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6 posts tagged "Marco de Vincenzo"

Marco de Vincenzo Talks LVMH, Independence, and Commercial Success

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Marco de Vincenzo

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.

Marco de Vincenzo

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.

Photo: Getty Images; Courtesy of Moda Operandi

LVMH Invests in Marco de Vincenzo

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marco de vincenzoRoman designer Marco de Vincenzo just got the LVMH bump. Today, WWD revealed that the fashion corporation has struck a deal with the on-the-rise talent and acquired a “significant” minority stake in his signature line. De Vincenzo, who sent his Fall ’14 collection down the runway in Milan yesterday, also has ties to LVMH-owned house Fendi, where he has been working with Silvia Venturini Fendi on the label’s accessories collection since 2000. Reports say that he will continue to consult on the brand.

De Vincenzo is the fourth up-and-comer in whom LVMH has recently invested—Nicholas Kirkwood, J.W. Anderson, and Maxime Simoens being the other three. Furthermore, LVMH will welcome thirty new rising stars to Paris next week for the first leg of its new LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize. The company’s latest move further proves its commitment to supporting fashion design’s new guard.

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold / IndigitalImages.com

In Milan, Celebrating Who’s On Next

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Francesca Versace—yes, of those Versaces—writes in from her jaunts around Milan fashion week.

Milan may be an ancient and tradition-bound city, but like everywhere else, it’s got an eye out for Who’s On Next. That’s just what was being celebrated at a cocktail party at the magnificent Palazzo Morando yesterday, where the sixth winner of the emerging-designer prize was announced.

Last year’s winner, Marco de Vincenzo, told me that even after winning, the path to success is still long. But that shouldn’t dampen the spirits of this year’s winner, Erkan Çoruh (pictured, with Harper’s Bazaar‘s Sophia Neophitou). It’s hard to imagine anything dampening footwear designer Jerome C. Rousseau’s—he smiles at me and tells me about the twin inspirations for his modern, colorful shoes: Keith Haring and Grace Jones.

Elsewhere, I spot the milliner Justin Smith of J Smith Esq, and Zara Gorman, whose Perspex and leather hats are architecturally inspired. And then there’s my friend Mirco Giovannini, whose dress I’m wearing tonight. Everywhere, the up-and-coming are being celebrated. “Viva i young,” the Moschillo family shouts. My aunt Donatella is a bit more pragmatic. “Bravi,” she told me, “but they still have to sweat.” “Let’s see who survives,” Diego Della Valle added gravely.

But tonight is about congratulations, not predictions of doom. Here’s hoping the spotlight on Milanese design will shine again on Milan as the fashion capital of the world. There’s no place like it—no place like home.

Erkan Coruh Is Who Is On Next

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Three new names to know: Erkan Coruh, Jerome C. Rousseau, and Claudio Montias. The trio of designers—Coruh for ready-to-wear and Rousseau and Montias for accessories—were just named winners of Vogue Italia‘s annual Who Is On Next awards. The victors were announced at Rome’s AltaRomaAltaModa haute couture week, which just kicked off in the Italian capital.

Coruh’s Spring collection, Radical Beauty, took the top prize. Inspired by the work of Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, it charts, in the Turkish designer’s words, the “dramatic journey from the rigid world of Islam to a vision of feminine beauty.” (In practice, that means everything from head-covering tops paired with mini bustle skirts to a patchwork dress fashioned from raw-edged chamois suede—all made in Italy, one of the contest’s prerequisites. A look from his Fall collection, The Women of Allah, is pictured, left.)

The Canadian footwear designer Jerome C. Rousseau and the Argentine footwear designer Claudio Montias shared the second prize. Rousseau said he was inspired by “glam and disco” for his winning collection; he honed his shoe skills working for Matthew Williamson (who knows a thing or two about both), before launching his own brand in London in 2008. (He now sells to Barneys, Dover Street Market, and Harvey Nichols.)

Winning comes with a plum reward—a slot on September’s show calendar at Milan fashion week and a shoot with one of Vogue Italia‘s star photographers. Last year’s winner, ready-to-wear designer Marco de Vincenzo, says the prize made “all the difference” for his fledgling business. His namesake collection now sells to 26 stores worldwide, and in September, his slinky dresses will be available at Paris’ Colette.

Photo: erkancoruh.com

Next Up: Marco De Vincenzo, One To Watch

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The huge machinery that is the Italian luxury fashion and textile industry is facing a threat on three fronts: its own complacency in not developing homegrown talent, the migration of manufacturing to low-cost countries, and now the economic downturn. In a way, though, though, the horrible realization that there’s a perfect storm brewing might be just what’s needed to compel backers and fashion employers to recognize and hire young designers in order to shore up the future.

After winning this year’s Who Is on Next? competition (an initiative set up by Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani), Marco de Vincenzo might be a contender. His debut show in Milan, based on ideas about sportswear and classical Greek draping, looked technically accomplished for a relative beginner. Neoprene strips fused onto stretch tulle in geometric patterns were the main feature of his 35-look collection, a technique he said he’d learned from his day job as a bag designer at Fendi.

But why take the risk of starting his own collection at such a down period? “I’ve been working in this area for nine years, since I graduated from design school,” de Vincenzo explained. “I’ve always had a passion to do ready-to-wear. Last March, I realized I didn’t want to wait any longer.” What’s slowly shifting, he says, is the attitude of factory owners toward independent designers whose orders would once have been turned away on the grounds of being too insignificant with which to bother. Now those companies are actively seeking work to keep themselves busy. Meanwhile, other opportunities are opening up as established design companies look to overhaul their labels by hiring young designers as consultants. De Vincenzo’s progress from here to next season could be worth keeping an eye on.

Photo: Courtesy of Marco De Vincenzo