. Salvatore Ferragamo soon became known as the “shoemaker to the stars.”
He created pale lavender sandals for Jean Harlow, cork-shaped heels for Gloria Swanson with a lot of pearls, and slippers in multicolored satin for Lillian Gish. Also, men’s shoes for clients like Douglas Fairbanks and Rodolfo Valentino.
Also, while in California Salvatore Ferragamo studied the anatomy of the foot. After his research he came out with a revolutionary component to sustain the arch of the shoe by putting thin layers of steel in the sole in order to provide arch support, when most shoemakers only used cardboard. This piece is called cambinone. In the late 1920’s he patented this invention.
His success was due to the comfort of his shoes. After the success of this invention he went on with his studies of shoes and invented an original way to wear the shoes, which made it easier on his production.
Return to Italy
In 1927, he returned to Florence, Italy a city that represents the beauty and culture of Italy and world wide recognized as the base of craftsmanship. The same year he opened his first workshop with other artisans for the Italian production of his shoes.
Then, in 1929, during the world wide economic crisis, he faced bankruptcy and failure. Ferragamo didn’t despair, and soon made a comeback. By 1938 he was able to acquire the Palazzo Spini Feroni on via Tornabuoni, which is today still the headquarters of the company. In that same period, he acquired the Michelangelo style villa Il Palagio in Fiesole.
The Wedge Shoe
Salvatore Ferragamo invented the wedge shoe in cork to solve the problem of functionality during the autarchy period. To fix the problem he substituted the steel layer inside the shoe.
Ferragamo bought the perfect steel from Germany, but because of the Italian economic situation, he wasn’t able to buy it anymore, so she couldn’t make his shoes.
Ferragamo says “I started working with pieces of Sardinian cork,” Ferragamo writes, “pressing, gluing and finishing until the space between the sole and the heel was filled.”
So, the wedge was born and it became one of the most famous shoe between the 30s and 40s. Ferragamo created a lot of variations including platform heels and sculptured heels. The heels were made with various colors, or little mirrors placed like mosaics, also with brass grilles and floral motifs and studded with stones. These shoes were worn by the most famous customers.
Salvatore Ferragamo has always been focused on the use of material, even today the maison is still very particular about materials.
The beauty, comfort and longevity of a shoe depends on materials, shapes and production. Salvatore Ferragamo became famous for being able to consider all of these aspects without loosing his design.
He did not only work with luxury leathers, but also with unusual materials.
The traditional Florentine lace, paper, bark, raffia, hemp, skin of fish, and cellophane replaced, before and during World War II the more precious materials like goats, calves, and exotic crocodile. Immediately after the war, nylon and synthetic raffia appeared, and for evening wear, refined embroideries in rhinestones and glass beads offered unique solutions.
Salvatore Ferragamo’s Most Famous Clients
During the 50’s the most famous actress used to go to Palazzo Spini Feroni as kings and presidents did. Audrey Hepburn, Duke of Windsor, Greta Garbo, Anna Magnani, Paulette Goddard, Lauren Bascal, and Sophie Loren. Salvatore meet all his clients personally and was able to satisfy all requests, even the most extravagant.
Even Marilyn Monroe was a client of Salvatore Ferragamo, wearing his famous decollete with an eleven centimeter heel. The shoes were very high, but comfortable considering Ferragamo invited the particular heel half in wood and steel, which was strong and thin.
Marilyn Monroe owned a lot of Ferragamo shoes that she bought at the New York store. She used to have ballet shoes, but she preferred décolleté that gave her a feminine walk.
Brand after 1960
Once Salvatore Ferragamo died in 1960, his wife Wanda Miletti Ferragamo became the president of the maison and her six sons became responsible for the different sectors, from the creative direction to production, from distribution to the international markets and administration and finance.
Nowadays, Ferragamo’s family is leading the maison and because of this, it makes Ferragamo a very different family oriented Italian brand.
Brand Expansion From 1970s to early 2000s
During the 1970s, thanks to the initiative and preparation of Wanda, president of the company, the brand expanded and started offering total look collections. With fashion collections, men’s lines, perfumes, and eyeglasses, all of which gradually conquered the market.
In 1978 his daughter, Fiamma, designed the Vara shoe which became a best seller. Today, the Vara shoe is considered a Ferragamo iconic element.
In 1996, Ferragamo acquired Emanuel Ungaro, a luxury menswear line. Two years later the company turnover reached 850 billion liras, most of which came from Europe, U.S., the Far East, Africa, and Oceania. The company had 40 privately owned boutiques, plus several exclusive points-of-sale. Also, several of Salvatore’s grandchildren worked in the company.
Following the birth of the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, in Palazzo Spini Feroni, the company has committed itself to art exhibits and cultural activities, not just as a sponsor or patron.
The French designer Marc Audibet creates the new Fall/Winter 2000-2001 collection. During this time, Leonardo Ferragamo became president of Altagamma, an association founded in 1992 and composed by 43 famous Italian brands.
In 2001 the company introduced its world-wide expansion plans, created by architect Michael Gabellini, to renovate, or open, a total of 100 boutiques. The renovations were to gain a still more sophisticated architectural style. A new store opens in Korea, in a prestigious commercial area of Seoul. The store occupies a four-storey building with a garden-terrace on the roof.
In 2002 Ferragamo opened a new shop in the historical center of Vienna, close to the Castle of Homburg. From 2003, they opened new stores in New York, Tokyo, Amsterdam and London.
The 2001 consolidated turnover was €641 million, and 46% came from the Far East.
The year of 2002 was full of good news and satisfaction. Then, beginning in June, Ferragamo starts a joint venture with Ermenegildo Zegna for the launch of the new brand Zefer, which ended later in 2013.
Later, Wanda Ferragamo, the president of the company, is named “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” by the “Committee of 200,” an organization that each year recognizes the top women managers and entrepreneurs all over the world. The ceremony took place in New York. The citation: “For success in the transformation of a shoe factory into an international luxury concern, in which the family maintains total control of its own flourishing business…”
The same year, Ferragamo was recognized as the best brand in China. Asia was the continent where the brand used to sell more in 2002.
New Creative Director
In 2002 Donna Graeme Black was nominated as the creative director and she remained until 2007.
In 2003 Salvatore Ferragamo entered the watch market.
Since 2004 the worldwide expansion plan is well under way. The distribution network had 16 new points-of-sale, including the important new boutiques in Osaka, Hong Kong (Pacific Place). Also, stores in Shanghai Center (China), Paris (Avenue Montaigne), and Milan (via Montenapoleone) are re-opened after renovations. The Salvatore Ferragamo Group closed the year with a consolidated turnover of €549 million, an increase of 5% to the year before.
In May of 2005, as part of the Fashion Project of the Province of Florence, with attendance by a large international public, Palazzo Strozzi hosts the fashion show in a memorable evening organized by Beppe Modenese. Then, starting in June 2005, Ferragamo Finanziaria enters a long-term agreement with the Porsche Design group to foresee the production and distribution of shoes, bags, and leather accessories.
