Brioni makes a break into womenswear
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The luxury menswear brand behind James Bond’s tuxedos, Brioni, has been a byword for effortless Italian sprezzatura since it staged the first-ever men’s runway show at Florence’s Palazzo Pitti in 1952. The house has dressed well-heeled gentlemen and Hollywood royalty such as John Wayne, Clark Gable and, latterly, Brad Pitt. Now, following a groundswell of requests, the house is bringing its tailoring to womenswear.
“We have clients coming with their wives and girlfriends who try things on, and we have female clients who buy small sizes of the coats and jackets and shirts, so I wanted to offer them the same experience,” explains design director Norbert Stumpfl. Launching this month, the capsule collection will be available online at Net-a-Porter and can already be bought in select Brioni stores through the label’s made-to-order service, where customers will be able to choose from fabrics and colourways for each piece.
Featuring crisp cotton shirts, gossamer-fine high-neck knits, cocooning alpaca overcoats, cashmere suits and sharp-cut tuxedo jackets rendered in black, chocolate brown, white and ivory, the women’s capsule is an extension of Brioni’s menswear aesthetic. “It’s everything that we have in the men’s collection but slightly adapted to create a more feminine look,” says Stumpfl. He is offering a drawstring waistband on one pair of suit trousers and louche silhouettes. “Rather than concentrating on the waist, we worked on the shoulders to make them slightly less exaggerated, but still keeping the straight line so it has a masculine feel.”
As with the menswear, this collection is produced in the factory in Penne using ultra-luxe fabrics, from vicuña to cashmere that has been treated with thistle flowers to give it a silky sheen. “They are pieces made with extreme craftsmanship that are made to last,” says Stumpfl. “You cannot throw a Brioni piece into the garbage!”
The house will evolve its women’s line each season – the summer capsule will debut a tuxedo dress. “I think we have found a market niche that didn’t really exist for women,” says Stumpfl. “I’m really happy that we can share this craftsmanship with them now.”