Etro

Etro’s New Creative Director Marco de Vincenzo Shares His Vision for the Family-Founded Brand’s Future

Etro’s New Creative Director Marco de Vincenzo Shares His Vision for the Family-Founded Brand’s Future

Marco de Vincenzo. Photo: Courtesy of Etro
All things paisley and boho have been Etro‘s identity for decades now, but a major overhaul is on the horizon for the 1968-founded Italian brand. Come September 23, its recently-designated creative director Marco de Vincenzo will present his debut collection in Milan, breathing new life into the once family-owned fashion house, and sharing his vision for Etro’s evolution. “The opportunity to lead such an important brand is once in a lifetime,” shares the 44-year-old with Vogue Arabia in his first interview in the Middle East. “I felt like a privileged person, I could not help but accept the challenge, also because of the many affinities I feel I have with its codes. The heritage of the brand has always fascinated me, its connection to textiles and the birth of ‘Made in Italy.””
The Sicily-born designer’s appointment follows the Etro family’s decision to sell a 60% stake to L Catterton in June 2021 and will see him replace Veronica and Kean Etro to oversee the brand’s womenswear, menswear, and accessories. The latter is no strange territory for the European Institute of Design graduate, whose namesake brand founded in 2009 continues to be loved for its statement heels and purses, despite being on a hiatus. “Accessories are part of my history,” says de Vincenzo, who started designing bags when he was just over 18 years of age. “I think my experience can also be useful to a brand mainly known for ready-to-wear,” he states. De Vincenzo’s past also had him acquainted with another family-operated brand on the cusp of change. In the year 2000, when LVHM acquired a stake in Fendi, de Vincenzo joined Fendi as its leather goods head designer, a special position that he will retain. “I started a long collaboration with Fendi exactly when the brand was about to change its skin and leave its ‘family dimension’,” he recalls. “At Etro, it is happening again, it seems it is written in my destiny.”
A preview of Etropía, a visual project void of any clothing, and “the first act of Etro’s new course under the creative direction of Marco De Vincenzo”. Photo: Courtesy of Etro
Under de Vincenzo’s creative direction, expect Etro to rediscover the wealth of fabrics, given his adept and bold use of materials in the past. “The choice of fabric depends on the sensibility of the moment,” he believes. “But above all, they work as a group, only when in harmony with each other, like musicians in an orchestra.” While this has been evident with his previous work and a 2021 collaboration with Marina Rinaldi, an air of mystery remains around the future of Etro’s pattern-heavy fabric. “Codes survive time only if you have the courage to renew them,” he asserts, revealing little of what the renewal would look like. But when asked what customers can expect from his debut, the designer’s answer is refreshingly uncomplicated: “A young and eclectic language.”
De Vincenzo is also well aware that the fashion world—many years deep into the reassessment of its over-production, and sustainability values—demands more from a designer taking up the reigns of a storied brand in the current time. After buying back his eponymous brand from LVMH in 2020, he presented a collection of upcycled vintage pieces during Milan Fashion Week in February 2022, sending a powerful message in his last project as an independent designer to the fashion industry. “I’m certainly not the first one doing upcycling, but I’ve been giving it a lot of thought, and it’d be great if each designer would consider it as an integral part of his practice,” he had shared with Vogue at the time. Now, even at the helm of a global luxury fashion house, de Vincenzo aims to stand by this ideology. “I believe that a sustainable attitude can also apply to major brands,” he says. “In fact, perhaps it is the ‘big brands’ that can raise consumer awareness if they have made themselves credible over the years. I firmly believe in downsizing some outdated production rules. I will do my best to continue in this direction.”
Read Next: Daniel Roseberry on Creating an “Antidote” to Today’s Time, and Elsa Schiaparelli’s Retrospective Exhibition

Milan Fashion Week September’s Edition Packed With Debut Shows

Milan Fashion Week September’s Edition Packed With Debut Shows

MILAN — September’s Milan Fashion Week, running from Sept. 20 to Sept. 26, is poised to be a packed affair, with 67 mostly physical shows, highly anticipated debuts and a bunch of returning designer brands.Among the creatives presenting their first collections for storied houses is Marco de Vincenzo, the newly named creative director at Etro, who will make his debut at the helm of the storied Italian brand. For it, he picked a location on the outskirts of the city for the Sept. 23 event, which takes place a few hours after Filippo Grazioli’s revamped vision for Missoni. This will mark Grazioli’s first catwalk since joining the brand as creative director in March. He was already responsible for the resort and men’s spring collections unveiled via presentations earlier this summer.

