A lot can happen in a year. This is certainly the case with Nicolò Beretta, creative director of Giannico and winner of FN’s 2016 Emerging Talent Award.
For spring ’18, he has landed his first major U.S. department store account, Barneys New York, and Giannico muse Olivia Palermo even dropped by his launch party in NYC’s Soho area last week to congratulate him. “The award was the real moment when I got recognized in the U.S.; it was where Barneys fashion director Marina [Larroudé] first saw me,” said Beretta.
“For a European designer, the American market is the goal. I grew up watching ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ looking at these amazing department stores and dreaming of being stocked there. This is a little bit of my American dream come true.”
In fact, his spring ’18 collection drops in-store and online this month. “When we first met with Nicolò, the entire team fell in love with the collection, so we wanted him to ship as early as possible, to not only bring in some newness but also ensure his launch collection had ample time on the floor to maximize performance,” said James Newell, vice president, divisional merchandise manager, women’s shoes.
“The collection is very playful, fun, with really great details like the elastics and jewel adornments. We knew Giannico would resonate with our customer because of the sexy and playful elements,” he said, adding that the collection is also reasonably priced.
Barneys has taken 16 styles in total, including new season mules with crystals buckles or colored elastic straps, plus tuxedolike versions inspired by Italian artist Lucio Fontana. There also are some shoes that revisit past collections such as a gold pump worn by Nicole Richie on a Footwear News cover from February 2017.
Giannico’s spring collection was produced by Italy’s Roveda factory in Parabiago, owned by the Chanel group as of 2000. It produces shoes for only a handful of invited designers. “You’ve got to be called by them. It’s a process, and they’re very selective,” Beretta said. “It really changed the game completely for me, as now I have a structure of 300 employees behind me.
Among other benefits, there is the capacity for a speedy turnaround, invaluable for a small company when it comes to fulfilling special orders. “Italian factories can also have a very conservative view of the fashion industry,” he said. “If I told some of them Meghan Markle wants a pair of shoes, so I need them in one day. They would ask me who on Earth she was, but with Roveda, they would know immediately and make the greatest effort to satisfy that kind of request.” Meghan, are you listening?