Marni designer doesn't follow trends
Marni designer Consuelo Castiglioni credits her success to her ability to trust her instincts.
The Italian luxury fashion label was founded by Castiglioni in 1994, and is known for its quirky and feminine styles, with idiosyncratic prints and vintage-inspired shapes in everything from ready-to-wear clothing, handbags, jewellery and eyewear.
With her designs now sold in 16 countries, with boutiques in London, New York, Moscow and Tokyo, Castiglioni believes the label's popularity and customer loyalty is down to the fact that she doesn't buy into fashion fads and is an "instinctive" designer.
"I don’t follow trends. It’s what I like. It’s our way of working," she told WWD, adding that she doesn't agonise over commercial concerns. "I do listen to (merchandising) unfortunately, but only up to a certain point, otherwise (the collections) become banal if you follow what the commercial office wants. I logically listen to the demands of the market, especially from our stores, but one (should proceed on one’s own path)."
Marni remains family-owned and operated, as Castiglioni's husband, Gianni, works as the company's chief executive and their daughter Carolina runs the online store. Swiss-born Castiglioni prefers to keep her creative group close-knit and has team of seven designers and three for menswear.
Of her fall runway show which was shown at Milan Fashion Week in February (16), which featured blouses with puffed sleeves, a long brown cape, and forest-green ski trousers with a wide waistband, Castiglioni explained that her collection evolved from that one design.
“The starting point was the volume, the materials and the contrasts, we wanted to do something different, with these sleeves, but with this severe silhouette there is a new romanticism,” she noted.
She also remarked that "more feminine touches" such as bows give a sense of romanticism, while she's "always liked" capes.
The Castiglionis are equally resistant to the see-now-buy-now debate which is rocking the fashion world. Gianni shares that Marni will not be launching into fast fashion, as the brand is "aspirational, you must dream about it".