3 posts tagged "No. 21"
Alessandro Dell’Acqua isn’t one to wax nostalgic. “For me, designing is all about a new story and a modern attitude,” the designer said before a cocktail party in honor of his ready-to-wear label, No. 21, at the New York residence of Valentina Castellani on Friday night. The soiree celebrated a new push for the brand, which, founded in 2010, gained financial backing from Gilmar in 2012. And the evolution of his label is evidence that Dell’Acqua’s forward-looking philosophy applies not only to his clothes, but to his life, too. Fall ’14 will bring plenty of new adventures for Dell’Acqua, now 50. He’s launching menswear under the No.21 moniker, as well as presenting his first collection for heritage French house Rochas, where he was appointed creative director in October after Marco Zanini announced that he was leaving to head up Schiaparelli. “I’m not a young designer, so when they called, I said, Are you sure?” Dell’Acqua laughed, noting that other storied houses (like Balenciaga and Loewe) have opted for younger creative directors (like Alexander Wang and Jonathan Anderson, respectively). Sometimes, however, it helps to have a talent who knows the ropes.
Indeed, Dell’Acqua is no up-and-comer. In 1996, before stints at Malo and Les Copains, the designer launched his successful, hyper-feminine namesake line, known for its whimsical yet seductive allure and lingerie accents. Two years later, he started an eponymous menswear range. But his story is all too familiar—Dell’Acqua lost the rights to his name after a dispute with his parent company, Cherry Grove (who also owned Malo), in 2009. He made a comeback a year later with No. 21—a ready-to-wear label named for his birthday (December 21) and his lucky number. “It’s about real women,” he told Style.com during that first show in 2010. Now, three years later, the brand, which is carried in stores like Selfridges and Matches, independent boutiques, and at such e-tailers as Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi, delivers just that—smart staples (think: embellished separates, slick blazers, and crisp overcoats) that cater to real-world women with a penchant for luxury. “No. 21 was born out of a horrible moment for me,” recalled Dell’Acqua. “I wanted to do a little line that was completely different, but still had my DNA.”
It seems as though the rumors, which began to swirl last week, are true. Rochas announced today that Alessandro Dell’Acqua—who stepped down from Les Copains last week, and also heads up his own range, No. 21—has been appointed as the new creative director at the French house. Dell’Acqua replaces Marco Zanini, who breathed new life into the brand after Olivier Theyskens’ departure in 2008. Word on the street is that Zanini is heading to the recently revived house of Schiaparelli—and perhaps, considering the success he’s had at Rochas, he is just the man for the job. That being said, he’ll have some pretty big shoes to fill. Schiaparelli has yet to comment.
The Swarovski Collective has helped over 150 fashion talents since its inception in 1999. This season, the crystal house’s initiative has given its support (and its stones) to fourteen cutting-edge talents. To celebrate and document the designers’ creative processes, Swarovski has produced behind-the-scenes films that follow every label on its journey down the Fall ’13 runway. Style.com will be giving you exclusive looks at a selection of Swarovski’s videos from each of the four fashion weeks. Next up is No. 21 which, designed by Alessandro Dell’Acqua, showed its Fall collection on Wednesday. To view all of our Fall ’13 Swarovski films, click here.