Italian label Borbonese, which was established in 1910 and rose to a peak of success in the Seventies, is launching during Milan Fashion Week a new line, called 1910 Borbonese.
“Fashion is not only about style anymore, but it’s about a language and to reach the right audience we have to talk to them through their own world, engaging them and involving them in the changing process, transmitting our values through a new communication and product vocabulary,” said Borbonese chief executive officer Alessandro Pescara, who tapped M1992 creative director Dorian Tarantini and Matteo Mena, also part of M1992’s creative team, to design the brand’s first collection.
“The choice of Dorian and Matteo is the result of a careful analysis of the strategic direction, which I intend to give to the company,” Pescara explained. “The main goal will be to reach a new consumer audience expanding Borbonese’s traditional one with a focus on Millennials, which means that part of the global population with the biggest purchasing power in the immediate future.”
Under the new 1910 Borbonese 1910, Tarantini and Mena will present a limited-edition capsule collection infused with their signature subcultural sensibility and passion for the Eighties.
In keeping with the Borbonese brand’s heritage, the designer focused on the brand’s staples, including the signature OP motif and the extensive use of leather.
“During the first meeting with Dorian and Mena, we shared the same vision of the future both in terms of positioning and strategy to expand the brand’s audience,” said Pescara, highlighting that the collection is supposed to attract younger, fashion-oriented customers. “Nowadays, creative directors are no longer only designers, they are eclectic personalities with interests spanning from art to music and the cross-pollination that is created generates different languages targeting the communities of young people by creating styles and moods that influence both people of the same age and previous generations.”
And the mix and match of different cultural inspirations is definitely the signature approach of Tarantini and Mena, who created a bold lineup showing dramatic coats, tailored suits with constructed, strong shoulders, body-con bodysuits, long and miniskirts, as well as slipdresses. Jackets show maxi buttons, while oversize puffers and sportswear staples are printed with eye-catching slogans and allover patterns of bucolic landscapes, as well as photo prints from the Borbonese archives. Suede and leather are juxtaposed to velour and denim in the collection, which is based on a color palette of black, white, OP beige and red. Accessories include chunky wedges and killer stiletto heels.
“1910 Borbonese was born as a capsule collection to start a process of innovation and cross-pollination, which — respecting the heritage and the history of Borbonese — will communicate to the younger generations a new way of experiencing and considering the brand,” Pescara said. “Our products will create a new style and a new language to identify those customers who will purchase them.”
The collection, which will be available in selected brick-and-mortar and online stores in the world, will retail from 270 euros for T-shirts to 2,500 euros for leather trenches. — Alessandra Turra
Officina del Poggio by Arizona Muse
Italian accessories label Officina del Poggio has teamed with model and sustainable fashion champion Arizona Muse on a capsule collection of eco-friendly bags to be presented on Feb. 24 at the Senato Hotel Milano.
Officina del Poggio was established in 2014 by Allison Hoeltzel, who relocated from Texas to Bologna, Italy, during her MBA at the Southern Methodist University to do an internship at the local Opera House. Falling in love with the Italian culture and lifestyle, she decided to settle down in the European country where she built a professional career in fashion by developing and managing product lines for international brands, including Stuart Weitzman, Sonia Rykiel and Alfred Dunhill.
For this collection, Hoeltzel and Muse reworked some of the brand’s iconic bags, including the Mini Safari, featuring a special construction where a wooden form is wrapped with sustainable leather and fabric, the Bici Bag, inspired by bicycle tool kits, as well as the Toscano Clutch.
“Arizona has prompted us to ask more questions about the provenance of the materials we use, and guided us to investigate and source sustainable materials to substitute existing ones, such as finding a new velvet fabric, which not only uses organic cotton but is organically dyed in a method that limits environmental pollution,” said Hoeltzel, highlighting that they were supported in the research of sustainable materials by London-based nonprofit organization The Sustainable Angle. “The beauty of this collaboration is that this research, knowledge and use of materials won’t stop after this capsule. We plan to continue to apply this criteria and knowledge in future material research, and many of these materials can continue to be used throughout future collections.”
