alberta goes to hollywood-------
Alberta Ferretti‘s dresses have been making regular appearances on the red carpet for a while now, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that the designer has chosen to make Hollywood the home of her brand’s first-ever freestanding store in the United States. The Alberta Ferretti flagship on Melrose Avenue opened officially last week, and with its debut introduced the new store-design concept for Alberta Ferretti that the designer co-conceived with London-based Sybarite Architects. A sure-to-be-starry opening party for the boutique is planned for November; in the meantime, Ferretti talked to Style.com about setting up camp in the City of Angels.
The Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti store in New York City has been open for several years now. Why wait so long to open a U.S. shop for your primary line?
I make decisions when I believe in the product or project and I am ready to put my name and energy into it. This decision process is not limited to my designs, but also to my business strategy. As a fashion designer with boutiques in many international cities such as Paris, Milan, and Istanbul, I have many global commitments. It’s not until recently that I felt I had the time and conviction to open an Alberta Ferretti flagship boutique in the United States.
Given that you’ve had the Philosophy presence in New York and even show that collection on the New York runway, what made you decide to open Alberta Ferretti in L.A.?
Oh, a multitude of reasons: the mood of my current collections, my success on the red carpet…I opened the Philosophy store in Soho when I found the right location and when I felt that the brand had a correspondence with the city. Similarly, West Hollywood and, more specifically, Melrose Avenue felt like the appropriate place to experiment with the new concept of my boutique design.
What inspired the new concept?
I am convinced of the necessity to change with the times, especially when change means the evolution of a story. In this case, I felt the necessity to modernize the relationship between my fashion and the woman who inspires my collections—the customer I envision wearing my designs. As I orient my fashion towards a strong and contemporary woman, I felt the need to reflect this evolution in the architecture and interior design of my boutique.
More and more of the customers wearing your designs seem to be actresses—as you say, Alberta Ferretti has been having a lot of success on the red carpet lately. Do you feel like your brand is having a moment?
If I am having a moment, it is because I have surrounded myself with a team that helps me sense the signals from the real world. The first work of a fashion designer is to develop his or her sensibility, but it’s important to tune into the changes in the culture as well, and reflect those shifts through fashion. If I succeed, it’s because I have succeeded in my cultural study.
Do you find much to study in L.A.? Does the city inspire you?
It’s a city I love for its extraordinary diversity and its passion for the cinema, an art that I adore. As compared with European cities—but also compared with the U.S. cities—Los Angeles give me an irreplaceable energy recharge. I adore Manhattan, obviously, especially for its efficiency and quickness. There are many other U.S. cities that I enjoy for their various and always interesting features, but Los Angeles, for me, is a place full of extraordinary imaginations that are not afraid to dream big.