Often, the road to fashion takes some unexpected turns. Here are some brands that have made the journey, showing at Super, White, Milano Prêt-à-Porter and Mipel.
This story first appeared in the July 24, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Designer: Francesca Cremonesi
Backstory: Born in Lodi, Lombardy, in 1979, Cremonesi was working at her family’s real estate company when, at 28, she decided to go back to school to study fashion design. After graduating from the prestigious Milanese Istituto Marangoni, she launched her own label, reworking traditional men’s suits for elegant and sophisticated women.
“My goal is to make women look beautiful by [raising] their femininity through sartorial cuts, fabrics and details stolen from the male wardrobe, for a rigorous yet intriguing look.”
For spring: Cremonesi designed a summery, ironic lineup that includes seersucker suits embellished with flowers, deconstructed jackets, elongated vests and sexy tuxedos. Suits average $395 wholesale.
Showing at: Super.
Label: MPJ — My Pair of Jeans
Founder: Marcello Pezzoli
Backstory: While working at his family’s Stamperia Pezzoli, a company established in 1976 and specialized in printing cotton fabrics, Marcello Pezzoli decided to expand the firm’s business. Using Stamperia Pezzoli’s expertise, he started creating unconventional denim fabrics finished with special treatments, which he used to create the first MPJ jeans collection.
For spring: The lineup includes skinny jeans and a pair of shorts, which are available in a wide range of denim fabrics, including allover floral motifs, boyish checkered patterns, bandana prints and Arabian graphics.
The collection, which ranges from $66 to $106 wholesale, also features high-tech denim fabrics, like one treated with a crystal powder mixed with a special paste for a shimmering effect, as well as an iridescent style covered with an amalgam reflecting the rays of light.
Showing at: White.
Label: Maria Lamanna
Designer: Maria Lamanna
Backstory: Maria Lamanna’s career in fashion wasn’t intentional — and like many, it was born from frustration. When her own quest for the perfect bag in stores proved fruitless, she decided to design her ideal purse and asked some artisans to execute the design. Instead of making just one sample, they made five, which Lammana quickly sold, and in June, she was honored at the Independent Handbag Designer Awards for Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design.
For spring: In keeping with her rock ’n’ roll attitude, Lamanna drew on American style for a collection of three models — a clutch, a small handbag and a tote — embellished with long, distressed tassels. Wholesale prices range from $160 for a leather clutch to $495 for a ponyskin tote.
Showing at: Mipel.
Designer: Taku Yamamoto
Backstory: A graduate of prestigious fashion school Esmod in Osaka, Japan, Yamamoto launched the Fihi brand before setting up his Talk City company in 2011. His Taku label launched in April 2012, and Yamamoto opened a pop-up shop at Daimaru department store in Osaka.
For spring: Aiming to design what he called “clothes that connect the heart and the body,” Yamamoto delivered a collection of 40 wearable women’s pieces, entirely manufactured in Japan. The lineup includes a silk and cotton cropped checkered jacket, a clean boatneck silk satin top, an organic cotton men’s-inspired shirt, and silk satin high-waisted pleated pants, wholesaling from $180 to $900.
Showing at: Milano Prêt-à-Porter.