The following day, Sept. 24, a couple of additional eagerly awaited debuts are taking place: Salvatore Ferragamo, which showed via a presentation last season as it prepared a change of creative guard, is back with a coed show designed by newly installed creative director Maximilian Davis, while Bally, which had traditionally hosted presentations, is making its debut on the runway with the first collection designed by Rhuigi Villaseñor, the Manila-born designer behind the Rhude brand.

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Moncler will cap off that day celebrating its 70th anniversary with a runway event at 9 p.m. CET.
According to the provisional calendar issued Friday by the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, the week officially kicks off on Sept. 20 with the Milano Moda Graduate event, the fashion organizing body’s awards for graduate collections.
Although a couple of show slots later that evening are still being assigned, fashion folks can expect the real action to start on Sept. 21, when the We Are Made in Italy collective of designers and fashion professionals of color is showing digitally, followed by Antonio Marras, who’s making a return to the official calendar with a physical runway show after a few seasons of presentations, showroom appointments and a runway event held in Russia last February.
That will be followed by, among others, Diesel and Fendi. Although the latter brand is headed to New York Fashion Week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its hit Baguette handbag, which as reported in WWD, could involve a tie-up with Marc Jacobs, its spring 2023 collection is hitting Milan as usual. Diesel, meanwhile, is opening up its show to the public, as is Anteprima, which is marking its 30th anniversary.
Vivetta and Stella Jean are also returning to the calendar on Sept. 23 after a few years of absence.
As reported, Matty Bovan is decamping from London to Milan, supported by Dolce & Gabbana, with a physical show on Sept. 25, while this season’s Valentino- and Camera della Moda-endorsed designers, Galib Gassanoff and Luca Lin from Act N.1, will show on Sept. 22.
On the penultimate night, the Camera della Moda will hold the Sustainable Fashion Awards event at La Scala theater bestowing 12 awards. As reported, the soirèe will be hosted by actress Rossy de Palma.
The last day will only feature digital presentations, including Mmusomaxwell, one of the few new names on the schedule, helmed by design duo Mmuso Potsane and Maxwell Boko and based in Johannesburg.

The presentation schedule has yet to be released, and a final version of the calendar will be issued on Sept. 7, the Camera della Moda said.

Fashion and Luxury Brands’ Standout Looks From Salone del Mobile

Fashion and Luxury Brands’ Standout Looks From Salone del Mobile

MILAN — After two pandemic-disrupted years, the 60th edition of the Salone del Mobile furniture and design trade show closed Sunday on an upbeat note.The weeklong trade show drew 262,608 attendees at the Rho-Fiera fairgrounds, 61 percent of them hailing from abroad, to discover the latest collections by 2,175 exhibitors. The attendance tally compares with more than 386,000 visitors in 2019.
The overall sentiment was positive as highlighted by Claudio Feltrin, president of industry association FederlegnoArredo, who praised the fair’s better-than-expected outcome. The executive touted design companies’ resilience and investment prowess and sounded optimistic about prospects despite the current geopolitical instability and supply chain challenges.

“The sector is witnessing a transformation process within society, spurred by the pandemic, that had people rediscover the value of their houses… it’s not a volatile trend, it’s a structural change,” he said.