In 2006 new shops in Via Condotti were opened in Rome and Frankfurt. In November of the same year, Michele Norsa became Ferragamo’s new CEO. His managerial mind led the company to expand more and more, exploring new markets such as India, Latin America and Thailand.
A year later, after a new CEO, Cristina Ortiz, was appointed as creative director for the womenswear line from 2007 and stayed till 2010. In 2008 Salvatore Ferragamo company celebrates their 80th anniversary with an exhibition in Shanghai. One year later, the company renewed the license with Luxottica for the production of glasses and sunglasses under the name Salvatore Ferragamo.
Later, in January of 2010 Massimiliano Giornetti, current chief creative director of menswear, becomes creative director for the womenswear line. His role lasted until 2015.
Ferragamo officially become a part of Milan stock exchange in 2011. At this time, profits rose around 70% to €103.3 millions.
Through 2013 Ferragamo focused on accessories, in addition to footwear. In early October, they began to target a younger generation by using an “innovative” digital campaign and revamping physical stores. Also, continuing to renovate stores in existing markets in Europe and the U.S. to boost profitability in its retail division.
Ferragamo reported a 81% rise in Net profits to €81 million in the first half of 2013. The revenues are outside the Italian market, which has struggled to emerge from recession.
Their world-wide expansion plan are a success. As of 31 December 2014, the Salvatore Ferragamo Group has posted total revenues of €1.332 million and a 5.9% increase at current exchange rates. At this time, political tensions in Russia and Ukraine reduced the number of shoppers traveling from the region to Europe lead to decreasing number of sales in some cities through Europe. The Asia Pacific region is the best performer with 37.2% of sales.
Salvatore Ferragamo open new shops in less well-known cities Yantai in China, Surabaya in Indonesia, and Cartagena in Colombia. They continued to renovate stores in Europe and U.S. including Miami and Rome. Also, they reopened in San Francisco, on the west coast of America which is a popular destination for holidaying Chinese shoppers.
Salvatore Ferragamo continues to meet challenges due to a weaker euro, lower oil prices, and economic weakness in China. Also, United States, as a strong dollar hits tourist flows, have weighed on several luxury goods companies in recent months. By contrast, Japan has a strong performance thanks to Chinese tourists. The Asia Pacific area, the biggest market, experienced a 2% increase in sales in the first nine months of 2014. Revenues were up 7% from a year earlier, thanks to a 8% increase in the fourth quarter of 2015.
In 2016 revenues total €1.438 billion.
Currently, Salvatore Ferragamo is going through major changes. In August 2016 Eraldo Poletto was appointed as CEO, who used to work for Furla. Also, 3 new creative directors have been hired after the departure of Massimiliano Giornetti. This includes Guillaume Meilland for menswear, along with Paul Andrew for Women shoes, and Fulvio Rigoni for Woman’s-Ready-to-Wear.
In October 2017 after the departure of Fulvio Rigoni, Paul Andrew is appointed Creative Director of the Women’s Collection.
The brand now focuses on creating unique and exciting campaigns to bring back its positioning of industry leader it once had in the WWII era.
Ferragamo’s designs will live forever. The classic décolleté is always in style and most women’s go to shoe. The brand is known as the exemplary ideal shoe for women. It strives to be excellent in terms of quality, by keeping the production, and standard of craftsmanship, exceptional.
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.
Roberto Cavalli was born in 1940 and is an Italian designer. Referred to as “an artist of fashion,” perhaps to remember his grandfather who was an illustrious painter, one of the Macchiaioli, and the creator of paintings on display at the Uffizi in Florence, his hometown.
He attended the Academy of Fine Arts and soon became interested in the relationship between fashion and painting. He investigated various materials in his own print shop, and at the same time experimenting with new technologies. In the 1960s he patented a revolutionary process for printing on leather then he debuted these techniques in Paris, and immediately was recognized by Hermès and Pierre Cardin. At age 32, he presented his first namesake collection at the Salon for Prêt-à-Porter in Paris.
Then, in 1972 he made his début at Palazzo Pitti with his patchworks, which are by now considered a classic of his style, and which are especially typical of his glamorous jeans. Also at this time he opened his first boutique in Saint Tropez. In 1980, Roberto Cavalli married Eva Düringer. He owns an important art Collection with paintings from the 1400s and 1600s and has a fondness for the painters of Siena. He also likes purebreds.
The Cavalli woman has a well-defined silhouette. The Cavalli clothes are made to caresses the body, wrap it, and imprison it with often overlapping colored fabrics in fantastic patterns.
Nature is a source of inspiration for Roberto Cavalli. This includes animal skins, sequins in the shape of fish scales, waves that lose themselves in the transparencies of the fabric. The impact of his collections have always been very strong with ferocious wild beasts, angels and demons that peep out from a jacket or from trousers. Feline and witty women find their personality in Cavalli’s style, instinctual and exhibitionist.
Every style is breathtaking. For example, shorts and corsets for a Scarlet O’Hara updated to the year 2000, contoured blazers in prints of leopard, crocodile or lynx, and snake skin as a substitute for spotted patterns of every sort. Then the black of the youth gangs, from the jacket of a wild Marlon Brando to punks and heavy metal lovers. His unmistakable, elegant jackets are made out of very soft deer skin. Something lunar for his micro galactic skirts, and again baroque-patterned jeans.
Anna Falchi and Claudia Koll played the winning couple in a prêt-à-porter presentation in Milan in 1995. The presentation was full of sophisticated elegance with a touch of transgression. Stretch became ultra stretch: a master of leather, he treats it like a canvas on which to paint and the body seems tattooed.
The first single-brand boutique opened in Venice in 1996. The brand, Just Cavalli, launched in 2000 with a men’s and womenswear collection, accessories, eyewear, watches, jewelry, perfumes, underwear, and beachwear.
At this time, his brand is distributed in more than 30 countries, directly from the Milan, New York, and Düsseldorf’ showrooms. The home market leads with 35% of the turnover (Europe 25%, Asia 20%). The Russian market is expanding and the U.S. market has already been conquered, with his styles in the windows of the most important department stores. The principal line is gradually supported by CJ Cavalli Jeans, a men’s line, a line of eyeglasses produced by Marcolin, and accessories for men and women. The most recent line is women’s underwear. His wife, Eva Duringer, who works with him professionally, was Miss Universe.
In October 2000, at Milano Collezioni, an entire day is dedicated to Cavalli. After the Collection is presented in the morning, the afternoon sees the opening of his first boutique in Milan, on via della Spiga. A year later, the the company decides the men’s shoe line will be produced and distributed for the next five years by Roberto Botticelli. The Fall/Winter 2001-2002 Collection is inspired by the Old West, with loafers, ankle boots and, above all, cowboy boots with embroidered details.
In March 2001 Cavalli designs two new lines for the watches produced by Sector. For his beachwear he uses the eclectic and comfortable Sensitive fabric made by Eurojersey, personalizing it with his celebrated prints. Later in July, to celebrate his début in Great Britain, Eva and Roberto Cavalli welcome their guests in a Berber tent, thus bringing a piece of Africa to Momo, the historic club in the West End. Among black-and-white striped carpets and copper trays, he presents the new eyeglass Collection, which is produced and distributed by Marcolin.
