MILAN — The economy isn’t bringing everything to a standstill.
Renato Preti, former chief executive officer of private equity fund Opera, founded together with Bulgari in 2000, is launching a design brand called Skitsch with a group of Italian entrepreneurs. “Some may question the timing, but there are many opportunities in this sector,” said Preti during a press conference at the Bulgari Hotel here Tuesday.
He said customers are looking for less ostentatious products, opting for feel-good pieces rather than flashy cars or jewels. “The demand for contemporary aesthetics is growing, the pleasure to surround oneself with contemporary objects strengthened by the crisis and there is only a limited offer,” said Preti.
Furniture, accessories such as candles, home fragrances and other objects for the home and office will be created by an initial group of 27 international designers, ranging from Maarten Baas to Xavier Lust, Marc Sadler to Joost van Bleiswijk, under the artistic supervision of Cristina Morozzi.
“Design objects are usually either too strange or too functional. We are looking for balance and a comprehensive offer,” said Preti, whose career includes stints at Opera-controlled home furnishings company B&B Italia and outdoor furniture firm Unopiù.
The company behind Skitsch is called Di Disegno SpA. With an investment of up to 12 million euros, or $15.5 million at current exchange, Skitsch expects sales of 5 million euros, or $6.4 million, in the first year, and revenues of 50 million, or $64.5 million, in five years.
Others involved in the project include Alberto Bombassei, vice president of Italy’s Industrialists Association, Confindustria, and president and ceo of Brembo SpA, a leading group in the production, design and marketing of brake systems. The company has also taken control of home furnishings brand Dovetusai, whose products will be part of Skitsch’s catalogue.
Skitsch will debut on April 21 during Milan’s international furniture and design exhibition, the Salone del Mobile, with the opening of its first store. The 6,480-square-foot flagship will boast 13 windows in the centrally located Via Monte di Pietà, 11, a few steps away from the Bulgari Hotel and Via Montenapoleone. The store, in wood, glass, concrete and brass, with touches of blue, was designed by Luca Bombassei, partner and founder of Blast Architects in Milan, Venice and Abu Dhabi.
The products will mostly be made in Italy, except for specific categories such as rugs from India, crystal from Bohemia, and porcelain from Poland. Distribution will include Skitsch’s own stores, catalogues and e-commerce. “In this industry, distribution is very fragmented, the experience of shopping is not fun or stimulating, often with delayed deliveries and little service,” said Preti.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews