Children of famous fashion brands are going their separate ways

MILAN – When Alice Etro was a little girl, she used to spend her after-school hours at school with her father, Kean Etro, creative director of Etro menswear, playing with patterns in the brand’s design studio. fashion that her grandfather is Gimmo. 1968. She creates garments from cuts for her dolls and plays with tubes from rolls of fabric.

“I love them all,” she said. She recalls the thrill of attending a runway show, and walking alone with her parents. “I wanted to be him,” she added, of her designer dad. The expectation was that she would follow in his footsteps and join the family business, just as he and his three siblings had followed in their parents’ footsteps. Indeed, it has become the standard during many long-standing Italian fashion dynasties.

Matteo Persivale, special correspondent for the Corriere della Sera newspaper, says there is an idiom in Italian – “capitalismo familyiare” or capitalist family – that denotes the passing of a private company from generation to generation. another generation. For decades it has been the norm in fashion, where stewardship of brands is passed down like a well-kept saffron risotto recipe or a chalet in Cortina.

For example, Angela, Luca and Vittorio Missoni have taken over ownership of their parents, Rosita and Ottavio, the founders of Missoni. Silvia Fendi is Fendi’s third generation, working in the company that Adele and Edoardo founded in 1925, (and her daughter, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, is now jewelry art director). James Ferragamo, the third generation descendant of Salvatore Ferragamo, the founder of Ferragamo, is the director of brand, product and communications at the family company. And one of the fourth generation of Zegnas, Edoardo Zegna, is in the process of taking over the brand, created in 1910 by Ermenegildo Zegna.

Laudomia Pucci, Emilio Pucci’s daughter, says that even when she was working for Hubert de Givenchy in the late 1980s in Paris, he always told her, “You’ll be back home soon. to take over your father’s business”. In 1989, she did the same and described the family company’s presumptive concept of a fireplace as “quite ordinary and organic”.

But the combination of the globalization of the luxury goods industry, which has led many family-owned companies to sell ownership shares to corporations or become publicly listed entities to survive, and the fading of boundaries between all creative fields, changed the story.

Increasingly, the next generation of large families of the luxury world – often referred to as “figli d’arte”, a term that refers to a child inheriting a parent’s occupation, often in the arts. – are looking beyond their ancestors, applying what they learned while growing up in one creative field to work in another.

For example, Ms. Etro, 34, studied fashion design at the Istituto Marangoni, one of the top fashion schools in Milan, and spent about 10 years at another family-run apparel and textile company. manager, Larusmiani (where her uncle Guglielmo Miani is chief executive officer). ).

But in 2019, instead of joining Etro as she had imagined, Ms. Etro became creative director of Westwing Italia, one of 11 national websites run by a local e-commerce retailer. European Furniture, which offers daily newsletters that offer a world of in-house shopping from linens to crockery.

“I prefer mass to niche,” Ms. Etro said. “Luxury should be for everyone. It doesn’t have to be expensive and out of reach.” She continued to support her decision to branch out, noting that those were moments like the ones she spent as a child in her grandmother Ghighi’s atmospheric Milanese home Miani, with its maximal interior, may have inspired her the most in the end.

Alessandro Marinella, 27, the fourth-generation member of the family that founded E. Marinella, the Neapolitan company known for making silk ties with President Barack Obama’s image on them, not only helping the brand expand in the field. digital, but also focuses on something he traditionally considers as luxuries as antiques: food.

In 2019, Mr. Marinella co-founded Marchio Verificato, a company that produces, certifies and supplies specialty Italian foods. The company not only distributes some of the main Italian produce to shops and restaurants, but also cultivates the crops in the traditional way: For example, their Vesuvio Piennolo tomatoes are grown on volcanic soil and then later grown. strung on hemp, tied in circles, and kept dry for months. .

“Eating well is important, but where and how also signifies a kind of social status,” Mr. Marinella said.

So does technology, according to Francesca Versace, 39, daughter of Santo Versace, brother of Donatella and brand founder Gianni. As a result, she traded her ownership of ready-to-wear clothing for the chance to start an NFT business.

“My love for fashion will never falter; it’s in my heart,” she said of her family’s achievements. But she believes fervor has changed.

“My instincts tell me it’s time to move into a new space,” she said, referring to the metaverse. “It’s more of a cultural change than a technological one.”

Later this spring, she and her partners plan to announce Public Pressure, an NFT marketplace with an in-house NFT creative studio to help musicians, brands and studios brainstorm ideas for NFT campaigns. Enterprise – founded by Mrs. Versace; Giulia Maresca, former designer for Christian Louboutin and Tod’s; Sergio Mottola, a blockchain entrepreneur; and Alfredo Violante, a music industry insider – plan to recreate the Versace razzmatazz she remembers from her family’s fashion shows, but in the digital space.

Similarly, Larissa Castellano Pucci, 34, daughter of Laudomia and niece of Emilio, believes the future is virtual. She studied information science at Cornell University and worked as a 3-D artist for Satore Studio, a London-based creative agency, rather than join the family brand (in any case, LVMH Moët Hennessy). Louis Vuitton acquired in 2000). And in January, Ms. Pucci released her first collection on DressX, a digital-only clothing retail platform.

Called Marea, the collection features shimmering garments like fish scales, undulating algae trim and gowns produced from digital minute scalloped shells. Now, it is set to be part of Crypto Fashion Week, a week-long event in March dedicated to blockchain-powered digital fashion.

“It’s rare that someone so young can be so creative with braised meat,” says Pucci of the appeal of working with DressX, rather than a traditional tailor. In the real world, it’s “virtually impossible to create something completely new as a young designer,” as cost and small production get in the way.

This spring FouLara, Miss Pucci’s scarf brand, plans to launch an NFT molding service to allow users to design and mold custom NFT prints.

Laudomia Pucci said she’s glad Larissa is trying something that resonates with her and her generation – and she believes Emilio Pucci will love it too. “It needs to be in Italy,” she said. “We must look ahead, not just to our great past.”

Her daughter agreed. “If you come from too many backgrounds, you can either follow in the footsteps or try to create your own identity,” says Pucci. “Otherwise, it’s overbearing. I can only re-imagine my legacy; I can’t get rid of it”. Children of famous fashion brands are going their separate ways

Fry Electronics Team

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