The turnover for 2001 was expected to be 280 billion liras, but by the end of the year the new estimate is 300 to 350 billion liras. The opening of the next single-brand shops is already planned. After Milan, Rome, Jeddah, Paris, New York, and Venice, Cavalli opens a new boutique in Florence in a prestigious location, the ancient Palazzo Viviani della Robbia, with nine large windows on via Tornabuoni. The historic and renovated Caffè Giacosa is connected to the boutique, but it also has independent access. At this point, Cavalli is aiming above all at the “new” markets of Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, and Moscow.
Fall/Winter 2002 Men’s Collection
In January 2002 the new men’s Collection for Fall/Winter 2002-2003 is refined, precious and extravagant. It renewed the style of men’s fashion with an irony of excess and fantasy with inspiration drawn from Victorian England. The Collection is presented in Florence at Palazzo Vecchio. The exhibition More and More More and More — The Looks Roberto Cavalli Wants for You, opened. The exhibition was organized by Italo Rota is full of excess, provocation, color, and fun.
In February 2002 the exhibition Men in Skirts at the Dress Gallery of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London displayed work by Cavalli and other designers. Organized with the purpose of celebrating the designers who turned the skirt into a man’s garment, the exhibit is divided into five themes: historical styles, the kilt, exoticism, styles vs. culture, and futuristic styles. Roberto Cavalli finds his natural place in the exoticism section where he shows a linen caftan with animal-tribal prints.
Fall/Winter 2002 Women’s Collection
The Fall/Winter 2002-2003 womenswear collection was an amusing and lively presentation with a touch of self-irony that proposes pieces such as a black tailored suit of Breitschwanz, sophisticated decorated furs, patent-leather overcoats for a cat-woman and calf-length dresses in delicate flower-patterned muslin with long sleeves. Cindy Crawford wore a tight sheath dress in Persian scarlet lamb, a herringbone-patterned fur, and, finally, a long white satin dress embroidered with panther- and tiger-shaped sequins, together with a trench coat in very bright and light snake skin. Something very unusual was a loom-manufactured Scottish fabric in strong colors that was used for tailored suits that had the skirt tight on the hips and then dropped in a flare, and for the tiny jackets worn with jeans. The fabric was also worked in patterned cloths embroidered with silver thread.
In May 2002 for the 85th Giro d’Italia, Cavalli designed the uniforms for Mario Cipollini and his team, in black and white stripes, of course.
Roberto Cavalli Kids Collection
In 2002 Roberto Cavalli Angels, the Collection produced and distributed by Simonetta, is presented at Pitti Bimbo, for Spring-Summer 2003. There are light leather jackets, snake skin patterned jackets, chalk stripe jeans, and oversized overalls in pre-washed fabric. The suede boots on the feet as those of the Navajos, and around the waist are colored raffia belts with plastic beads and feathers. Roberto Cavalli Devils is a new line dedicated to children and kids from 4 to 14 years. It supports Roberto Cavalla Angels, the Collection for little girls and teenagers produced and distributed by Simonetta, who is to manage the new brand as well.
In July 2002 the youth line, Just Cavalli, opened a boutique in Rome, in Piazza di Spagna, of the first boutique dedicated to the youth line Just Cavalli. Roberto Cavalli and Ittierre (It Holding Group) renew, three years in advance, the license for the Just Cavalli line, extending it to 2010.
In the first six months of the year, the watch line designed for Sector has a turnover of €3.9 million, growing 136%. The reopening of the Torre Branca, ex Littorio, in Milan takes place in October. At the foot of the tower is the Just Cavalli Café, with a counter designed by Ron Arad. Cavalli receives the award The Provocateurs, given to “those who dare.” The ceremony takes place at Cipriani New York, on the occasion of the 19th edition of the Night of Stars, organized by Fashion Group International.
In 2003 black-and-white striped dishes, gold rimmed glasses, and animal-patterned cushions for the house designed by Cavalli. Also, in the main collection the style is a mix between a cowboy and a bikerman presented by Cavalli at Milano Moda Uomo.
Store Openings in US
In April 2003 the brands fourth boutique in the US, in Coral Gables, Florida, called More More and More By Roberto Cavalli is opened. All his Collections, with the exception of the first line, can be found there, including the children’s, accessories, and household lines. The other American boutiques are in New York, on Madison Avenue; in Bel Harbor, Florida; and in Las Vegas.
At this time, the brand opened a new boutique in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Then, at number 15 in the Tretyakovskiy Passage in Moscow, of the first single-brand Roberto Cavalli boutique in Russia.
In April 2004 Cavalli hosts Le Cirque du Soleil in Milan and organized an evening for the première of the extraordinary show Saltimbanco. The designer, with the creative help of Ettore Scola, transforms a warehouse into an enchanted paradise.
Later in December, Cavalli is back in New York to host the most exclusive evening of the year on the occasion of the exhibition organized by the Fashion Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, entitled Wild fashion Untamed. To celebrate the event, the designer organized an exclusive evening: cocktails and an exhibition preview followed by a dinner for 300 selected international guests.
In January 2005, Just Cavalli opened their first single-brand store in Milan. It was an innovative project and the result of collaboration between Roberto Cavalli and Italo Rota for a real “fantasy store.” Later this year, Roberto Cavalli with his friend Dino De Laurentiis, together launched the film, The Decameron, a film directed by David Leland, Cavalli designs the costumes. The cast includes: Hayden Christensen, Mischa Barton, and Tim Roth. Roberto Cavalli also collaborated with Tre Italia, the first branded video cell phone. The project includes a donation to the Veronesi Foundation for their cancer research.
Roberto Cavalli teamed up with Pragma Group in 2009 and opened its first nightclub, Just Cavalli, in Florence. The location used to be a 15th century church. Soon, Just Cavalli club opened in Milan. This business venture also made a 5-year plan to open 3 more Cavalli Clubs and 15 Cavalli cafes.
2010 marked the 40th anniversary of Roberto Cavalli. On September 29th, the brand hosted an anniversary gala at Ecole National Superieure des Beaux Arts, plenty of celebrities attended the celebration party include Naomi Campbell, Taylor Swift, Leona Lewis, Heidi Klum. Some of Cavalli’s signature designs were also displayed at the gallery of Ecole National Superieure des Beaux Arts. Celebration continues at Milan Fashion Week later, where Roberto Cavalli presented its spring/summer 2011 collection at spectacular 19th-century marble Arco Della Pace.
In 2011 Roberto Cavalli signed a five-year licensing deal with Compagnia delle Pelli for launch a new “CLASS Roberto Cavalli” accessories line. Start to offer both men’s and women’s bags and small leather goods collections. A year later, with their india partner Infinite Luxury Brands, Roberto Cavalli launched its first store in India and a brand new Cavalli Cafe in New Delhi.