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While the city center was animated with cocktail receptions, glamorous parties as part of Milan Design Week’s roster of side events, reportedly attracting 400,000 visitors in town, most of the business action happened at the fair.
Reflecting the brisk activity, in 2021 sales of high-end design furnishings reached 40 billion euros, up 14 percent versus 2020 and 7 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels.
According to an Altagamma and Bain & Co. market monitor, the sector is poised to reach 60 billion euros in revenues in 2026 leveraging the second wave of urbanization in China and a growing trend for the wealthiest in the U.S. to move out of cities, a phenomenon described as “wealth ruralization.
As suggested by luxury goods executives, homes are becoming tools of self-expression and customers are looking for functional and hybrid spaces serving different purposes, from shelter to hospitality and work.
Claudia D’Arpizio, senior partner and global head of fashion and luxury at Bain & Co., said after a decade-long underperformance compared to other luxury sectors, the category is booming in light of customers’ renewed interest in their homes.
“In this context, the sector’s companies are required to strategically retool, evolving from manufacturers into retailers to tap into evolving consumption trends, embedding rental options and circularity,” D’Arpizio explained.
There is a growing appetite for branded products, too, which could give way to a renewed interest for luxury brands’ home and furniture divisions, as well as branded residential complexes.
Here, WWD rounds up some of the latest home and furniture collections by fashion luxury brands seen at the fairgrounds.
Diesel Living
Bulking up its home furnishings offerings, Diesel Living returned to the trade show with a trippy-themed collection, as Andrea Rosso, creative director of the OTB brand’s design division, put it.
“We observed that customers are looking for high quality in their private homes, in the lighting and arrangement choices, for example, and in the renewed attention to energy consumption and to sustainability,” Rosso said. “Home décor choices are geared toward well-being and wellness,” he added.

The Diesel executive noted that the experience with the branded residential complex in Miami’s Wynwood district provided additional insight and in light of the upcoming Diesel apartments to bow in Las Vegas’ Arts District, the home division is expected to grow further.
Diesel Living generates 60 to 70 percent of its business in Europe and the remainder in North America. He forecast revenues will increase 20 percent in 2022 compared to the year prior.

The Diesel Living booth at Salone del Mobile in June 2022.
Alessandro Paderni/Courtesy of Diesel Living

Relying on its long-standing partnerships with Lodes for lamps; Moroso for furniture; Scavolini for kitchens; Iris Ceramica for tiles; Berti for flooring; Seletti for tableware; luxury home textile producer Mirabello Carrara, and the recently added Wall&Decò for wallpapers, the brand has expanded its universe.
The 2022 collection was all about psychedelia and included Cloudscape wallpapers and sofas, the latter developed with Moroso using recycled polyester velvet and recycled cotton, as well as a special edition sofa crafted from the same distressed denim with a furry effect that appeared on Diesel’s fall 2022 runway.
A punkish aesthetic resonated in the new lamps, such as Rod with a stem in the shape of a construction tool and Spring, its structure inspired by safety pins. Nodding to the “social house” concept, which will be core to the Las Vegas condo development, the Get Together kitchen developed with Scavolini embeds Diesel’s industrial details, while the latest addition to the tiles collection is Pluriball, a ceramic rendition of the namesake material. Tableware with Seletti had dining sets acid-washed to achieve cosmic patterns.
Roberto Cavalli
At Roberto Cavalli, the “Queen of Cavalli Chair” design conceived by the brand’s creative consultant Fausto Puglisi took the spotlight. A limited-edition item available in 20 pieces, the chair was defined by a neoclassical frame in carved wood and with a black matte finish, which was jazzed up with upholstery splashed with key prints of the brand’s recent fashion collections. These included the label’s signature animal patterns, here rendered in vibrant hues such as yellow, purple, emerald green and fire red. Behind the backrest, each chair carried a metal plaque engraved with the name of the capsule collection and a serial number.

