Missing that annual holiday to Italy this year? Perhaps a stroll into East Hampton boutique Peserico might help quench your thirst. The chic Italian brand has been dressing women for more than 50 years and still stays true to its roots. Director of Sales and East End Marketing Deborah Pirro tells The Daily Summer about its local home and what Peserico has in store this fall.
Tell us a little bit about the incredible history of the brand!
The brand was founded in 1962, by Maria Peserico, in the province of Vicenza, where she specialized in trousers. By 1980, the company moved to a complete prêt-à-porter collection after receiving the Apollo d’Oro award for excellence. Ready-to-wear by Peserico become a sophisticated look comprised of neutral colors and classic Italian styling that continues today. The first Peserico boutique opened in Turin, and other boutiques followed across Italy.
Who runs the company today?
Riccardo Peruffo, Maria’s son, leads this closely held company as CEO and creative director, along with his wife, Paola Gonella. Under Peruffo’s watchful eye, the creative team remains dedicated to design, style, pattern making, and fabric, as the brand reaches global status. His philosophy continues to be aligned with his mother’s, staying true to their Italian roots, artistry, and history. This is the essence of the brand. Attention to detail is paramount for Peruffo and our team, and every team member is considered family. He says that running the business requires company know-how from every employee across the globe. Factories remain in the northern provinces of Italy, as the brand continues to grow across Europe. Presently there are boutiques in China, Germany, Cyprus, Japan, Poland, Russia, South Korea, and the Ukraine.
How has the brand evolved?
Maria Peserico went from designing and manufacturing pants to designing and manufacturing full collections, and S/S 2021 will feature the launch of our men’s collection. Peserico has evolved into a globally recognized brand known for exquisite craftsmanship, attention to detail, and Italian styling. We have increased production and employment, and we continue to produce all product in Italy, allowing economic growth in the provinces of Northern Italy. The brand combines the neutral simple lines inspired by Roman antiquity with modern silhouettes that are functional and wearable for the fast-paced millennium lifestyle.
Who is the Peserico woman?
She is a chic and confident woman. She may be a college student, a mom, a board member, a CEO, a grandmother, an artist, or a traveler. She has an appreciation for both the timeless and trendy. The Peserico woman understands the quality of Italian-made ready-to-wear, and she oftentimes has an effortless approach to dressing.
Peserico has had some creative inspirations over the years. What are some of these inspirations?
Inspiration for S/S 2020 came from the Neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova; F/W 2020’s inspiration is Romeo and Juliet. The original love story was written by Luigi Da Porto, an Italian soldier, and was then turned into a masterpiece by Shakespeare. Legend has it that it took place in Vicenza, on two neighboring hills fighting over the domain of a province. Reminiscent of this era, brocades and luxurious gold fabrics accent harmonious fluid silhouettes. Tailored coats in cashmere/alpaca and virgin wool exude the regal style of the era and the timeless look of the Neoclassical period.
Tell us about the East Hampton store.
Our East Hampton boutique is located at 48 Newtown Lane in a light-filled and organic space. We continually and carefully curate our collections to reflect the most unique representation of the brand. This location was Peserico’s first U.S. location. The collections have been warmly received, and clients enjoy the intimate boutique experience offered in East Hampton. The essence of Peserico is well captured in this small space, where each group and collection is presented in an easily definable way, true to Italian styling, yet unique to the Hamptons client.
What do your East Hampton customers want from Peserico?
The East Hampton customer wants and receives superior customer service, styling, and enjoys the sense of community that emanates from Peserico’s philosophy of family. She appreciates the anonymity of shopping in a small quiet space, offering an organic presentation of the Italian collection. She seeks the best and most unique the brand has to offer. Our store is simple and elegant, and our warm and individual approach to each client has led to incredible loyalty and sales growth at this location.
Peserico is an Italian-based brand. How did the lockdown affect the company?
During the pandemic, our Italian team continued to work from home, meeting remotely to ensure minimal disruption in design and manufacturing. Presently, all the Italian stores are open and all employees are back to work. Italy has overcome much difficulty, but the determination and “in this together” philosophy of the workers there have been an incredible inspiration for our U.S. boutique family. The Italian team has shown incredible support for the U.S. team, and we’re so grateful for their continued support and encouragement.
Are shoppers buying differently this summer?
Definitely. When they first enter they remark that they have nowhere to wear the collection! But as we speak about their families and summer activities, they discover that these designs are timeless and easy to wear. They become excited about the feel of the fabric, the tone, and how the garment makes them feel. They leave our East Hampton boutique excited that they have freshened up their wardrobe. A walk on the beach in a new Peserico linen dress is an emotional lift that is well appreciated during these crazy times. Clients may be purchasing fewer items, however, they are buying a lifestyle that suggests ease, function, and comfort. Some have referenced that visiting our shop has been a mini escape to Italy, a place so many hold dear to their heart.
What are some of your favorite looks from the current collection?
So many faves! F/W 2020 is full of color and texture; there is a richness and warmth. The outerwear is amazing, and the knits blow away anything we’ve ever done. From our fur slippers and long flowing skirts coupled with funnel-necked pale apricot cashmeres to our camel charcoal plaid double-breasted coat, we see a feminine softness paired with the androgyny of these tailored coats/jackets. The off-white and teddy bear brown shearlings are so loved!
Who would be your dream celebrity wearing Peserico?
Great question! Any celeb really, but if I must pick, Amal and George Clooney. After all, our men’s collection is coming soon. Both Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton would wear Peserico beautifully as their sophisticated androgynous looks would suit each perfectly. Italian brands are mainstays for both.
You finally have a men’s line coming next year. What will it look like?
The collection is classic yet modern, a very clean look. It will feature fabulous color and texture for both the professional and casual male. Our female clients and their spouses and boyfriends have asked for years for a men’s collection, and this collection will not disappoint. It truly is outstanding!
How will the brand be moving forward in the future?
Peserico will continue to open additional U.S. boutiques in select markets. We currently have boutiques in Greenwich, Riverside, Palo Alto, Charleston, Naples, and Palm Beach. We have plans to enter the digital sales market as well.