In 2013 Yvan Mispelaere, the former chief designer from DIANE VON FURSTENBERG, was named Roberto Cavalli’s first design director. He unveiled his first collection for Fall/Winter 14. A year later, Roberto Cavalli, before the Just Cavalli Women’s Fall/Winter fashion show, he exclaimed that he refuses to engage with celebrities to promote his brand, and encouraged the fashion world to turn its back to celebrity endorsements.
In March 2015 Peter Dundas was pointed as new creative director of Roberto Cavalli. This Norwegian-American designer worked as the former creative director of Emilio Pucci, and in fact, he used to work with Roberto Cavalli very closely when Roberto Cavalli was relaunching his no-holds-barred brand between 2002 and 2005.
In January 2016 Peter Dundas presented his first collection and returns to the original Florence fashion house style. He focuses his attention on sensuality, femininity and coolness. This return underlines the ability of the stylist to mix day and night, elegance and beauty but also fierceness. Accessories are composed by boots and earrings with charms.
Clessidra SGR Acquired Roberto Cavalli
One month later, private-equity firm Clessidra SGR acquired 90% of the Italian fashion house. In 2016 February, Roberto Cavalli became the first designer brands to open up a store in Iran. Then, Renato Semerari left the Italian fashion group because of strategic differences, while Gian Giacomo Ferraris was named the new Chief Executive Officer of the company. Later in October, Peter Dundas departs from the label after only one year.
Meanwhile, Gian Giacomo Ferraris announced a comprehensive reorganization of the company, including store closures, severe cuts to global headcount, nearly 30% positions were eliminated, Milan offices were closed, and all functions moved to Florence. Roberto Cavalli employees took action immediately after the dramatic restructure plan and conducted an eight-hour strike.
In May 2017 Roberto Cavalli brand welcomed its new creative director, British-born designer Paul Surridge. Surridge graduated from Central Saint Martins and has experience working under Calvin Klein, Burberry, and Jil Sander. Paul Surridge displayed his first women’s SS18 collection during Milan Fashion Week.
Canali is a men’s clothing company that was established in 1934 by the brothers Giovanni and Giacomo Canali. The company mainly produces excellent tailored shirts and jackets. The entire history can be seen in a simple comparison between the small tailor’s workshop where it started, compared to the seven manufacturing plants that now exist.
The business began with two owner-operators and just a few workers. Now the company is guided by the third generation and there are 1,000 workers. Within three generations, production has expanded to include accessories, sportswear, and ties.
In June 2003 Canali received the Pitti Immagine Uomo prize. The award, received by Eugenio Canali, general manager of the company, is given to those who have distinguished themselves in the field of fashion and increased the success of the Made in Italy movement. The clothing is manufactured in seven production centers, all connected to the central headquarters at Sovico, near Milan. About 75% of the turnover is sold abroad. The most important market is North America, followed by Western Europe. Growing markets include those of the former Soviet Union. The year 2002 ended with a turnover of €145 million.
Modern Italian Tailoring
Canali produces the highest standards of cut, construction and finishing for gentlemen who seek a sartorial look that satisfies their needs and personalities. The brand uses the finest textiles on the market and their artisans pay attention to detail. For example, every roll of fabric is examined by their experts that measure its weight, check each end and evaluate all of its features, examining every inch of the textile to find even the smallest defects.
“Every year we work closely with the mills in Biella [the heart of the Italian textiles industry] to produce amazing new blends of fabrics,” Elisabetta Canali
The company closed 2003 with an increase of 5%, this result is due to both the resilience of US market, which makes 30% of company sales, and the development of new markets, as Russia (Moscow second store with 3 boutiques) and especially China (20 flagship stores).
At this time, there are more than 30 boutiques around the world. Milan, which was the first flagship store opened in 1999, has expanded from a 200 to 600 square meter store. New Canali spaces are opened in St.Petersburg, Amsterdam and Paris (12 showrooms in the world).
In the medium-term plans, much attention is paid to foreign markets, where Canali looks very carefully in its main business lines: Exclusive Canali and Canali Sports, which currently makes the 75% of the turnover.
In this same period, the company signed its first license for the production and distribution of a fragrance with Eurocosmesi, to be launched in 2005. The five-year agreement aims at a masculine scent, being faithful to the mission of the company that looks to the continuity with the Canali style.
The 2004 turnover was €155 million (+ 13% compared to 2003). In 2005, it reaches up €160 million (+ 4.3% compared to 2004). At this time, the company owns seven plants, is in more than a thousand stores worldwide and 35 single-brand boutiques. By 2005 daily Canali production is 1400 suits and 1600 trousers, employing more than 1500 people.
In 2006 Canali plays the energy and dynamism of the contemporary man and launches the Canali Men Travel Set, a stylish and practical travel kit dedicated to the real citizens of the world. With a growth rate of 10% per year, Canali invoiced €178 million in 2006, opening to external managers.
A year later, in 2007 the limited edition Black Diamond Eau de Parfum is launched, celebrating the second year of life of the Canali Men fragrance. Also, the company celebrated the new store opening in Hong Kong at the IFC Mall; in addition to ready-to-wear clothes, customers can order custom-made clothes, which will be ready in eight weeks, thanks to the tailoring service offered in the new store.
In 2009 Canali celebrated the 75th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone the historical brand moves the presentation of the new collections in Milan. Also, they opened a new Paris boutique with 500 square meters on one level. The opening is at 36 Rue Marbeuf, near the Avenue des Champs Elysèes.
The company ends the year with €150 million (-17%) and continues to invest in retail. The company opens their first boutique in the Republic of Singapore, in the Island of Sentosa, inside the stunning building complex Resort World.
Acquires & Collaborations
In 2010 Canali opens its new headquarters in New Bond Street, in two historic buildings in London. In the same year, Datafashion passes into the hands of the Canali Group. The historical Italian menswear brand completes the process that began in December 2008, when it acquired 49% of Datafashion, the Parma company operating for over 25 years in the software and services market for the fashion and luxury business.
The United States is the largest market of the company, with a turnover that reaches €156 million. So, in 2011, their boutique moves from the center of New York to a new larger space in the Meatpacking District. Also, they open their first boutique in San Paolo Brazil, at the first floor of the prestigious “Shopping Cidade Jardim”. The Group, led by the third generation, closes 2011 with a budget of €184 million, and an increase of 12%.
In 2012 the Canali Group signs a joint venture agreement with the Indian company Genesis Luxury Fashion Private Limited, already the brand’s distributor in India with 5 boutique in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. At the same time, Canali strengthens its presence within the Chinese market with a new flagship store in Beijing. The boutique is celebrated with the event “Unveiling Tradition“, with the Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming as special guest, celebrating the 78 years of the Italian tailoring tradition of Canali.
Creative Director: Andrea Pompilio
In 2014, Canali named new creative director Andrea Pompilio, who has won the “Who’s the Next” award, and has designed for many top luxury brands. His aim for Canali is to create a new men’s wardrobe which is rich in details but with clean silhouette, move the design focus to leisure wear but always refined.
