MILAN — The storied cultural venue Spazio Krizia reopened on Friday, revealing its the support of two exhibitions at the Venice 57th Art Biennale.
The exhibitions by artists Giovanni Anselmo and Elisabetta Di Maggio will bow on May 10 at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, following their vernissage a day earlier. The exhibits will run until Sept. 24.
The restoration of the “secret” room, the set of Di Maggio’s work, was supported by the DFS T Galleria Fondaco dei Tedeschi, the group’s first unit in Europe, which opened last September in Venice.
In her first presentation as chief executive officer of Krizia, Simona Clemenza, who joined the company in January, enthused about Spazio Krizia. “It allows free circulation of information and interaction, helping us to open our minds.”
Spazio Krizia was first set up in 1985 and opening its doors at the storied Milan headquarters, said Clemenza, was “a natural choice for us, and it’s the consolidation of a path.”
She described Krizia’s founder Mariuccia Mandelli as a true pioneer, “opening such a venue back in the Eighties, when nothing like this existed. She has since been followed by several of her peers.”
Krizia also appointed a new art director, Cristiano Seganfreddo, who is charged with curating the image of the brand, opening it up once again to the arts. For example, it is understood the windows of the boutiques will be realized in collaboration with different artists going forward.
Seganfreddo also emphasized the relevance of Spazio Krizia over the years, drawing international artists from the world of music, literature and theater. “This was like a piazza [city square], an open location for discussions,” he said.
Michael Ende, Isabel Allende, Doris Lessing, David Leavitt, Arthur Miller, Ettore Sottsass, Borek Sipek, Ron Arad, Ingo Maurer and Umberto Eco were only some of the artists who held talks and installations at Spazio Krizia over the years.
On April 3, for the international furniture and design trade show Salone del Mobile, Spazio Krizia will open its doors to Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, the designers behind Studio Formafantasma and based in Amsterdam.
“This is an important day, it’s a dream that restarts,” Clemenza said.
After many years abroad, she said, observing Italian fashion from outside national borders, she was proud to bring Krizia “where it should be, a sleeping brand that can shine again.”
Clemenza was previously vice president of the global sales and licensing sector for Karl Lagerfeld BV. From 2006 to 2012, she was the wholesale and franchising sales director for the Kenzo Group. Clemenza first worked for Italian brands such as Blumarine and Gianfranco Ferré.
Marino Cortese, president of the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, emphasized the “strong tie between fashion and art, they are in symbiosis and they feed each other.”
On the sidelines of the presentation, asked about the expansion of the brand, which Mandelli sold to leading Chinese fashion retailer Shenzhen Marisfrolg Fashion Co. Ltd. in 2014, Clemenza said Krizia just opened two boutiques in Shanghai, at Plaza 66, and in Tianjin. This year, the company plans to open a second store in Shanghai and units in Beijing and Guangzhou.
In other regions, such as Europe, Krizia will first focus on its wholesale distribution, said the affable executive, who is also working on restructuring the brand’s web site and online store. They are expected to be unveiled in the first quarter of 2018.
Clemenza said the company has been terminating all its licenses, except for the “curvy” line Per Te by Krizia, produced and distributed by Miroglio, and available only in Italy. This has also evolved under the new owner, for example with an ad campaign by famed photographer Giovanni Gastel. “We are starting from a clean slate,” Clemenza said.
The focus in on ready-to-wear, Krizia’s core knitwear business, jersey and poplin shirts, paired with a selection of accessories including handbags, shoes and foulards. Krizia is designed by the owner, Zhu Chongyun, who has been developing the collection with a steady hand.
Mandelli died in 2015, followed by her husband and former Krizia chairman Aldo Pinto in March last year.