The Italian Trade Agency is bringing 60 of the chicest Italian brands to Coterie, New York’s premier trade show at the Javits Center from February 11-13. This season, Coterie overlaps with New York Fashion Week, giving fashion insiders an exclusive chance to see the best Italy has to offer. As the show gets closer, The Daily is giving you a leg-up on some of the must-know labels you can’t miss.
Luciana Fazio, Founder/Designer
How would you describe Ama Pure’s look?
Sophisticated, refined, elegant, trendy, and original. It’s based on exceptional high quality—pure ultralight cashmere and super soft merino wool—for people who demand the best unique pieces.
What was your first experience in the industry?
I grew up among yarn cones and knitting machines.
Is there anything new you’re introducing this season?
Ultralight cashmere knitwear and cashmere slippers for both home and travel.
Who are your role models in fashion?
Brunello Cucinelli as a designer, and the way he uses nature and art as inspiration.
What’s your favorite classic Italian movie?
La Dolce Vita, by Federico Fellini.
What’s on your list of things to see while you’re in New York?
Ground Zero, Soho, and a Broadway musical.
Outside of Italy, where is your brand sold?
Europe, the Caribbean islands, the U.S., Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Qatar, Kuwait, and Australia.
Where do you hope to expand to next?
Canada and South America.
How will you spend your time on the plane to NYC?
In your opinion, what Italian city should Americans visit?
All Americans should come to Florence and Rome. I’d also suggest Milan, Venice, Verona, and Mantova. They are all different and all special for culture and history, and therefore for style.
BEBA GIOIELLI BIJOUX
Beatrice Filippini, Owner/Designer
How would you describe your brand?
It’s a small but unique jewelry and accessories brand. The concept of my jewels is to have two different-shaped metal sheets that are combined to give life to a 3-D jewel. I would say that my style is precise, clean, and elegant. The themes are fanciful and fun.
Why did you want to work in fashion?
I’ve always had an inclination for art. I studied at the Art Institute of Florence, and after some years of practice I opened my goldsmith’s workshop. But over the years I felt the need to create something new and to work with other metals. That’s how Beba was born.
What designers do you look up to?
Coco Chanel. She was a strong, independent woman with a lot of talent, who was really innovative for the time. Sometimes I feel like her. My jewels are unusual and new in the eyes of many people, who are not used to seeing these designs.
How would you describe your role?
I was born as a craftsman, and I’ve always wanted to respect my past. My attention to detail comes from my experience as a goldsmith. A craftsman is someone who takes care in every aspect of the object, from the idea to the finished product. I’m the owner of my brand, but I also take care of the technical and creative parts. I start from an idea, develop it, and realize it.
Are you a film fan?
I love the great classics of cinema. I have a collection dedicated to them—the Coups de Cinéma. Each piece represents a scene of many of my favorite films —Roman Holiday, La Dolce Vita, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
What’s on your list of things to do and see while you’re in New York?
I want to explore the city and see as many things as I can! I’ll go to Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the top of the Empire State Building, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art!
How do you fare on long flights?
I love flying. It’s one of the few moments when my phone is off and I can relax. However, as a creative person even in my free moments I think about my new collections. I create, I draw.
What’s your favorite Italian city?
Florence will always be in my heart! It’s small but rich in art, culture, architecture, and food. This city leaves you breathless. Also, it’s the only city that has a Beba flagship store!
Lisaurora Fabrizi, Creative Director/Owner
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Dreamy. Every time I start to design a new collection I try to imagine why people need my bags—their special moments.
What’s your top item?
The Morgana bag is our best-selling piece and most valuable bag. We need a lot of hours to make it. It is totally handcrafted.
How did you launch your career?
Actually, it was casual. I entered a fashion contest and won. That was the beginning of everything.
Is your brand eco-friendly?
Yes. We try to be sustainable by creating a 100 percent sustainable bag. The exterior is made with a textile that comes from maize, and all the details, like leather and padding, are recycled.
What is a quote you live by?
“Fashion fades, style is eternal”—Yves Saint Laurent; and “I don’t design clothes. I design dreams”—Ralph Lauren. I totally try to follow these two rules every time I create something.
Are there any celebrities whose style you love?
One of my favorites of the moment is Margot Robbie. I find her style interesting, along with Zendaya. I also love Margherita Buy and Vittoria Puccini.
How would you describe Italian fashion or style?
Italian style is about elegance and quality.
What do you love about New York?
I always love to get lost in Central Park and to walk around without a real plan, just to try to understand what people are like. And visit a museum, of course.
Have any book recommendations?
The last book I read is André Aciman’s Find Me.
PAS DE ROUGE
Stefano Zampieri, Co-owner
What is your brand’s mission?
The most important thing for us is to match the design with comfort, and to address the various occasions of modern women. Design without functionality is useless. We want to design objects that fit and that carry women in their everyday life.
What drives you, creatively?
We get inspiration mostly from the past, trying to give our creations a sort of “French allure,” even if we are 100 percent Italian. Also, our past and our Italian story and culture are important. Especially what we can take from the long history of our beautiful city, Venice! We try to incorporate past and present trends into one.
Tell us about the history of your brand!