The Canali family and the group have been involved in charity actively. In 2015 October, Canali revealed it non-for-profit organization, Fondazione Canali Onlus. With the purpose to promote and sustain projects related to social assistance, health care, education and professional training, Fondazione Canali Onlus has helped numerous charity projects worldwide.
In early 2016, the brand opened its first boutique in Jordan to make its presence in Middle East market. The new boutique is located in the heart of Abdali, aim to offering a new, high-end shopping experience for consumers there. Later in April, Andrea Pompilio departs, and now the brand’s in-house design team is in charge of all collections.
During Canali’s Fall 2017 Menswear presentation, the brand released a short film created by Italian director Ivan Cotroneo, to show guests the behind scene of construction of Canali suits, but only in reverse. Meanwhile, to celebrate Canali’s craftsmanship and Made in Italy excellence, the brand launched a design workshop for Italian fashion School students to discover new talents.
Currently, Canali’s headquarters, in the newly redeveloped Porto Nuova district, is strikingly modern. In October 2017 the brand announced the closing of their factory in Carate Brianza, a one-hour drive from Milan. The employees that were let go were mainly seamstresses and ironers who had been working at the Canali factory for 20 or 30 years.
Bulgari is a dynasty of Italian jewelers that started with Sotirio Bulgari, a native of Epirus, Greece. He began his career as a jeweller in his home village Paramythia. He arrived in Italy in 1879 and brought the goldsmith tradition of ancient Greece. In 1885, he opened a shop in Rome, on via Sistina, offering pieces made with both ancient and modern goldsmith techniques. The business developed and, 20 years later, the firm found a new headquarters in via Condotti.
Starting in the mid 1900s, the production took on precise and original physical characteristics. This is the result of the creative commitment and entrepreneurial intuition of Sotirio’s two sons, Costantino and Giorgio, who had joined the company’s management in the early 1930s. Costantino, interested especially in collecting, started to gather artistic objects. Such as icons, carved jades, to deepen his study of the ancient goldsmith’s art. He wrote the book Argentieri, Gemmari e Orafi (Silversmiths, Jewelers and Goldsmiths), a fundamental work for knowledge of the Italian goldsmith tradition. Giorgio was put in charge of the commercial management of the company.
At the end of the 1940s BVLGARI introduced the Serpenti bracelet-watches, with coils in Tubogas or in gold mesh. This style is still popular today. In the meantime, the jeweler’s boutique became a favorite meeting place of the aristocracy, of rich American tourists traveling to Rome, and of the cinema’s international jet set. Introducing the cabochon cut and the use of colored stones set in yellow gold, Bulgari launched a new style of great inventive freedom. The emblem of tradition was instead carried by the ancient Greek and Roman coins that were offered as the central pendants in necklaces and link bracelets shaped like a gas pipe, or as decorative motifs in rings, brooches, earrings, and furnishings in silver. The impeccable manufacturing, refinement in composition, and unmistakable designs turned these jewels into real cult-objects.
Third to Fourth Generation
In the 1960s, the company was joined by Costantino’s daughters, Anna and Marina, and also by Giorgio’s sons, Gianni, Paolo and Nicola. After Giorgio’s death in 1966, his son Gianni led the company as co-chief executive with his cousin Marina. These last two are the present heads of the company, together with their nephew Francesco Trapani, who is general director. In the 1970s, the company began to expand on the international market, opening subsidiaries in New York, Paris, Geneva, and Monte Carlo.
In 1985, Gianni resigned as CEO and in 1987, he left the family business after selling his one-third stake in the company to his brothers Nicola and Paolo. The brothers were named Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the company and nephew Francesco Trapani was named CEO. Trapani’s goal to diversify the company started in the early 1990s.
The 1980’s and 1990’s are marked by an era of opulence. Bulgari’s perfect adaptation to the contemporary world is reflected once more in its masterpieces. This years witnessed the birth the desired exemplary Parentesi; first line of modular jewellery, Bulgari-Bulgari; shapes inspired by the Roman Colosseum, and Quadrato watches. More examples of Bulgari’s adaptation to the world’s current opulence was the experimentation of new materials.
The year 1991 saw the début of the Naturalia Collection, which was inspired by the animal and vegetable world. For the occasion, the film Anima Mundi was produced, with the proceeds given to the World Wildlife Fund. The 1990s saw the creation of men’s and women’s accessories, small leather goods, foulards, ties, and eye glasses.
In 1996 Bulgari started an experiment with new materials, in the jewellery line called Chandra, in which porcelain was used together with gold. In 2001 the firm launched Lucea, a collection that was innovative in style and characterized by a fluid weaving together of gold and precious stones. The advertising for it featured the model Gisele Bündchen.
The year 2002 saw the birth of Bulgari Hotel & Resorts, a joint venture between Bulgari and Luxury Group, the luxury hotel division of Marriott International. They envisioned a series of luxury hotels, the first of which would be in the center of Milan, in via privata Fratelli Gabba, near Piazza Scala and the Brera. In Autumn 2003, the company launched the women’s fragrance Omnia, the eighth creation in the perfume line for men and women under the Bulgari brand.
In 2009 two new collections, Bvlgari New, and B.zero 1 were presented. Bvlgari New was characterized by a gold circle engraved with the iconic double logo. The materials used were 18-carat yellow or white gold, either alone or combined with onyx, mother-of-pearl, or with bright pavé diamonds. The new B.zero 1 is fresh and feminine, thanks to its colored gems. Peridots, blue topazes, garnets, citrines and amethysts with vivid colors. The collection has a particular transparency combined with thin chains and pendants that give life and movement to each piece. In addition, the iconic watches of the Italian fashion house are renewed with three new dials in white, pink and brown mother of pearl. What makes the piece special is the diamonds combined with the strap, proposed in three different colors.
Officially in 2004, Bulgari’s first hotel opened at Via Privata Fratelli Gabba in Milano, besides the prestigious La Scala theatre, in a tastefully renovated 18th-century Milanese palazzo. Later, in 2005 the brands hotels international expansion began establishing a new hotel in Bali, followed by the ones opened in London and Shanghai in 2012 and 2015 respectively. A further expansion is scheduled for 2017 in Dubai.
#Raise Your Hand
Bulgari proudly celebrates its philanthropic, global partnership with Save the Children by launching the new campaign #RAISE YOUR HAND. In 2009 BVLGARI has partnered with Save the Children. The company helps fund the nonprofit’s activities with proceeds from the Save the Children jewellery collection, custom-designed jewels, inspired by the iconic B.zero1 line. Bulgari has raised over $50 million in the past seven years for this charity project. And the purpose of #RAISE YOUR HAND 2016 is to emphasize the importance of children’s health.
LVMH Acquires Bulgari
During the first quarter of 2011, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton acquired the majority of Bulgari S.p.A. shareholdings. In 2014 in pursue of conserving the Bulgari’s heritage, a “unique palace” named DOMVS, in reference to the brand’s major source of inspiration and actual home, was opened to the public that serves as an exhibition and art gallery.
