Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
HomeFashionEXCLUSIVE: Vionnet launches the first capsule and integrates the AI ​​platform

EXCLUSIVE: Vionnet launches the first capsule and integrates the AI ​​platform

MILAN — The Vionnet brand returns under new owner ChimHaeres with a project called “Vivid Memories of the Future” and a capsule collection that will be presented online on Saturday.

The collection, the first in a series of three, is part of a new and “unprecedented creative project that unites community and technology,” said Philippe Camperio, president of Vionnet, in an interview at his Milan office.

The capsules are created as a tribute to the stylistic codes of founder Madeleine Vionnet and are “springboards that will lead us to a one-of-a-kind creative project that invites and engages the community that experiences fashion through technology: The Vionnet Way.” Camperío said.

He explained that this is based on the “interaction between community and technology, the exchange of talents and experiences,” based on a traditional formula for the renewal of historical brands, which generally also includes a fashion show. “The starting point of this process is co-creation, breaking barriers between the brand and its audience,” observed Camperio.

The company is “integrating a generative AI platform that is self-constructed, collecting and interpreting the data we receive from this collective to further refine and determine what Madeleine’s story is about in today’s world. It’s not just about fashion, it’s a way of life. The goal is that through the next three collections we reach the fourth, which will be the official launch of Vionnet,” in the summer of 2024, she said.

“Through these three capsule collections, the goal is to reach certain audiences and communities, interact with them beyond the product and develop a very specific audience that we would like to call collective and that will accompany us on this journey. The three capsules are really more messengers than anything else,” Camperio noted.

The project is in line with the founder’s revolutionary ideas from the first half of the 20th century in terms of style, but also in her social struggles, the protection of women’s rights and intellectual property. The renaissance of the house is based on its pioneering and innovative spirit, said the businesswoman.

In April last year, ChimHaeres Investment Holding bought all of Vionnet, with the ambition of reviving the historic brand and becoming a new European luxury fashion and lifestyle hub.

The investment vehicle was formed by Chimera Abu Dhabi and Haeres Capital and also acquired a majority stake in historic automobile designer Zagato, founded in 1919, and a majority stake in Fogal, the Swiss hosiery brand founded in 1921 by Léon Fogal. Additionally, Haeres incorporated into the new vehicle its majority stake in the historic hat manufacturer Borsalino, founded in 1857 in Alessandria, Italy.

ChimHaeres is led by Camperio, who founded Haeres Capital in 2011, as CEO.

It hired Antonella Di Pietro, who has spent her career at brands ranging from Tommy Hilfiger to Tod’s, as CEO and brand director of Vionnet.

He explained that the first capsule will return to Vionnet’s signatures, paying tribute to the designer’s “incredible experience,” with draped and twisted fabrics, or asymmetrical mohair stitches with geometric motifs, for example. A viscose minidress features embellished fringe, another Vionnet staple. “The weights are super light in the embroidery on tulle, the fabrics are almost transparent, so as not to squeeze the body, since Madeleine Vionnet was a pioneer in women’s liberation,” said Di Pietro. “The volumes of the fabrics are almost oversized but very light, and the ponchos are also airy.” Three fabulous custom vintage pieces of jewelry were reviewed for the capsule.

Prices will range between 800 and 1,200 euros for fabrics, around 1,700 euros for skirts and 2,500 euros for dresses.

A Vionnet look from the first capsule collection.

The French haute couture brand founded in 1912 by Madeleine Vionnet has experienced some financial setbacks in recent years. In 2018, the brand and its operating company NVO Srl went into voluntary liquidation.

Goga Ashkenazi, president and creative director of Vionnet, took control of Vionnet in 2012, when the Kazakh businessman acquired the fashion house from co-owners Matteo Marzotto and former Marni CEO Gianni Castiglioni. The duo first invested in Vionnet in 2009 with the intention of breathing new life into the French label.

Ashkenazi took over as creative director in autumn 2012, following the departure of sisters Barbara and Lucia Croce at the end of August of that year, and organized several fashion shows in Milan. Before the Croce sisters, Vionnet was designed by Rodolfo Paglialunga, who was chosen by Marzotto and Castiglioni.

Camperio said his goal was to “remind the world” about Madeleine Vionnet, “who she was, what her vision was, her values,” asking “what would her perception of the world be if she were alive today?”

He maintained that this project “is much more than fashion, what we want to share and communicate through a message and of course the collections is the empathetic approach that Madeleine had towards the world. So all three capsules have a theme, but the underlying message is to truly reposition Vionnet as a desirable brand, carrying a message beyond a product.”

He insisted on the modernity of Vionnet, which is why “we will not follow the fashion calendar. She knew that the relaunch had to be disruptive, innovative and visionary, because that was what Madeline Vionnet was at that time. And we, as new owners, have the mission of sustaining it. It is our responsibility. There will be several capsule collections each year, but they will be done as a theme, rather than a trend. And the way we are going to market our products is essentially on our website, at least until 2024.”

It does not exclude having physical points of sale, but in tune with the concept of limited editions, perhaps pop-ups in key cities, probably starting with Paris.

Camperio said the fund is “in the process of acquiring more brands” and that the “integrity” of legacy brands “is absolutely paramount to us.” He believes the Vionnet brand has never been damaged, even in recent years under the former owners.

“I like to go where others don’t want to or can’t. When we look at a brand, we need to see something that others may not see. And it requires a lot of innovative thinking and reinventing models. But in any case we will never cannibalize the brand in search of more volumes or flooding the market; “We’re just not interested in it.”

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