In an era where automation and fast fashion has become the new norm – call it cookie-cutter style – impeccable craftsmanship and design is a welcomed reprieve. Considered wardrobes are quickly being preferred over a flowing collection of unworn threads and quality is reigning supreme. Italian luxury style is perhaps the best example of artisanal heritage and craftsmanship and this month, the notion of curated dressing is being celebrated.
Luxury e-tailer and trend-setting platform, Mr Porter, has launched the Italian Masters, a showcase of 25 designers who are defining voices of traditional and contemporary Italian style, each providing their own unique point-of- view, craftsmanship sensibility or manufacturing technique that sets it apart from the rest.
“Attention to detail, quality craftsmanship, meticulous embroideries and a sense of proportion represent our key values: standards which ensure that each garment is the expression of the precious experience handed down by generations of tailors,” says Kean Etro, Creative Director of Menswear at Etro. “The handmade signature paisley designs and the masterly use of colour make each garment unique.”
“Etro is New Tradition, the sum of artisan know-how and creative experimentation. The entrepreneurial venture began in 1968, when visionary founder Gimmo Etro translated his love for travel and culture into the production of highly prestigious fabrics using noble and natural fibres, embellished with original designs and innovative colour combinations. Since then, the production has witnessed the addition of an extensive product rage – furnishing textiles, leather goods, home accessories and fragrances – consolidating the brand’s lifestyle concept. The 1990s saw the unveiling of the first men’s and women’s prêt-à-porter collections, their inventive and recherché style earning the label instant recognition. The materials, the workings and a special talent with prints are what make Etro unique and inimitable.”
Joining the Etro brand within the Mr Porter collection is Valextra, founded by Giovanni Fontana in Milan in 1937 amid the war. The post-war years thereafter provided formative years for the heritage label when designers, architects, intellectuals and entrepreneurs gravitated towards Northern Italy, driving dramatic innovations. With the modernisation of Milan saw the modernisation of fashion with traditional outlooks still engrained within the designers that dictated the styles. This can be seen today.
“The Milanese style is timeless, intellectual, discreet and genderless. It is based on a sophisticated modern aesthetic; timeless silhouettes that result in a smart and practical elegance. With its history and products, Valextra embodies these qualities and this is why the company is truly Milanese and has helped shape the culture of the city,” Sara Ferrera, Chief Executive Officer of Valextra reveals.
The result of Italian Masters is an exclusive collection comprising of over 259 unique and distinct products across clothing, footwear, accessories and homeware.
To further mark the launch, Mr Porter has partnered with the Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte to support the Foundation’s annual “A School, A Job. Training to Excellence” apprenticeship programme, which matches 25 Italian graduates from a selection of the best schools and universities of Arts and Crafts with 25 Italian artisanal ateliers or businesses. The theme of this year’s apprenticeship is “Renaissance and Sustainability”, seven months in length and comprises of one-month university training in Milan, followed by six-months on-the-job experience.
To learn more and shop the collection, visit here.