Marco de Vincenzo Talks LVMH, Independence, and Commercial Success-------
Marco de Vincenzo: If you don’t know his name, you’d better learn it fast. The Italian up-and-comer, who has worked with Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi on the Fendi collection since 2000, recently secured financial backing from LVMH. LVMH has proven to be a strong supporter of fashion’s new guard—what with the creation its Young Fashion Designer Prize as well as its investment in Nicholas Kirkwood and J.W. Anderson—and bought a minority stake of De Vincenzo’s eponymous brand last month. Ever quick to the draw, Moda Operandi’s Indre Rockefeller has already scooped up the designer’s tactile, kaleidoscopic Fall ’14, and is offering it for pre-sale via an online trunk show, which runs through March 20. “I think he is an innovator,” Rockefeller told Style.com. “There are a number of designers who are doing beautiful things, but whenever I see Marco’s collections, it feels like he’s marching to the beat of his own drum,” she explained. “When you look at his use of color, texture, and print, it almost feels like he’s operating in another dimension. His Fall collection popped right off the runway, and for our purposes, it will pop right off the page as well.” That’s some high praise from a major retailer. “This was a very special season for me,” relayed De Vincenzo, who describes his woman as daring, classical, and hypnotic. “The timetable for a trunk show of this level is perfect because it’s so close to the show—the energy is still there,” he said of the Moda Operandi event. Here, De Vincenzo speaks with Style.com about LVMH, working with Silvia and Karl, and his plans for the future.
How has your role at Fendi influenced your design aesthetic? And what have you learned from Silvia and Karl?
When I started working at Fendi, I was a young boy. I owe all I know about this job to the opportunity I’ve had to observe and work with those two very important people—Silvia and Karl. I learned what it means to be free and to constantly want to reach my own goals and to create new ones. Working on bags together with Silvia gave me the opportunity to completely understand the balance that transforms a beautiful object into a big commercial success. I consider myself very lucky to have built my knowledge in such a context.
Did your role as a consultant at Fendi help facilitate LVMH’s investment in your brand?
Of course. Through Fendi, LVMH has had the time and opportunity to get to know me both as a creative and as a person. I love my job more than anything, and because of that, I dedicate most of my time to it. I believe that this dedication has been understood and appreciated.
Why did you feel it was the right move to sell a minority stake of your business to LVMH?
Being an independent designer is not easy. You can be noticed and arouse interest in people, but there’s a moment when you can’t satisfy what the fashion industry expects from season to season by yourself. You need to create and experiment, and you need money to do so. Furthermore, if you don’t have enough resources and a good team working with you, it’s hard to guarantee high quality concerning production and distribution. LVMH is giving me the possibility to grow.
We’ve seen big fashion companies investing in several emerging and independent designers in the last couple of years. What are your thoughts on this? And how do you think it will affect the fashion industry and help it evolve?
I think that all this can facilitate a real generational turnover—not only via hiring talented designers to reshape established brands, but also by helping new names. It’s very natural to invest in the future of fashion because nothing lasts forever, and innovation is essential in every creative field.
What are your plans now that LVMH has invested?
From now on the game will become more serious. This does not mean that my last years of work were a game, but it’s true that more resources, together with a strong, pure, and creative vision, can make miracles. My business is becoming more definite.
Can you tell us about your aesthetic? What excites and inspires you?
I leave instinct to guide me without any limits. My aesthetic varies—it’s a harmony between very different themes. Optical illusions, kinetic art, and visual and tactile 3-D concepts are some of my starting points, together with the idea of being well dressed, and typically Italian.
What would you like to see change in the fashion industry?
Unfortunately, I know a lot of very talented designers who had to give up their projects because they were alone and were not accepted by the fashion industry. This must be avoided. A substantial project always needs a group of different [supporters and creatives] to be built. In my opinion, it’s very important to have a good team working together.