LONDON — Brioni is raising its profile here with a new shop-in-shop at Selfridges and marking the fifth anniversary of its collaboration with first-year master’s degree students at the Royal College of Art.
This story first appeared in the December 15, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Earlier this month, Brioni cut the ribbon on the 648-square-foot space, which is located on the first floor opposite Aquascutum and next to Canali. It stocks all of the brand’s product categories.
This week, Antonella De Simone, Brioni’s head of communications, swept into London to give the students this year’s brief — to re-interpret the blazer. Over the years, students have waded through the Brioni archives in a bid to reinterpret such pieces as the tuxedo and the shirt jacket.
“The blazer is a nice intersection between formalwear and sportswear — and it was born in England. That is your challenge,” said De Simone. Jason Basmajian, Brioni’s artistic director, told the students to stretch their imaginations, playing with buttons, linings, proportions and fabrics.
As part of the collaboration, Brioni sends one of its master tailors to London to teach alongside the RCA professors and tutors, while men’s wear students spend time working at Brioni’s tailoring academy in Penne, in the central Italian region of Abruzzo.
Brioni also sponsors a series of prizes at the end of each academic year for the student who best interprets a classic Brioni design. The Roman tailor exhibits the designs, although they do not go into production.