A LINE FOR ALL SEASONS: With a relaunched e-commerce site that guides shoppers by degrees, Norisol Ferrari is taking a novel approach to seasonless dressing.
Having “changed the vernacular” of her collection to appeal to a greater assortment of better specialty stores, Ferrari said, “I don’t believe in seasons. I never have. I’m wearing four-ply cashmere and it’s September? In this world, seasons are over. Global warming is happening whether you deny it or not. And day-to-day, you don’t know what the temperature is going to be.”
The designer has the added stewardship of two former Donna Karan executives, Carole Kerner and Stephanie Reiner who joined Ferrari’s company in February to run the business. A big believer in layers, Ferrari has created a collection that has an abundance of dresses, blouses, sweaters and outerwear that can be built upon or taken away. She is calling the concept 70 degrees. Shoppers can now buy items based on her site by browsing based on temperature ranges. During a walk-through of the spring collection at her West 28th Street studio, Ferrari said, “If you are a professional woman, you are definitely going to be freezing, no matter what time of year it is because of the way offices are air-conditioned. And if you travel a lot you’re going to be freezing because you’re in airports, on planes and in conference rooms.”
To appeal to a wider range of women, prices start at $65 for a T-shirt, a slipdress is $895 and a layered lace dress is $3,900. The collection is entirely made in New York, which appealed to First Lady Melania Trump, who wore a Norisol Ferrari ensemble during the Inaugural weekend. Ferrari declined to comment about Trump.
Handknit sweaters with charmeuse linings and pockets are among her favorite pieces. Simple reversible silk dresses, mesh tops and cotton pieces with a little linen such as a stretch shirtdress can also be worn as a tunic. Another versatile item is a long-sleeved short dress with zippers that is designed to be worn on its own or with pants. Flattering high-waisted wide-legged pants are expected to be elongating for the estimated 80 percent of American women who are 5-foot-6 or shorter. Another innovative item is a poppy lace dress with a body slimmer underpinning.
“It’s a very strange thing to be called a designer because one, I don’t feel like I am, and two, I don’t agree with how the industry deals with the customer,” Ferrari said. “I started this business wanting to deal with the customer differently. I wanted to dress her directly — her lifestyle, her needs, her body. I don’t care what forecasters are saying about trends.”