Women have traditionally played a major role on Milan’s fashion scene — think, for example, of Mariuccia Mandelli, Donatella Girombelli, Miuccia Prada, Consuelo Castiglioni, Laura Biagiotti, Rosita and Angela Missoni and Donatella Versace, just to name a few.
Now a new guard of fashion designers, former editors and powerful influencers has emerged. Here, WWD takes a look at their backgrounds and aesthetics.
Designers: Gilda Ambrosio and Giorgia Tordini
Year established: 2016
Aesthetic: Eccentric, flamboyant sensuality
Ethos: “Attico was born from the desire to tell a women’s story developed by women,” said Ambrosio, who is one of Italy’s top influencers, as is Tordini. “Attico is the fruit of the same instinctive approach which also drives the creation of our timeless clothes. We don’t follow specific trends but we try to create a complete world with a precise aesthetic.” Launched as a concise collection of robes, the brand’s lineup currently includes a range of options, from sensual evening gowns to sequined pants worn with wrap tops and a successful range of shoes. “We find inspiration in the vintage world. We like to look at pieces which already had a story and our goal is that our customers consider Attico items as one-of-a-kind objects to collect and keep in their wardrobe forever,” Tordini added.
Distribution: The brand is currently available at 130 retailers and online stores worldwide, including Net-a-porter, Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, Matchesfashion, Tsum, Kirna Zabete, On Pedder, Maxfield, Saks Fifth Avenue, Joyce Hong Kong, Antonia, Mytheresa and Moda Operandi.
Best spring 2018 look: A short-sleeve silk chiffon draped gown worked in an acid-like dégradé color palette of yellow, orange, hot pink and strawberry red.
Brand: Blazé Milano
Designers: Corrada Rodriguez D’Acri, Delfina Pinardi and Maria Sole Torlonia
Year established: 2013
Aesthetic: Sartorial femininity
Ethos: “We wanted to give the women’s blazer the same attention which great tailors give to men’s suits in terms of details, materials and craftsmanship,” said Rodriguez d’Acri, who founded the brand with her friends and former Elle Italia colleagues. The trio of fashion editors helped pioneer the development of mono-product collections, which are now becoming a norm in the fashion world. Inspired by powerful women such as Bianca Jagger, Loulou de la Falaise, Lauren Hutton and Brooke Shields, Blazé focuses on luxury blazers with a chic attitude and in sophisticated color combinations. The brand’s collections also include robes, vests and coats developed with the same sartorial sensibility. Blazé is a play on both the word blazer and the French word for effortless.
Motto: “All you need is a blazer.”
Distribution: Blazé Milano is distributed in 45 international stores, including Moda Operandi, Matchesfashion, Tsum, Lane Crawford Shanghai and Hong Kong, Barneys New York, Le Bon Marché, Alex Eagle, Mytheresa, Boutique 1, Harvey Nichols Doha and Beymen Istanbul.
Best spring 2018 look: A gray-blue double-breasted blazer with a lapel trimmed in green velvet.
Brand: Sara Battaglia
Designer: Sara Battaglia
Year established: 2010
Aesthetic: Feminine and joyful elegance injected with a mannish touch
Ethos: First introduced as a bag line offering chic yet functional styles defined by lively color combinations and graphic details, the Milan-born Sara Battaglia brand introduced ready-to-wear in 2016. Produced by the Mantua-based manufacturing firm Castor, the brand’s collections offer realistic clothes peppered with eye-catching elements, including rainbow-colored embroideries, maxi iridescent sequins and ruffles. Contemporary silhouettes are juxtaposed with Fifties-inspired lines of flared skirts and off-the-shoulder dresses to deliver a wardrobe filled with staples that are worn season after season.
Motto: “Never stop. Be creative.”
Distribution: The brand is sold by leading retailers including Net-a-porter, Matchesfashion, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Forty Five Ten, Blake, La Rinascente, Al Ostoura, Tsum, Beams and Joyce Hong Kong, among others.
Best spring 2018 look: A new take on the classic tea dress, a white-and-pink Vichy frock features a wide collar, tiny buttons punctuating the bodice and a flattering skirt with pockets.
Brand: The Gigi
Designer: Ana Gimeno Brugada
Year established: 2016
Aesthetic: Quirky tomboy chic
Ethos: Barcelona native Gimeno Brugada, who worked next to Dries Van Noten for 15 years, was called by the Boglioli family to launch the women’s division of The Gigi brand. Introduced for the spring season with a garment-dyed capsule of staples, such as shirts, pants, jackets and trenches, The Gigi women’s line stands out with its combination of cool, urban silhouettes and unexpected mixing and matching of colors and prints. Banning skirts and dresses, Gimeno Brugada — who candidly admits that she is “not a designer, but I’m good at customizing styles which find inspiration in vintage archives” — focuses on comfortable pants, boyish shorts, oversized shirts layered under cropped, shrunken knits and outerwear pieces in eye-catching tones.
Motto: “Complex yet simple attitude”
Distribution: Available in about 60 stores globally, The Gigi women’s collections are sold at Joyce Hong Kong, Baby and Company in Seattle, Biffi in Milan and Föger in Austria, among others.
Best spring 2018 look: A pale yellow lacquered trench matched with wide-leg, cuffed purple pants worn with a lilac maxi shirt and a striped purple and rust knit.
Designer: Anna Maria Marino
Year established: 2012
Aesthetic: Spontaneous yet intellectual elegance
Ethos: After many years consulting for leading fashion brands, Marino, who hails from Como and kick-started her career with Remo Ruffini on his New England brand in the Eighties, launched her own line in 2012. “Everything about Jejia is linked with my story and my family,” she said, revealing that Jejia was her mother’s nickname. “I don’t consider trends, I don’t follow current fashion, I just design very versatile clothes for women with a strong attitude and personality.” Infused with a discreet elegance, reflecting the designer’s personality, Jejia offers wearable everyday pieces, all crafted in Italy with high-end fabrics, most of them developed exclusively for the label. A sartorial feel runs the line, where silhouettes are always cut to deliver comfort and even the most feminine pieces, including frilled cotton maxi dresses, are layered over T-shirts and pants.
Motto: “YES to simplicity, NO to fashion addiction”
Distribution: Jejia collections can be purchased in about 90 luxury stores worldwide, including Milaura in Milan, Le Bon Marché and Merci in Paris, and United Arrows in Japan.
Best spring 2018 look: A checkered deconstructed blazer worn with high-cuffed vertical striped pants and a sailor striped T-shirt.