Situated on the second floor of the brand’s boutique at Via Condotti, DOMVS provides a unique storytelling of Bulgari’s stylistic evolution through iconic pieces such as the ones collected for the prestigious Heritage Collection. This temple also displays images and belongings of iconic divas that once embrace the brand such as Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, and Anna Edberg. In early 2015, Bulgari started a long-term collaboration with one of most celebrated design school Central Saint Martins for supporting young fashion designers through design competitions.
In 2016 Le Gemme Men, a new collection of male luxury fragrances, was born, inspired by the tradition and excellence values of Haute Joaillerie. At the same year in July, Bulgari launched a new high jewelry collectionFesta, the spectacular collection has over a hundred jewelers and watches inspired by Italian art de vivre. In particular, the Palio necklace and bracelet are more than exceptional, and stand for the famous horse race in Siena.
In 2017, Rome’s National Museum of 21st Century Arts and Bulgari join together and started a new project called MAXXI Bulgari Prize to support young contemporary artist. An international jury will spotlight and choose features young talents and present their work at National Museum of 21st Century Arts. Today, the name Bulgari expresses in just one word the concept of classic jewelry modeled according to the new dictates of contemporary taste.
From conquering the growing French artistic power in the 20’s, accommodating to resources droughts due to wars in the 40’s, to seducing new markets with creative and innovative designs and brand expansions, Bulgari has earned the right to be called the top of the luxury jewelry industry.
Damiani, a leading company in Italian jewellery manufacturing and trade sector. The brand was established in 1924 with Enrico Grassi Damiani, he began designing and creating jewels with diamonds, and soon he became favorite jeweler to the noble families of Valenza Po, the center of the Italian goldsmith tradition.
Enrico Damiani was acclaimed in the italian jewelry industry as the highest expression of classicism, balance, and preciousness. And his son, Damiano, continued the family business, with his creativity and entrepreneurial spirit he designed jewels with a more contemporary style which remained unaltered over the time.
Damiani D. Icon Ring
Since the beginning each masterpiece created has conveyed the absolute reflection of a woman who believes in inner beauty, elegance, knowledge, and power. A lot of investment was made in research and development as a result of company’s clear-sighted and conscientious character. This power of taking decisions by considering the future is the potion of today’s clairvoyants and Damiani is one of them. The jewelry art evolved with a focus on white gold, as the princely metal of the Collections.
After a time, the firm became a corporation. In 1960 the company started to expand industrially and invested a huge amount of money to build their research and development department. Then, by 1976 the company won the first Diamond International Award with their “Bocca di Squalo – Shark Mount” bracelet. It has received several De Beers Diamonds International Awards, which are the Oscars for jewellery.
From 1980-90 the communication strategy of the brand was changed completely. Celebrity brand ambassadors became the primary source for their new communication strategy, and new collaborations with famous photographers were established for their campaigns. During the 90’s, the brand opened its first international branches in Switzerland, United States, and Japan. During this time the advertising spokesperson of the griffe was Isabella Rossellini.
In fact, Damiani is among the first jewelry companies in the world to introduce the use of testimonials since the late 1980s. Over the year’s Damiani’s impressive and awarded advertising campaigns have been shoot by internationally renowned photographers and featured some of the most famous stars including; Isabella Rossellini, Brad Pitt, Nastassja Kinski, Milla Jovovich, Jennifer Aninston, Gwynet Paltrow.
The Third Generation
In the early 1990s the third generation entered Damiani. Silvia Grassi Damiani, born in 1966, is in charge of purchase of pearls and global communication. Giorgio Damiani, born in 1971, is responsible for export, development of all the collections and the purchase of precious stones. and Guido who was born in 1968, starting work as sales director, and now the chief executive officer.
Over the years, other prestigious brands were added to Damiani, including Salvini, which was born in 1986, and Alfieri & St. Jhon, recognized as a brand in Italy since 1977. In 1997, Damiani International BV was established, with headquarters in Amsterdam and an operating branch in Switzerland, which also controlled Damiani Japan K.K. (Tokyo, 1998) and Damiani USA Corp. (NY, 2000). Each branch represented a real operative base with all the typical functions of a structured and strong international group.
In 2000 Bliss was created, launched, and promoted through New Mood S.p.a., which was controlled by the group. In 2001, with the aim of optimizing business processes, it was decided to transition to using the ERP/SAP information system and the group’s budget was subjected to a voluntary certification.
In April 2002 the Damiani Manufacturing Company, led by Simone Rizzetto and his brother Christian, receives the ISO 9001 quality certification. This certification, recognized at national and international levels, recognizes the quality of precious metals, gems, and pearls selected by expert gemologists according to the place of origin, manufacture, and finishing of the jewellery.
In October with 130 linear feet of shop windows and two floors at the corner of via Montenapoleone and via Sant’Andrea in Milan, a new store is opened. This store follows the concept of other stores already opened abroad in Tokyo, Berlin, Dubai, and Honolulu. The project is by the architect Antonio Citterio. Soon there are four stores in Milan, with a total of 25 boutiques all over the world.
Also, after several failed negotiations, the Damiani Group acquires a significant minority stake in the Pomellato Group. The vice president and designer of Damiani, Silvia Damiani, declares her strong confidence in the decades-long experience of Giuseppe Rabolini, the president of Pomellato, whose turnover is about €55 million. For its part, the group closes the year 2001 with a turnover of €219 million and profits of €3.1 million. In 2002, investments remain steady at €36 million.
At this time, Damiani enters the watch industry. The men’s watch Ego Oversize, manufactured in Switzerland, is entirely designed by the griffe‘s style department. There are three versions with a total of seven models.
In February 2003 the brand opens two new stores, in Kiev and Moscow. Also, Damiani collaborates with the soap opera The Bold and The Beautiful. Some scenes are shot in Portofino. For the occasion, during a presentation, the actors and personalities show off Damiani watches and jewellery. June marks the opening in Paris of the international exhibit Diamonds and the Power of Love, organized by Diamond Trading Company. There are unique pieces from the most important international jewellers. Damiani presents the Chakra necklace, a two-section cascade of diamonds symbolizing the union between man and woman.
The firm opens a new boutique on Place Vendôme. In the boutique there is an exhibition of unique pieces created by Damiani that have received the De Beers Diamonds International Award, which is the prestigious Oscar for jewelry, 18 times, which 4 where won by Calderoni, a historic Milanese jewelry brand, acquired by the group in 2006. Damiani holds the world record of De Beers Diamonds International Award. The Damiani group is owned entirely by the family, now in its third generation. In December the firm celebrates 80 years of prestige in the world of jewellry with an exhibition. On display are 8 exclusive and unique pieces, including a necklace composed of 1,370 diamonds with 100 carats.
In 2005, after ending the previous year with revenue of €180 million, Guido Grassi Damiani, the general manager of the group, talks about the future with an eye on exports and aims at increasing the turnover, of which 80% presently comes from the Italian market. Later, in 2007, the group went public and was listed in the Milan stock exchange, a very important step in its growth, affirming Damiani as one of the leaders in the international jewelry market. In 2008 Damiani acquired Rocca, the only franchising at the high end of the Italian market, and one of the very few in the world.