My grandfather opened the company’s first men’s shoe factory after World War II. My father and my uncles worked in it since they were children. In the ’80s, my father opened a second factory for women’s shoes, and here we are. Our area is known as one of the best for shoemaking. Since the Republic of Venice, we have a long story of shoe manufacturing, and now almost all the best high-end brands have a factory or they produce part of their products here.
What goes into making a Pas de Rouge shoe?
An original ensemble where the elements of classic shoemaking coexist with the latest generation of high-tech materials. After being carefully cut and perfectly shaped, the lining and the insole are sewn one by one, to create a sack. As when making a tailor-made suit, the different layers are stretched and accompanied during the whole sewing phase. This results in a flexible architecture that underlines the hides’ natural qualities of softness and resistance. This is the secret of our fit, which supports and welcomes the foot, step after step.
What’s your favorite Italian film?
I love Mediterraneo, by Gabriele Salvatores.
Silvia Gandolfi, President/Co-owner
What sets your brand apart?
Our style is feminine and elegant. Each of our creations has a strong personality and great appeal.
What is your signature piece?
Last season’s capsule, named “La Boule,” is our brand’s signature. It’s born to break away from the rigor of accessories. Its distinctive feature is a string of spheres, giving life to jeweled handless.
How long have you been in business?
We are the third generation. The passion, determination, style, and art of making quality bags was passed from our grandmother to our mother, and then to us.
What inspires you?
Regular people, nature, sensations, and especially our customers.
What sets Italian style apart?
Fashion in recent years has been uniform in the world in terms of taste. Italian style is certainly the most recognizable for materials, colors, style, and manufacturing.
How do you entertain yourself when traveling?
I usually read a book, listen to music, and watch some movies.
Tell us about your home city, Bologna.
It’s a beautiful medieval city with ancient towers, including the famous Two Towers, Asinelli and Garisenda. It hosts the oldest university in the world, has more than 23 miles of unique arcades, and has the sanctuary of San Luca overlooking the city. There are also many churches, ancient historic buildings, Piazza Maggiore, the Fountain of Neptune, the stock exchange room with archaeological excavations, and the window of Via Piella, which overlooks the canal of the mills. And then there is the Bolognese nightlife with a lot of clubs, restaurants, wine bars, and more. Bolognese cuisine is the best.
Alberto Vanuzzo, Marketing Manager
Tell us about your brand’s aesthetic!
Suprema is a brand focused on luxury outerwear. The contemporary design is linked with our expert craftsmanship, creating luxury garments that are also easy to wear.
What is Suprema known for?
Our collection ranges from leather to cashmere and shearling coats. Our signature is reversibility. It’s a feature of almost all Suprema pieces.
Are there any new categories you’re introducing this season?
This is the first season of SUPREMA UOMO, our first menswear collection, launching in Fall 2020.
Where can we find Suprema?
Suprema has a worldwide distribution in high-level multi-brand stores all over the world.
Where do you hope to expand to next?
Asia and the Middle East.
How would you describe Twinset’s customer?
A contemporary woman with a bohemian and new romantic style, and a dynamic and feminine soul. We create clothes for women who want to be different and who love beautiful things. We believe the fabulous complexity of a woman must be celebrated, not hidden. We want to provide a second skin of trust for every moment of daily life.
How does the team accomplish this?
We work in a democratic way, creating fashion collections with modern clothes in line with trends and with comfortable fits, accessible for every woman.
Outside of Italy, what fashion scene are you interested in?
I believe that Great Britain has been an important source of inspiration with big photographers, models, stylists, and publishers who have become famous in the United States and around the world.
How would you describe Italian style?
It has always stood out for quality, research, culture, and harmony. For this reason, we have always managed to stand out all over the world.
Are you a film buff?
My favorites are the Oscar-winning movies of Vittorio De Sica.
What restaurant do you want to hit up while you’re in the Big Apple?
Grand Central Oyster Bar.
What Italian cities should Americans visit?
Rome for history, Venice for its uniqueness, Bologna for food, Genoa and Napoli for perfumes and colors, and of course Milan for fashion!
DE SANTIS by MARTIN ALVAREZ
Carmine De Santis and Bladimir Martin Alvarez, Designers
How important is quality to your brand?
Each garment is guaranteed to be entirely made in Italy using the best fabrics and the best craftsman in order to offer a superior quality product, starting from the carefully selected raw materials, respecting the traditions of Italian high tailoring.
What’s new this season?
The launch of the deconstructed evening gown, and our Fall 2019 collection with an anti-waste concept at its core. Dresses and outerwear are made with a draping technique that uses only one piece of fabric, without the normal waste that comes from cutting.
Cool! What are the dresses made of?
Swishy silk, cady, fine Tasmanian wool, waterproof and performance fabrics. They all create evening gowns with thin straps, rich caftans, elegant kimonos, and cape coats. Perfect for a gala, as well as for daytime, thanks to clever zips.
Sum up your aesthetic for us.
A contemporary idea of femininity, with timeless class.
How would you describe Italian fashion?
Sophisticated and contemporary with a careful use of tailoring.
How would you describe Italian craftsmanship?
Our sartorial artistry combines the modern review of classic with unconventional interpretations, leading to unexpected forms.
Outside of Italy, where is your brand sold?
China, Russia, and the Middle East.
Make sure to pick up your free copy of The Daily Front Row outside all the major shows or read the full issue below.