NOTEBOOK FROM MILAN
NO STRANGERS TO POLITICAL TURMOIL, SOME ITALIAN ACCESSORIES FIRMS HAVE BRACED THEMSELVES WITH DESIGNS SUCH AS G-8 TROLLEY BAGS AND EURO WALLETS, WHILE OTHERS LOOK TO SHAKE THINGS UP WITH NEW CONCEPTS.
Byline: Alessandra Ilari / Luisa Zargani / Courtney Colavita
Government chiefs at the recent G-8 summit in Genoa never went anywhere without their Trussardi trolley bags, which were packed with stacks of important papers and documents.
When the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs set up a contest to design the bags, the luxury goods maker secured it with its sketches of honey-colored napa trolleys that convert into backpacks.
“We have always been active in non-fashion projects like design or cinema, and this was a great opportunity to do something in the socio-political area,” said Francesco Trussardi.
Trussardi, who holds the president’s post, runs the company with his sister Beatrice, who is involved in the cause of reducing the debt of the poor countries and hopes that, fashion aside, this is a good opportunity to sustain Third World nations.
“I fervently hope in a stronger will to support special financial projects and development directly in the poorer countries,” she said.
The bags will be produced in a 50-piece limited edition and will retail for $700 at Trussardi’s 19 boutiques worldwide.
While Italians are gearing up for the euro, which will make its way into the Italian public’s pockets this January when bank notes and coins finally replace the lira, several far-sighted designers have come up with wallets specifically designed for the currency’s wider notes and increased number of coins compared with the lira.
Giorgio Armani and Prada designed accordion change purses that open up to become small boxes. Armani is offering delicate, powder-beige calfskin or red reptile-skin printed versions and also pale-blue, snap-closure change purses.
Gigi Vezzola designed large wallets and zipped-up accordion change purses for Samsonite Black Label, with the company logo on caramel damier fabric hemmed by darker brown calf strips. Fendi’s zipped-up wallets range from a red, logo-embossed fabric to a scaled-python skin. Versace’s black heel-shaped change purse with nickel Medusa logo and Trussardi’s black, soft-calf envelope coin wallet will make it easier to reach for the euro.
Di Camerino Moment
Roberta Di Camerino is launching its own line of timepieces.
The collection, which will bow at the Vicenza Oro trade fair this fall, will feature pieces in stainless steel and gold, accented with precious and semiprecious stones.
“[The watches] will be more like a bracelet, fluid and contemporary,” said Guiliana Di Camerino, designer and owner of the Veneto-based fashion house.
Di Camerino signed a licensing agreement with Florence-based Airone to produce and distribute the watches. The movements will be made in Switzerland.
“Obviously, design and aesthetics are important aspects in the collection, but we wanted to create a technically superior timepiece, as well,” said Di Camerino, adding that the firm expects sales to reach $40 million within the first four to five years.
Tucked away on Milan’s Via Spiga is theeclipse, founded by jewelry designer Rudy Prampolini, which is challenging the way women view jewelry — not just because of its unusual spelling.
“The majority usually see jewelry as something to add, to wear only on special occasions or as important gifts,” said Prampolini. “Today, it should be seen and used as a real accessory that could be worn everyday.”
Each of the collection’s six groups draws inspiration from a specific shape, such as bubbles that translate into different size circles bunched together to create graphic pendants, bracelets and necklaces. Eighteen-karat white and custom-made rose gold, in matte and shiny finishes, form the base of each group, and more than 80 percent of the stones are diamonds.
“I’m cautious when it comes to overwhelming the pieces with color, that’s why I tend to stick with diamonds and other clear or cool-toned stones,” Prampolini said.
Retail prices range from $400 to $7,500, with special pieces costing up to $40,000. (All prices are converted from the lira). Next month, theeclipse will organize three trunk shows in Texas and New York, including one in the Hamptons.