The Backstory: Francesco Ferrari and Tomaso Anfossi, who both graduated with degrees in fashion design at Milan’s Istituto Marangoni, founded Co|Te in 2010 and launched for spring2011.
The duo met at Dsquared2, where Ferrari was with the men’s weardesign team and Anfossi was handling women’s wear. They quickly decided to start up their own company.
“We made the decision at Tomaso’s house,” said Ferrari. “That night, we immediately started working together on one of his made-to-measure shirts.”
From that moment, the classic white men’s-wear-inspired shirt became a staple in their collections, aside from the bibs, which always return in new versions, from monocolor leather to more elaborate styles with feather detailing.
As for the name picked for their brand, the designers explained that in antique English the word “cote” meant shelter and protection, while in Italy it meant a sharpening stone. “We like the opposition between the two meanings, and we think that it also highlights the double nature of our collections. We use rigorous silhouettes to express a delicate sensuality,” Anfossi explained.
A careful study of shapes and proportions, and an almost maniacal attention to the details, are at the base of Co|Te collections, which are manufactured in factories just outside Milan.
What’s hot next summer: “For the new collection, we took inspiration from a picture of some multicolored balloons that we photographed at the park,” Ferrari said. “It reminds us of a sense of freshness and lightness that can be considered the fil rouge running throughout the different looks.”
The joyful print of the balloons is shown on T-shirts, skirts and a cotton sleeveless mini-shirtdress, in sober silhouettes.
The lineup also includes a zipped, cropped jacket paired with a pencil miniskirt, both in a rust-color waxed cotton, and a crispy Cupro sheath dress with a rhomboid cut on the back. For evening, Ferrari and Anfossi paid homage to Liz Taylor, dubbing a silk cady navy gown with a pale pink tulle corsage the Liz dress.
The palette ranges from soft hues, including flesh tones, gray and pale blue, as well as bold and deep colors such as orange, yellow and deep blue. Retail prices go from 150 euros, or $204 at current exchange, for the skirts, and 250 euros ($341) for the multilayered cotton and see-through gauze shirts, to 500 euros ($682) for the maxidresses.
In addition, for next spring Co|Te will introduce its first bag, the Friday Clutch, a leather envelope style embellished on the back with a pocket and a flat handle.
Available in different colors, including a white and blue saffiano version, it retails at 140 euros, or $190.
Where and when: Co|Te will bow at Who Is on Next on Sept. 22 at Palazzo Morando and at White on Sept. 24 to 26 at 27-54 Via Tortona, both in Milan.
The Backstory: A native of Porto Alegre, Brazil, Paula Cademartori might be considered as having a glamorous grind. Her considerable résumé includes a degree in Industrial Design from the Universidade Luterana do Brasil, a master’s degree in Fashion Accessories from Milan’s Istituto Marangoni and a “Young Fashion Manager” certificate from the city’s prestigious Bocconi University. But Cadematori moved beyond the books, and before deciding to go solo, she worked as a junior fashion designer at Gianni Versace, where she focused on the accessories and leather goods collections for its ready-to-wear and couture lines.
After designing a shoe collection for spring 2010, Vogue Italia included her in the Vogue Talents project for upcoming designers, and she launched her namesake bag line in September 2010.
“The bag is first of all an object of desire destined to last in time, season after season,” said the designer, whose pieces combine high-quality materials like supersoft napa leather, python and crocodile, with artisanal details, timeless shapes and contemporary functionality.
The bags are all embellished with Cademartori’s signature: a jewelry-inspired matte metallic buckle.
Sold in stores such as 10 Corso Como in Milan, Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong and Luisa Via Roma in Florence, the line includes one of the brand’s key looks, the Tatiana — a rectangular style that can be worn as either a clutch or a shoulder bag, thanks to the detachable strap.
What’s hot next summer: The main inspiration for Cademartori’s summer collection was Sixties Hollywood. “Designing this collection, I had in mind the glamorous yet decadent image of a diva like Faye Dunaway recovering in the swimming pool of the Chateau Marmont hotel after a nightlong party,” said the designer. In addition, references to Guy Bourdin’s photography are in the hues, which range from sophisticated black and tobacco to bold tones, including vivid turquoise, mustard, coral and hot pink. Contrasting shades are also matched in unusual color blocks.
Cademartori mixed textures as well, like napa, suede and raffia, or python and jute, in a Tatiana style.
Among other styles, there’sthe practical Fay with a single top handle and various compartments inside, and the new entries Caroline and Petite Sylvie, both shoulder bags. Materials include crocodile, satin and patent leather, and monocolor calf leather. For evening, Cademartori created small clutches embellished with studs and crystal for a glam-rock effect.
Starting this season, she’soffering some less expensive styles in calf leather and silk linen, with the brand’s logo engraved instead of the signature metallic buckle. Wholesale prices range from 300 to 3,000 euros ($410 to $4,100).
Where and when: Paula Cademartori will present at Who Is on Next on Sept. 22 at Palazzo Morando in Milan and at Première Vision in Paris.