On April 3, 2009 the Damiani Shareholders Meeting decided on the new Management Board (till March 2012, when the budget had to be approved) was as followed: Guido Grassi Damiani is President and CEO, Giorgio Grassi Damiani and Silvia Grassi Damiani Vice Presidents and Executive Directors, Stefano Graidi Executive Board Member, Giancarlo Malerba Non-Executive Director, Roberta Benaglia and Fabrizio Redaelli Non-executive and independent directors.
In November 2010 The Clean Water project, which was developed in collaboration with Sharon Stone, achieved its first important result. This project was created to build clean water wells to South Africa where an important diamond supply is located. The Maji Collection was designed for this project to collect money from its sales.
In 2011 the Company became the first jewelry brand to reveal its prices on the internet for complete transparency. At this time, Damiani owned 55 flagship stores all over the world, located in the main streets of Italian and international fashion locations including Milan on via Montenapoleone, Rome on via dei Condotti, Paris on Place Vendôme, NY on Madison Avenue, and Tokyo on Ginza. In August Damiani implemented special project for the women who suffered from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, where a selection of must-have products and special collections were put on sale. The raised money was donated to Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning.
In 2012 Damiani won the Robb Report of the Best 2012 award with their Burlesque Bracelet. Next year, with their Vulcania necklace, the company was granted second time to the Best Annual Fine Jewelry Award. The necklace that took more than 530 hours to finish and became a piece of art with its diamond, placed in the traditional Damiani ‘apparent chaos’ setting.
On February 2012, Damiani announced a strategic agreement with Itochu, a Japanese international group: this contract made Itochu part of the capital of the Damiani Japan K.K., with a minority stake of 14%, through a private capital increase. Later in May, an exclusive distribution agreement was concluded with Hendgeli, the leader of watches and jewelry distribution in China. By 2014 Damiani was the first jewelry brand to land in Mongolia, Ulan Bator, in the Central Tower Mall.
For their campaigns, Damiani always collaborates with strong women like Sharon Stone, Chiara Mastroianni and Sophia Loren who portrayed the values of the brand. Only a piece created intricately by the hands of a passionate, dedicated and deep-rooted creator can portray the values of the Damiani women.
In April 2013, Sophia Lauren took part in a series of events in Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Seven new pieces were added to the existent Sophia Lauren collection and launched in the tour.
In June 2014 the company celebrated its 90th year anniversary with an exhibition. Damiani’s 18 awarded masterpiece jewelry pieces were exhibited along with the prizes and a special collection in Florence from 19th of June to 7th of September.
Next year in September, Damiani participated in the Italian Open Golf Tournament as a main sponsor. The reason behind this sponsorship is that the values of the company match with the ideology of the sport. Both believe in the power of hard work, focus and being prepared.
In February 2016 the brand launched a collaboration with Microsoft in which they produced a precious smartphone case for the new Microsoft Lumia 950. Also, the company was granted the Ethical Company Prize due to their various social projects.
Currently, the brand is a winner of 18 awards, has 61 direct and 17 franchised stores all over the world. And the Damiani Group ended the 2017 with consolidated revenues from sales equal to 161.5 million euros (+4.8% at current exchange rates compared with 2016).
Diesel was established in 1978 by Renzo Rosso together with other textile entrepreneurs in the Veneto. He chose this name because it is easy to understand and is pronounced the same around the world. At that time, Diesel was also considered as an alternative energy and so the word stood as a synonym to alternative taste in fashion. In 1985 Renzo Russo acquired full control of Diesel.
In 1991 Diesel launched its first advertising campaign called For Successful Living. The campaign did phenomenally and established a reputation for innovative marketing. Then, in 1995 the brand launched its own website, it was amongst the very first fashion companies to do so. Later, in 1996, the brand opened its first few flagship stores in New York, Rome and London.
In 2000 Diesel acquired Staff International, an Italian manufacturer and distributor of Maison Margiela, Marni Men, Dsquared2, Just Cavalli and Vivienne Westwood. Two years later Renzo Rosso became a majority shareholder of Maison Martin Margiela. In July 2000 Diesel Iberia, the 12th foreign subsidiary, expands further in the Spanish market. In Barcelona, it opens a new showroom with offices in Plaza de Cataloea. In Spain there are 350 single-brand boutiques and 12 more are expected within 2004. The turnover in Spain is equivalent to 17.6 billion liras. Later, Renzo Rosso, number one and president of the group, announces that Diesel’s global turnover for the year is expected to be 700 billion liras.
Creative Director: Kosta Murkudis
In September Kosta Murkudis, a young Greek designer, is appointed creative director of New York Industrie, the casual clothing line produced by Diesel International. In addition to creating the men’s and women’s collections, the designer will supervise the advertising campaign. He appears on the cover of W, the monthly of Women’s Wear Daily, an honor that fell to Tom Ford in July.
Diesel receives the Made in Italy award, a prestigious American prize within the fashion industry in January 2001. The company intends to expand further in the U.S. It was reported sales increased by one-third over the previous year. Also, by 2004, somewhere between 10 to 35 new shops are expected. At Pitti Bimboin June 2002, the company presents Diesel Kids, a celebration of denim. Every imaginable kind of denim is presented, with infinite variation, from stonewashed to torn and color-sprayed models.
Supporting Young Talent
In July 2002 the company is a sponsor and partner of the Trieste agency Eve, which has conceived and organized the first presentation of an award for young creative designers, called It’s One (International Talent Support), which is to be followed each year by It’s Two, It’s Three, etc. Wilbert Das, the creative director of Diesel, has worked with Victor Bellaish on the selection of 33 finalists from all over the world. The award, won by Einav Zucker, consists of €13,000 with which the winner can start his own atelier and create a new Collection for the following year’s competition. The Diesel Award, for €2,500, which went to Daniele Controversio, offers the opportunity to produce and distribute in the best Diesel shops a mini-Collection of 5 pieces labeled with the name of the young designer.
OTB Group Acquires Maison Margiela
In 2002 Renzo Russo founds the OTB group which became the parent company of fashion brands Diesel, Maison Margiela, and companies Staff International, specialized in ready-to-wear production and distribution. OTB group acquires the maison Martin Margiela. This Belgian designer, who went to school in Antwerp, already an assistant to Jean-Paul Gaultier, works for Hermés, but since 1988 has also had his own maison in Paris. But he needed a strong partner to help him develop further, and he found one in Italy, in the person of Renzo Rosso. The head of Diesel intends to promote a five-year development strategy for the brand.
In September 2002 DieselStyleLab, the men and women’s avant-guard line, chooses New York for the first time and returns to the runways of the Bryant Park Pavilion after several years away, for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The line was launched in 1998 but, after having presented in London (September 1998, October 1999) and Paris (October 1999), it undergoes a period of static presentations during Milan’s Fashion Week.