Queen of Cavalli Chair.
Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli

In addition to this exclusive design, which was also showcased at the brand’s flagship store in Via Montenapoleone, the Roberto Cavalli Home Interiors collections included new furniture such as the Assal leather sofa with animal printed cushions in matching neutral color as well as the Turkana and Ragali side tables made in the new gray Versilys marble.
Roberto Cavalli Home Interiors is licensed to Oniro Group since 2011, but the fashion house also has licenses for tiles, wallpaper, linens and tableware with Gruppo Cerdisa Ricchetti, Industrie Emiliana Parati, Mirabello Carrara and Arnolfo di Cambio – Compagnia Italiana del Cristallo, respectively. New products under these categories also featured pop animalier prints and opulent Baroque patterns.
Philipp Plein
Philipp Plein banked on Salone del Mobile to unveil its first home and furniture collection developed under license with Eichholtz.
As part of the brand’s most recent investments across fields including hospitality and Web3, it comes as no surprise that the designer and entrepreneur has tapped into the burgeoning and lucrative branded furniture market, offering its signature bold aesthetics and flamboyant style, with 3,800 euro dining chairs upholstered in colorful velvet and 12,000 euro dining tables with an integrated golden palm tree.
“It’s the result of work done with a high-quality partner,” said Carmine Rotondaro, adviser to the Philipp Plein Group. “We have talked with several players over the past years before finding the right partner, but everybody highlighted how the market was booming in terms of sales and CRM opportunities.”
Eichholtz, a business-to-business operator, found in Plein the ideal consumer-facing partner, Rotondaro said. On the other hand, the businessman sees the category as spurring “brand awareness and customers’ recruitment.”
“This is a very important lever to consolidate the brand and a touchstone signaling Plein’s appeal and value,” he said.
The 140-piece collection, which includes velvet sofas punctuated with golden studs, handblown glass lighting and logoed mirrors embedded with NFTs, is complemented by wallpapers developed under license with Italy-based specialist Zambaiti Parati.

The Philipp Plein home and furniture ad campaign.
Ellen von Unwerth/Courtesy of Philipp Plein

The lineup caters to high-spending clients with bold tastes and Rotondaro outlined a strategy that sees the home division tapping into different geographies with the U.S. accounting for 10 percent of the business, Russian speaking countries for 15 to 17 percent, the Germany, Austria and Switzerland, or DACH, area for 15 percent and the rest of the world, especially the Far East, for 45 percent.
“Plein’s creativity has always trickled down to home and furniture. His ‘places,’ be it his houses, shops or showrooms, have always boasted a distinctive look,” Rotondaro said.
Asked about unveiling furniture in the metaverse where the brand has been making bullish investments, Rotondaro said: “We’re not there yet, nor the [metaverse] experience is ripe enough for this…but never say never.”
Etro
Etro’s love of colorful prints was toned down a bit for the brand’s home collection, which had exotic undertones and a vintage charm. The palette veered more toward neutral shades lit up with gold and sage green details, while carvalho wood, canaletto walnut wood enriched with golden details, marble, bronze and brass were employed as key materials.
This season Etro introduced an outdoor collection of seats with an iron structure made to look like bamboo canes. The natural theme ran throughout the collection, as the feet of the Delfi bed with the brass and button-tufted frame were also shaped like bamboo canes.

Etro’s Delfi bed.
courtesy of Etro

Etro’s paisley signature pattern lent its shape to the backrest and seat of the Shiraz chair and the Berenice chaise longue showed a light structure in a bronzed finish with cast brass decorative rings.
The Mekong sofa combined exotic nuances with a 1950s vintage-inspired design, with its curved lines reminiscent of the Asian trans-boundary river.
Elie Saab
With its home division launched only two years ago in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, Elie Saab Maison is gaining momentum and establishing itself in a new category.
In partnership with Swiss home design company Corporate Brand Maison, Elie Saab launched its 2022 collection during Milan Design Week in three different venues, each one with a distinct concept: the “Seduction of Design” showcased at the brand’s showroom in Via Sant’Andrea, the “Theater of Mirrors” at the trade show center and “Le Privè” in Via Martini.

Pieces from Elie Saab Maison’s Edhen outdoor collection.
Image courtesy

Chief executive officer Elie Saab Jr. believes that the home collection gives the brand the opportunity to “go beyond the fashion label” and “complete the identity of the brand.” The license with CB Maison was signed in 2019, while the collection was launched during the lockdown in 2020. Despite the adversity caused by the pandemic, the brand registered steady growth.
“2021 was a great year for Elie Saab and during the first six months of 2022 we doubled the business. We noticed that because of the pandemic, our clients really invested in their homes, many changed houses for a bigger one so they needed renovation and restyling,” stated Massimiliano Ferrari, CEO of corporate brand Maison.
During Salone del Mobile, the fashion company also presented for the first time “Edhen,” its outdoor furniture, which caters to changing lifestyles and the desire to spend more time outdoors. Ferrari noted that “many of our clients bought villas or larger homes with gardens and patios during these two years of pandemic, so we noticed that they wanted to have outdoor furniture that could be stylish, elegant and cool.”
As working from home became more widespread during the pandemic, Ferraris said “customers are choosing the room in the house with the best view as their office. This is why this year, we decided to launch furniture for the office that can be personified and extendable.”

