Sebastian Marzaro to Bow New Showroom, Revamp Brands

Sebastian Marzaro to Bow New Showroom,
Ask Alice by George Mang pre-spring '13

Former Casadei USA President Sebastian Marzaro is reinventing himself, again.

The executive launched a women’s footwear brand, Pique, with designer George Mang during FFANY in February, but now the two have renamed the brand Ask Alice by George Mang. Marzaro also has created a New York showroom of the same moniker, which will open during FFANY in August.

The Ask Alice LLC showroom will handle design, sales and distribution for Ask Alice by George Mang. It will manage sales and distribution for two lines from Italian label Goffredo Fantini, as well as a third luxury brand that the company declined to name.

Marzaro said the initial moves are aimed at ramping up visibility and business for Ask Alice by George Mang (which currently is available, under its former name Pique, in Asia and at a limited number of U.S. boutiques). The new business also will reintroduce Goffredo Fantini’s two lines, Goffredo Fantini and Materia Prima, to the U.S. for spring ’13, after several seasons of a diminished presence here.

“We need to make it as easy as possible for our [wholesale] customers [to access our brands],” Marzaro said, noting that he doesn’t expect Mang’s and Fantini’s offerings to conflict. “They complement each other,” he said. “Ask Alice has attitude and is a little mysterious, but [the Ask Alice customer] doesn’t buy to be seen. Fantini has more of a European flair, and [the customer] knows that the world is looking at her.”

Ask Alice by George Mang retails for $200 to $500, while Goffredo Fantini sells for $300 to $600, and Materia Prima carries price points of $200 to $300.

The 2,500-sq.-ft. showroom in midtown Manhattan was built with a focus on environmentally friendly, cost-effective materials, said Marzaro, and the name Ask Alice was inspired by the company’s brand manager, Alice Hyun, whom Marzaro said is “the picture of our brand” and represents the target demographic: a young, edgy woman who is immersed in communication and technology.