ERIKA CAVALLINI SEMI-COUTURE Italian designer Erika Cavallini is scaling up with her new Erika Cavallini Semi-Couture spring collection, launching during Milan Fashion Week. Cavallini, who built a reputation as a design consultant for several Italian brands, went solo in 2009, launching ready-to-wear and accessories with the collaboration of her husband, Andrea Vincenzi, the firm’s chief executive officer. Produced in the Emilia-Romagna region, between Bologna and Modena, the fashionable yet wearable Semi-Couture line features high-end fabrics and traditional tailoring. During her first presentation, scheduled for Sept. 18, Cavallini will unveil the Riviera Cocktail collection, which she said “gives a new interpretation of preppy culture.” She said she is inspired by the glamour and chic atmospheres of parties described by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jacqueline Kennedy’s timeless style and the ultrachic yet adventurous allure of Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief.” The designer juxtaposes luxury fabrics, featuring rich embroideries and summery prints, with feminine and fluid shapes for elongated, contemporary silhouettes. Retail prices range from 117 euros, or about $150 at current exchange, for a T-shirt and 760 euros ($977) for a cotton and linen coat. Three themes run through the collection: the sailor-styled Marinière, mixing red and white stripes with denim; the more urban Promenade, which features daywear in an elegant palette of tobacco, pale blue and gray, and Color Block, playing with paneling and combinations of bold tones like electric blue and lime yellow, or cherry red with pink. Highlights include embellished tops, washed and sequinnedcrepe de chine T-shirts, wide-leg fluid pants, cotton canvas tops with vintage-style prints and high-waist fitted pencil skirts. Knitwear, dresses and men’s-inspired deconstructed jackets round out the offer, along with a limited-edition denim group of 150 one-of-a-kind vintage boyfriend jeans, embellished with jeweled buttons and striped grosgrain inserts. Accessories include colorful messenger and shopping bags, khaki canvas totes trimmed with leather and allover hand-embroidered clutches featuring horn handles. Footwear consists of cork and cotton sandals, python and wood clogs decorated with studs and open-toe pumps. Erika Cavallini Semi-Couture is carried at 180 stores in Italy — including Pupi Solari in Milan, Penelope in Brescia and Gerard Loft in Florence — and is available worldwide at Isetan in Tokyo, Victor and Ma Première Boutique in Paris, and Cielo in San Francisco, among others. The company says international markets account for 35 percent of total business, with the lion’s share coming from Japan, France, Germany and German-speaking countries. “We’re going to open our first store in Milan’s Golden Triangle luxe shopping district within a year and one in Paris right after that,” said Vincenzi, adding the company expects to register a 30 percent growth in international sales. “We are finalizing with Bergdorf Goodman in New York and [Le] Bon Marché in Paris.”


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