Elie Saab’s Maison Claire desk.
Image courtesy

The collection is produced in Italy’s Brianza area — a key furniture hub in the country — and the company is evolving its sourcing of materials and the use of automatic systems in its lighting that will drastically reduce energy consumption.
Moreover, the brand has ventured into real estate with the completion of residential properties in Dubai (April 2019), Cairo (November 2021), London (December 2021) and Vietnam (June 2022) and will be investing in hospitality projects within the next year.
Missoni
At the Salone del Mobile trade show, Missoni launched its new tableware collection, in line with the trend of luxury houses increasingly banking on the category. The range was displayed at the booth of Arnolfo di Cambio – Compagnia Italiana del Cristallo, the historic Italian company that has specialized in tableware since 1963, now Missoni’s new licensee. Crafted from materials such as fine bone china, blown glass and silver stainless steel, the collection encompassed teacups, mugs, dinner sets, glasses, vases and knick-knacks, all decorated in the brand’s signature multicolored patterns, including stripes and the zigzag motif. Cutlery was also embellished, with the graphics engraved on handles.

Pieces from the Missoni tableware collection.
Courtesy of Missoni

Along with tableware, Missoni introduced the “Gifting Capsule” range, also designed by Alberto Caliri, the new creative director of the division supervised by Rosita Missoni, after Filippo Grazioli took over the creative helm of the brand’s fashion lines earlier this year.
The limited-edition capsule collection included disparate items that ranged from soft armchairs and poufs to terry bathrobes and bags, as well as patchwork fabric coffee tables and stuffed animals. Coming in different patterns, colors and sizes, they made for unique pieces crafted from Missoni archival fabrics.

The Missoni “Welcome back dreams” installation.
Courtesy of Missoni

Scaled up to giant proportions, stuffed animals were also the protagonists of the two impressive installations Missoni staged in its showroom in the artsy Brera district and in the courtyard of the Università Statale university, dubbed “Welcome back dreams” and “Mega-Verso,” respectively.
Missoni’s joyful geometric patterns additionally covered the Kartell “Eleganza” chair designed by Philippe Starck — the result of a special tie-up between the fashion house and the Italian furniture company.

The Eleganza Missoni chair.
Courtesy of Kartell

Trussardi 
For this year’s Milan Design Week, Trussardi creative directors Benjamin A. Huseby and Serhat Işık teamed with three designers to create a one-of-a-kind home capsule collection, showcased at the Palazzo Trussardi venue in Piazza della Scala as part of a cultural exchange.
For the collection, Mark Grattan created a coffee table, an upholstered bench, a couch and a mirror using materials such as velvet and stainless steel. The designer is known for his unconventional and one-of-a-kind pieces and his home in Mexico City has become a mecca for interior designers. He added a European and Milanese flair to the collection, thanks to the inclusion of neutral tones and the predominance of gray. “Infiltrating the European market and expanding my reach makes me feel so grateful,” he said.

A piece from Trussardi’s capsule collection with Mark Grattan.
Courtesy image / Federico Torra

The chair created by the Brazilian and Milanese-based sculptor Kiri-Una Brito Meumann explores the artist’s cultural heritage and the use of materials coming from her native country, including natural rubber and cream silicone aged over several years. “The inspiration came whilst I was staying in Una, a small town in Bahia, Brazil last December. I spent most of the days crowded around the table full of food and family members and I realized that the most used chair is the dining chair,” explained the designer.

