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FRETTE’S LUXE LIFE

Byline: Karyn Monget

NEW YORK — Frette, busy preparing its fall at-homewear and home accessories collections, has a new management team in place to steer its direction.
Two newly created posts have been added for the brand, a unit of luxury apparel conglomerate Gruppo Fin.part SpA: Paolo Del Curto, who is chief executive of Fin.part’s communication’s division, has been appointed ceo of Frette worldwide. His brother, Nicola Del Curto, has been promoted to president of Frette USA. He was formerly executive vice president of the American operation.
Meanwhile, Christina Azario, creative director of the upscale Italian brand, said fall’s message was rich and luxurious, quiet and elegant.
“The feeling for the season is ornate, inspired by the Thirties and the Ballet Russe,” said Azario.
She cited the juxtaposition of jacquard patterns with matelasse textures on Frette accessories for the boudoir and bath, including satin cotton sheets and duvet covers; cashmere, suede and silk velvet throws, and embroidered pillows and towels. The palette runs from gold, dark chocolate and terra-cotta to aubergine, moss green, ivory and white.
“Frette has 48,000 prototypes of patterns and crests,” said Azario, who recently hosted an open house for the media at the Frette showroom here on West 58th Street. She was wearing one of her own at-homewear designs — a cream quilted and embroidered silk jacket with black silk trousers that could easily be worn to a cocktail party or a favorite bistro.
She said a men’s at-homewear collection will be introduced for winter 2003. Distribution is aimed at major specialty stores, as well as freestanding Frette boutiques. The company has eight shops in the U.S., 40 boutiques in Italy, 15 shops elsewhere in Europe, six in-store shops in Taiwan and five in Hong Kong and China. There also are plans to expand the mix into lingerie and foundations.
As with the men’s line, inspiration for a majority of the women’s collection was influenced by the martial arts, such as a stretch cashmere and Lycra spandex trench-style wrap robe and crisp woven white cotton pajamas with men’s shirt-style collars. Black-and-white combinations make a strong statement.
Frette’s combined retail and wholesale businesses in the U.S. — which includes a spa line and linens for hotels — was about $30 million in 2001, according to Gianluigi Facchini, president and ceo of Milan-based Fin.part.

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