MILAN — After years focused on developing his own line, British Italian designer Antonio Berardi has taken up a new challenge.
While he has temporarily put his luxury label on hold, Berardi has teamed with Italian manufacturing company T.E.C. Srl, which produces for leading global brands, to launch a women’s wear label, called TWOBC.
“It’s about super not-complicated clothes,” said Berardi, during a meeting at Milan’s “Garage” by Marina Guidi showroom, which takes care of the brand’s international sales. “I wanted to create a collection of pieces that I personally like, that are easy to wear and to mix and match, within the limits of my own taste.”
While his Antonio Berardi collections have offered compelling lineups including different product categories, the designer admitted that retailers have always looked at the brand for dresses. “There are no dresses here,” said Berardi, who in the new line created functional and chic styles that span from trenches and cargo pants to shirts, corset tops and miniskirts.
“After years collaborating with a range of brands, at one point I felt the desire of launching our own brand,” said Roberto Zanetto, founder, owner and chief executive officer of T.E.C. Srl. “I thought that Antonio was the right person to team up with because he has a wide international vision, but at the same time he has deep knowledge of Italian craftsmanship, along with being a pure talent as he demonstrated with his collections.”
Admitting to having found the inspiration for many pieces in the TWOBC spring 2022 collection in his own wardrobe, Berardi peppered the lineup with his design signatures, spanning from heraldic buttons, maxi decorative pockets with couture-ish bold volumes, passementerie details, as well as his signature corsetry-inspired accents.
“What I really like of Antonio’s aesthetic is the very personal take on femininity, that he was also able to transfer into this project,” Zanetto said. “I think that over the past few seasons, in the fashion industry, brands tended to overuse street codes a bit too much at the expense of femininity, that is something that women want in their wardrobe.”
Combining military vibes, “but more in an off-duty framework,” as he said, with sartorial elements, Berardi delivered a spring collection focused on the use of natural materials, including a punched cotton.
Mainly working a palette of solids, including olive green and white, with neon touches, the designer also developed a lively floral print with a Hawaiian vibe, reminiscent of Montgomery Clift shirts in the classic movie “From Here to Eternity.”
As Zanetto explained, TWOBC is positioned in the affordable luxury market, featuring retail prices that are about 40 percent lower than those of global power brands.
“I liked the idea of experimenting with a more accessible type of fashion product,” Berardi said. “I’m enjoying very much thinking about something very approachable, immediate and kind of easy-going, without compromising with quality and design.”
While with the first spring season TWOBC mainly targeted leading boutiques in Italy and Europe, Zanetto said that from the fall 2022 campaign, the brand will try to enter the North American and Asian markets.
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