The chair created for Trussardi’s home capsule collection with Kiri-Una Brito Meumann.
Courtesy image / Federico Torra

With his creation “Eclipse,” a mirror that resembles the “on/off” button on many devices, Prem Sahib wondered if the object reflects or conceals? “Does it appear ‘on’ or ‘off’? Is it looking back?” he asked.

“Eclipse” by Prem Sahib created for Trussardi’s home collection.
Courtesy image / Federico Torra

This provocative and metaphorical creation was created using obsidian, a black volcanic glass the artist discovered “for the first time at the archeological excavation in Pompei.”

The 35 Best Modest Looks from Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2022

The 35 Best Modest Looks from Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2022

Milan Fashion Week came back strong after two years in the deep due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Making bold choices, participating designers played with the fall and winter season colors of black, brown, white, beige, blue, and silver/grey, creating an almost dark/light academia aesthetic. Standing out were Roberto Cavalli’s striking leopard patterns with draping suit jackets and majestic cape dresses, while Dolce & Gabbana made statements with headscarves paired with demure silhouettes in monochrome palettes. Versace embraced a similar mood, but with form-fitting shapes, and Jil Sander took on a more formal approach and offered a modest suit in yellow and a grey dress paired with white leather gloves.
Below, check out the 35 best modest looks spotted on the runways of Milan Fashion Week.
Dolce & Gabbana. Photo: Courtesy of Fillippo Fior
Gucci. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Roberto Cavalli. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Versace. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Max Mara. Photo: Courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni
Roberto Cavalli. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Alberta Ferretti. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Versace. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Max Mara. Photo: Courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni
Roberto Cavalli. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Prada. Photo: Courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni
Alberta Ferretti. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Loro Piana. Photo: Courtesy of Loro Piana
Versace. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Dolce & Gabbana. Photo: Courtesy of Fillipo Fior
Moschino. Photo: Courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni
Emporio Armani. Photo: Courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni
Max Mara. Photo: Courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni
Dolce & Gabbana. Photo: Courtesy of Fillippo Fior
Fendi. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Giorgio Armani. Photo: Courtesy of Fillippo Fior
Bottega Veneta. Photo: Courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni
Versace. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Fendi. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Etro. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Versace. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Jil Sander. Photo: Courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni
Gucci. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Prada. Photo: Courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni
Jil Sander. Photo: Courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni
Versace. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Gucci. Photo: Courtesy of GoRunway
Bottega. Photo: Courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni
Emporio Armani. Photo: Courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni
Giorgio Armani. Photo: Courtesy of Fillippo Fior
Read Next: The 27 Best Modest Looks from London Fashion Week Fall 2022 Ready-to-Wear

Who Are Africa’s Top Fashion Influencers?

Who Are Africa’s Top Fashion Influencers?

PARIS — With a steadily expanding middle class, Africa holds plenty of untapped potential for luxury brands. But who are the influencers who are moving the needle on the continent and beyond?
These days, global brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada and Hermès are competing with a growing number of homegrown labels, as designers like Rich Mnisi, Kenneth Ize, Hanifa and Thebe Magugu tap into rising demand for African-made fashion.
In order to succeed, Western brands must harness the power of local influencers, ranging from stars of Nigerian cinema, dubbed Nollywood, to television presenters, singers and influencers, technology company Heuritech said in a webinar titled “Discover the African Fashion Scene.”

“The narration of African fashion cannot be done without African creatives,” said Amélie Rotsen, fashion analyst at Heuritech, which offers brands fashion trend forecasting using artificial intelligence to translate pictures shared on social media into market insights. 
“People are now really quick to call out a brand for cultural appropriation, so stop any narrative based on Western imagery, and try to really call those creatives to create stories that will highlight their culture, the way they know how,” she added. 
Total private wealth held in Africa is expected to rise by 30 percent over the next 10 years, reaching $2.6 trillion by 2030, according to the “Africa Wealth Report 2021” published by AfrAsia Bank. South Africa is home to the largest luxury market in Africa by revenue, followed by Kenya and Morocco, it said.