Along with the mentioned velvet, the collection includes designs manufactured from synthetic leather realized using 100 percent traceable recycled polyester, as well as vegetal-tanned Tuscan leather.
“I already appreciated Officina Del Poggio’s ethos and approach to bag-making, with their timeless styles and a focus on fine materials and constructions, making the bags pieces which will last a lifetime and already a first step in the right direction. We just took it one step further, finding new materials that were more sustainable, without altering the quality or aesthetic of the product,” Muse said. “My goal is to help fashion brands understand that they can approach the process of becoming more sustainable through successive steps, which is more feasible and less-intimidating. Through these small steps, we can make a big impact.”
The capsule collection retail from 595 euros to 1,195 euros — A.T.
“Mila is back” is the claim that Japanese company Itochu chose to announce the relaunch of the Milan-based luxury label Mila Schön.
Established by the namesake Dalmatian designer in 1965 with a runway show at the legendary Sala Bianca of Palazzo Pitti in Florence, the label built a name for itself with its forward-thinking modernism, which attracted a lot of celebrities in the Sixties, including the late Lee Radziwill. She wore the brand on several special occasions, including the famed 1966’s Black and White Ball, which she attended with Truman Capote.
In 1992, Schön sold her business with the Mila Schön trademark to Itochu, and in 1999, the Japanese company transferred the label’s Italian business to the Mariella Burani Group while keeping the brand’s trademark. Schön passed away in 2008, just before the inauguration of a retrospective dedicated to her fashion career hosted at Milan’s Palazzo Reale. From 2018, the brand is once again under Itochu’s watch.
“We consider this new phase as the repositioning of the Mila Schön brand in the market in order to “rediscover” the origins of Mila Schön’s style, which had a first great success in the Sixties,’’ said Itochu Italiana SpA president Hiroaki Kikukawa. “Our strategy for this operation in Italy is to clarify the concept of the brand’s style, which should be recognizable and also clarify its target in the market.”
To execute this strategy, Itochu has tapped Gunn Johansson, former designer at Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Agnona, as the creative director of the brand.
“We would like to reestablish the sharpness and elegance of Mila Schön’s DNA from the Sixties, taking the heritage and making it into modern clothing of today’s woman. Our fame has always been linked to double-faced fabrics and we will stay true to this form and workmanship,” said Johansson, who will present her debuting collection for Mila Schön with a presentation on Feb. 20 at the brand’s Milanese showroom on Via Montebello. “Made in Italy is important for us, it’s crucial to continue working with a fantastic tradition of tailoring and workmanship of artisans that have created Mila Schön’s collections since the beginning. Our collection starts with a few key items and will evolve into a complete wardrobe with time. Dresses and knitwear will be categories we will also concentrate on for the future.”
The Mila Schön brand is returning to the market with a cohesive, restrained collection based on the idea of timeless luxurious essentials.
The lineup’s core consists of four coats cut in different shapes. The “La Scala Coat” is an oversize kimono coat infused with effortless elegance — “that looks good over a smart dress as over a chunky sweater with jeans,” said Johansson; the “City Coat” is a feminine elegant shape with gold metallic buttons injected with a Sixties’ flair; the “Milano Coat” is a daily belted style, while the “Robe Coat” is a design to be wrapped around the body for a warm and soft look. The collection also includes a double-breasted jacket crafted from cashmere or a wool-cashmere blend in ten colors, as well as a skirt in three different lengths, fine knits and some heavier sweaters with a sporty feel. Completing the lineup, intarsia dresses are crafted from printed and double-faced silks.
Wool and cashmere jackets and coats retail from 1,400 euros to 1,700 euros, while pure cashmere outerwear styles go from 2,700 euros to 3,500 euros. The cashmere knits range from 550 euros to 1,200 euros.
