3 posts tagged "Federico Marchetti"
The impressive second-quarter results posted recently by the Yoox Group, Italy’s e-commerce giant, was further proof that the future of high fashion lies online. But can CEO Federico Marchetti (left) work the same magic with fine art? It has been on his mind since he launched Yoox fourteen years ago. “I’ve always had the notion of the one-stop shop, with a mixture of modern and vintage, clothes and furniture,” he says. “The art component is the one that closes the circle.”
Marchetti tested the waters last October with Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry, and the first-ever edition by Italy’s top Pop artist Francesco Vezzoli. “He did it to help earthquake relief in Emilia-Romagna, where I’m from,” explains Marchetti. “We did an edition of 399 priced at 399 euros, dollars, or pounds.” Yoox is now providing corporate sponsorship for Vezzoli’s Trinity, a series of three exhibitions in three cities, the first in Rome now until November 24, the second opening at New York’s MoMA PS1 in the fall, and the third at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A. in early winter.
But any multimillion-dollar business can cough up sponsorship dollars. It was Padiglione Crepaccio (below), the much humbler Yoox initiative during the opening days of the Venice Biennale, which cast a more interesting light on Marchetti’s intentions in the art world. Curator Caroline Corbetta assembled work by ten Venetian artists under 30—the sort of creative types who are usually overlooked when the Biennale’s grand caravan rolls into town every two years—and exhibited the result in the house where three of them live. (A very nice piece of old Venice it was, too, calculated to make starving artists everywhere else in the world utterly puce with envy.) The twist was that the exhibition preview was online. “Like Saatchi, but in reverse,” says Marchetti. “Everyone else got to see it online before the art-world elite got there.” Which didn’t stop heavy hitters like Vezzoli, Diesel’s Renzo Rosso, and cherished art-world provocateur Maurizio Cattelan (a patron saint to young Italian artists) from showing up in person at the opening.
With his Acne jeans and his Lobb shoes, Marchetti is almost correct when he describes himself as the Yoox customer. And he was setting a good example by shopping for art at Padiglione Crepaccio. (In keeping with the initiative, it was only possible to buy the pieces on the iPads provided, even if you were standing right in front of the art and the artist). Right now, Marchetti is picturing art on Yoox as “something like a TV talent show, 99 percent talent, 1 percent the special X factor.” But going forward, he imagines people picking up “a pair of jeans and a painting” when they visit the site. “It’s part of the plan to make yoox.com a playful lifestyle,” he adds. “But playful in a serious way. It’s not the Amazon approach. We’re serious about collaboration.” Serious enough, in fact, to partner with the legendary photo agency Magnum—its first venture into e-commerce—and Hirst’s publishing company, Other Criteria.
But when Marchetti insists, “Surprise is the beauty of Yoox,” I flip back to the young artists in Venice, in particular a painter called Thomas Braida. With talent like his in the equation, people are going to be picking up way more than one painting with their pair of jeans.
Milan may be known for fashion powerhouses like Prada, Gucci, and Versace, but it seems the city has room for the little guy, too. Since 2011, YOOX Group’s luxury e-boutique, Thecorner.com, and Vogue Italia have been supporting emerging talents through their initiative The Vogue Talents Corner—a project that both highlights up-and-coming designers with an exhibition during Milan fashion week, and helps them build a retail presence by offering their wares on the shopping site. This year, the initiative champions eleven young ready-to-wear and accessories brands from across the globe, like Palmer//Harding (a shirt-centric range by Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding), Kristy Ward (necklace pictured left), Kzeniya (an accessories line by Kzeniya Oudenot, clutch pictured left) Vs2R (a footwear label by Vincenzo Somarrelli, pictured left) and J JS Lee (a ready-to-wear line by Jackie Lee, top pictured left). Each brand will showcase its Fall ’13 collection in an installation at the Palazzo Morando, which opens tonight. “For the most part, it’s instinct. And sometimes it’s simply what we like!” said Yoox.com founder and CEO Federico Marchetti when asked about the selection process. Marchetti explained that he looks for designers who exemplify creativity and innovation, and that this year he was particularly impressed by the group’s focus on craftsmanship and “excellent” materials. Looks from the eleven selected designers’ Spring ’13 collections will be available from today, on www.thecorner.com.
E-commerce site Yoox.com has partnered with countless big-name designers and style icons, ranging from Waris Ahluwalia to Iris Apfel. As of today, the brand is adding art into the fold, launching with over 50 artists as well as some of the world’s most prestigious galleries and museums. “It’s an idea I’ve had for some time now,” Yoox Group founder and CEO Federico Marchetti tells Style.com. “It was only natural our next step would be to focus on art. Additionally, the art world has evolved and buyers are keen to access art online—it’s on their radar now.” As Marchetti describes it, Yoox is offering a one-stop shop for the art-inclined, where you can check the latest art world news, browse through contemporary works, learn about the artists, and buy the pieces.
For the launch, Yoox has exclusive works by two of the art world’s most venerable talents, Grayson Perry and Damien Hirst. Perry, for his part, did a boxed set of table maps (entitled The Vanity of Small Differences). The Hirst contributions are two small-scale versions of his renowned Anatomy of an Angel sculpture. As for who’s up next, Marchetti remains tight-lipped. “We can’t unveil just yet what’s coming next, but rest assured, this is just the beginning of an exciting new adventure into the world of contemporary art,” he says. They also plan on expanding their support of emerging artists in the near future. In the meantime, art aficionados can get in on the action at the Frieze Art Fair in London via Yoox (a supporter of this year’s Frieze Sculpture Park in Regent’s Park). He explains: “Visitors to art at Yoox.com will have the chance to visit the exhibition from anywhere in the world. Thanks to a specially created interactive video tour of the garden, they can stroll though the manicured lawns, stop and walk around each sculpture, and enjoy behind-the-scenes info on the works, all from home, without having to brave the English weather!” And who doesn’t like the sound of that? Style.com has a first look at the work from Perry and Hirst, here. Visit Yoox.com now to get a full look at the new-launched art sector.