Forbes magazine lists Diesel among the 32 top luxury brands. The return to the formula of runway presentations and the choice of New York also indicate a strategic change and particular interest in the American market. The Collection is often inspired by the aesthetic-cultural contrast between East and West, as in the typical black leather jacket manufactured in a Japanese fabric with kimono-shaped sleeves.
Back in 2001, Diesel’s U.S. turnover hit $93 million, an increase of 43%. By October 2002 the company receives “high profits with double-digit growth in sales, an increase of 10% over the €365 million of 2001, which had already increased 38.8%.” This is the Diesel group forecast for 2002, as declared by Renzo Rosso at the Milan Fashion Global Summit. The group plans a thorough review of the points-of-sale, in which the single-brand shops, of which there are 180, including 95 company-owned, are to be favored over the multi-brands.
In June 2003 Daniele Controversio, winner of the Diesel Award 2002 in Trieste, joins the creative staff of DieselStyleLab. Also, the women’s shoe Collection by Diesel receives a prize at the Sportswear International Fashion Awards (SIFAS). Diesel shoes are manufactured under license by Global Brand Marketing Inc. of Santa Barbara, Calif., which sells its products in more than 130 countries. It owns the Pony and Dry-shod brands and is a licensee for Nautica, Mecca, and Xoxo shoes.
In September 2003 Australia is Diesel’s new target market. The first store opens in Sydney. Another one is to open soon in Melbourne. In December The turnover is reported €780 million, of which 85% comes from abroad. The gross operating margin of 22%, with a net profit of €74.8 million, almost hits 10%. The cash flow is €120 million. Renzo Rosso’s motto;
“Fashion companies must be directed by their managers. Real industrial managers must lead their companies and make every single area more professional. That’s what I did.” As to decentralization, he maintains that “some production cannot continue here: it is the price market’s rule. If you go too far away, you won’t survive. The important thing is that the brains stay in Italy.”
Diesel Marketing Strategy
The brand portrays itself as someone who questions current trends, while allowing their own taste to lead them. The message communicated is usually a mix of irony, black comedy and tongue-in-cheek humor that garners both praise and backlash. This combination of rebellious image with the classic 1950’s American culture has introduced some of the most timeless pieces, such as, biker style, leather jacket and the denim.
“We think to be cool is better than to be big”, said Rosso. It is really time for the brand to become cool and fresh again and so the current rebooting strategy of Diesel is not about change; it’s about going back to the origins. The interest of the brand lies in culture, music and people. The challenge lies in breaking down people’s existing perceptions of Diesel, instead make them feel extraordinary.
The cohesive collection of Diesel sets itself apart from the rest by introducing an ‘alternative taste in fashion’. Their main power lies in the transformation of the year old working class look into luxury. They thrive on breaking the societal stereotypes through its gender“less” style statement that provides an individualistic voice to its audience.
Diesel’s reboot of the entire brand is about elevating the quality and revamping the product, both within and beyond denim. It’s about bringing fresh air and modernity to the collections. The biggest change is in ladies’ apparel, an innovative mix of leather with a feminine touch. The brand is challenging its own knowledge to bring a full-blown collection that is appropriate for the advanced contemporary market.
Through 2004 the company’s communications strategy continues. A new advertising campaign has also been promoted. “There are 30 acid, dreamy, daily trips, the so-called day dreams,” explains Antonella Rossi, the marketing director. “They are the dreams of each one of the 30 protagonists who present the pieces of our Collection; but then, in the video, these dreams shift towards rather uneasy, ironic, atmospheres.” Irony, innovation, unpredictability, creativity, desecration: these are the strong elements of Diesel’s communication.
Then, in October Renzo Rosso sells two thirds of his Only The Brave Srl shares, the family holding which controls the Diesel group, to his oldest sons, Andrea and Stefano. “They asked me to teach them how to manage a company: I’m happy because I have always feared that one day they may prefer to stay out of the family business.”
By December, Diesel, the owner of Margiela, intends to double the turnover of the Belgian maison in the next five years (the present turnover is about €30 million). Excellent competitive and economic-financial results for the group. The turnover is €1,004.2 million (€909 million from the Diesel brand), up 27.5% over the €788 million of 2003. The pre-tax results are excellent: €204 million, against €128.8 million in 2003, with a net profit of €112.2 million, an increase of 50% compared to the €74.8 million of 2003. The net borrowing has gone down, from €167.5 million to €48.8 million. At December 31st 2004, the group had 173 directly managed stores, of which 21 opened in 2004, while the workforce increased from 2,561 in 2003 to 3,348 in 2004.
In recent years, Diesel has reorganized its market strategy, positioning the brand in a premium segment, investing in research and quality, reorganizing the distribution structure, and reducing the world-wide points-of-sale from 10,000 to 5,000. Also excellent are the results for Dsquared, a brand acquired in 2001. The Martin Margiela brand has also grown consistently.
In 2005 the conquest of the Spanish market continues. After the opening of a first store in Barcelona in 2002, there are openings in Bilbao, Madrid, and Valencia, and a second one in Barcelona. Also, in May a new store opens in Hong Kong.
In 2007 Diesel signed a partnership with L’Oréal’s luxury product division to launch the first line of fragrances, which is called ‘Fuel for Life’. More collaborations were done the following year with Fiat and Adidas.
Diesel Black and Gold
A new premium sophisticated clothing collection, Diesel Black Gold, was launched in early 2008 at the New York fashion week. In the same year Diesel launched its home and textile collection. And later the OTB group acquired Victor & Rolf. Greek designer Sophia Kokosalaki started to play primary role in the collection from FW 2010, her first debut as Diesel Black Gold female designer was in New York on February 2010.
In 2010, the companies most controversial campaign “Be Stupid” won a Grand Prix in the Outdoor Lions category at Cannes but was banned in the U.K. by the Advertising Standards Authority. Same year, a deal was signed with the Italian Ducati team of MotoGP. Diesel created its presence by creating race suits and clothing for the Ducati team.
OTB Group Acquires Marni
In 2013 Nicola Formichetti was appointed as the new Artistic director of Diesel, and later in 2014, he unveiled his first fall/winter collection in Venice. Meanwhile the OTB group, parent company of Diesel, bought 61% stake in Italian brand Marni, and in November 2015, OTB acquired the totality of Marni.
2016 marks brand’s 30 years of presence in Japan. To celebrate the brand held an exhibition with Diesel’s key denim look from 1978 to now, furthermore, brand launched three collaboration collections exclusively distributed in Japan.
In April of 2017, Diesel has revealed its charitable collaboration with supermodel Naomi Campbell in aid of her Fashion For Relief initiative, called Child At Heart. This project featured colourful love hearts and ladybird designs created by children attending the Diesel HQ kindergarten in Italy.
The company is currently in the mindset to reboot the brand with the mission to recapture the hip factor that made it great in the 1990s. Currently, OTB is the parent company of Diesel. Along with Maison Margiela, Marni, Paula Cademartori, Viktor & Rolf, and Brave Kid, specialized in childrenswear production and distribution. Also, Staff International, manufacturer and distributor of DSquared², Just Cavalli, Maison Margiela, Marni and Vivienne Westwood.