“Top 10 customers in Italy and one in each European capital” is the distribution goal set by Kikukawa for the first season. “For the rest of the world, basically one store for each country, starting with Moscow and New York. We don’t plan a direct e-commerce at the moment,” he added. — A.T.
Carlotta Canepa’s decision to embark on a solo project and launch her namesake collection three years ago was triggered by her family’s textile business, which is specialized in the production of silk fabrics for luxury fashion houses.
“I learned rapidly to put into practice the expertise of recognizing the quality of a fabric and harmonizing silhouettes while injecting vigor and elegance,” Canepa explained.
“I felt it was time for me to create my own label and be able to express my philosophy, focusing on premium fabrics, Made in Italy, ethics and sustainability,” she added.
Sustainability is also one of her family business’ pillars as the company — based on the Lake Como — has patented the Canepa Kitotex SavetheWater process, which avoids microplastics and reduces water and energy consumption, by 90 percent and 40 percent, respectively.
“I believe that today the sensibility toward sustainability is huge. It’s urgent to safeguard the planet, which is hosting us. A ‘clean’ way of doing fashion is a quality that speaks for itself. I want to offer ethic fashion, and respectful, too, because ‘there is no planet B,’” she contended.
Drawing inspiration from the arts and blending in references from different cultures, Canepa described her clothes as a “textile métissage.” She has cemented her vision with sharp and chic silhouettes that spotlight the preciousness of fabrics, often punctuated with retro prints.
Case in point: For fall, Canepa said she was thinking about the Sixties and developed a lineup of wardrobe staples with generous shapes. Fluid overcoats, high-waisted skirts with side pockets and silk shirts bear geometric designs juxtaposed with colorful prints of the magnolia tree and ikat motifs, infusing a certain exoticism to the clothes.
The designer will present her sixth collection supported by the local fashion chamber on central Via Gesù.
Described by Canepa as a premium contemporary collection, her designs are available in a number of Italian stores such as Wait and See in Milan; Pandemonium in Rome, and San Carlo in Turin, as well as at international doors, including Amsterdam-based Pauw; Istanbul’s Luxury Department Store, and Dantendorfer in Wien. “We’re still small, but we’re growing,” Canepa said. — Martino Carrera
Luxury footwear label Sartore is relaunching following the closing of a new distribution agreement with its longtime manufacturing partner Vittorio Virgili Srl.
The brand, which was founded in the early Sixties by Paul Sartore and is now controlled by his daughters Catherine and Françoise Sartore, reached a peak in its popularity in the Nineties when it was sold in the best stores in the world.
“We have been producing this brand since 2004 and our family established a great relationship with the Sartore family since we share the same values,” said Vittorio Virgili chief executive officer Monica Virgili. “Over the past four years, the brand actually lost visibility and the business had a significant slowdown. Since we strongly believe in the potential of Sartore and Catherine and Françoise trust us, we decided to start handling the distribution in order to return the brand to its splendor.”
Starting from this fall season, Sartore, which is known for its artisanal equestrian boots and the Western booties showing the iconic flame intarsia, will present and sell its collections in both the brand’s Milanese showroom and in the Fo.ri multibrand showroom in New York.
In keeping with the tradition of the label, the fall 2019 collection features two different product ranges. Texane, which accounts for about 70 percent of Sartore’s total business, includes different variations of the westerns boots rendered in a wide range of leathers, which are treated with vegetable dyes to obtain special 3-D effects.
The other range, named Faubourg from the brand’s boutique located on Paris’ Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, consists of riding boots, loafers and brogues with chunky soles.
According to Virgili, Sartore, which is available in 150 stores around the world, including Le Bon Marché a Parigi, Giò Moretti in Milan, Barneys in New York and Isetan in Tokyo, aims to be distributed in between 200 and 250 boutiques by 2020, when the company also plans to introduce men’s collections.
“The goal is to significantly expand our presence outside our biggest markets, which are France and Japan, accounting for 40 percent and 30 percent of our total business, respectively,” Virgili said.
Sartore footwear collections retail from 700 euros to 1,100 euros. — A.T.