The bank expects Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda to be the strongest-performing wealth markets in Africa over the next decade, with growth rates exceeding 60 percent. Solid growth is also forecast in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. 
“To enter the African market, it is very important for international brands to really understand the specificity of the markets and have teams directly in the field. This is especially true for influencer communication,” said Jenna McFeely, fashion curator and trend analyst at Heuritech. 
“Picking the right brand ambassador requires foreign brands to do exhaustive research on the market, along with the influential figures of a particular country or field. And lastly, it’s important to consider the weight of the diaspora,” she added. 
“As a result of colonization, people of African descent are present throughout the world with their heart and their wallet lying between the Western world and their roots, and this will to consume Black[-owned brands] has been reinforced,” she said, noting the power of U.S. beauty influencers like Jackie Aina and Nyma Tang.
Among the top African influencers she listed were Nigerian actresses Adesua Etomi and Genevieve Nnaji, who have 4.3 million and 8.2 million followers on Instagram, respectively.

Burna Boy 
Michael Buckner/WWD

Nigeria has also produced major music stars such as Burna Boy and Wizkid, who posted a message on Instagram last week saying his concert at the O2 Arena in London, scheduled for Nov. 28, sold out in 12 minutes. 
“While the link between film, music and fashion does not need to be proven anymore, these artists’ global audience and edgy style make them ideal representatives for African and international designers who are hoping to attract aspirational or entry-level consumers,” McFeely said. 

Popular TV personalities include Bonang Matheba, known for her catchphrase “Champagne, darling!”, who has launched a number of fashion lines and her own sparkling wine brand, House of BNG, in addition to starring in the reality TV show “Being Bonang.”
Citing Nigerian public relations firm Redrick, McFeely recommended that brands targeting luxury consumers rely on high-net-worth individuals like the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who inspired Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first collection for Dior with her essay “We Should All Be Feminists.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Maria Grazia Chiuri 
A•tor Rosas Su–e/WWD

“There’s also the influencer market with entrepreneur women and travel enthusiasts like Boity Thulo, who showcases the lavish side of Africa, which is aspirational to say the least,” McFeely added. 
“And finally, there’s the promise of Afro cyber influencers who might be a new fun outlet, given the success encountered by Lil Miquela, who is another virtual influencer,” she said, citing the example of digital model Ivaany. 
In parallel, WWD asked data research and insights company Launchmetrics to compile data on the top five African influencers ranked by media impact value, or MIV. The measure, based on a proprietary algorithm, estimates the value of coverage across social networks and in the media.
1. Mihlali Ndamase (@mihlalii_n): 1.4 million followers on Instagram, 59 percent of engaged audience from South Africa
The makeup artist and content creator, also known as Mihlali N, bills herself as the biggest beauty YouTuber in South Africa with 345,000 subscribers. 
She recently generated $143,000 in MIV for a post with Fashion Nova, $112,000 for a post with Revlon and $80,000 for a post with Dior makeup. 
Featured on Forbes Africa’s “30 Under 30” list this year, Ndamase has expanded into luxury and lifestyle content, via paid partnerships with the likes of Radisson Hotels and Protea Hotels by Marriott.
2. Temiloluwa Otedola (@temiotedola): 1.2 million followers on Instagram, 54 percent of engaged audience from Nigeria
The daughter of Femi Otedola, a Nigerian billionaire active in sectors including energy, and younger sister of music star DJ Cuppy, Temi Otedola established her presence with the launch in 2014 of a blog covering areas spanning fashion, travel and a book club. 

Her Instagram post about Etro’s Forte dei Marmi pop-up in June generated $113,000 in MIV, while a post with Farfetch in 2020 was worth $68,000, reflecting the progression in her follower count.
Otedola made her acting debut last year as the female lead in Nigerian director Kunle Afolayan’s film “Citation,” the story of a university student who accuses a professor of sexual harassment, which is available to stream on Netflix. 
3. Kefilwe Mabote (@kefilwe_mabote): 1.2 million followers on Instagram, 56 percent of engaged audience from South Africa
Born in the township of Soweto in Johannesburg, Mabote last year published her autobiography “Kefilwe Mabote: Influencer De Luxe – From Soweto to Milan,” which doubles as a guide to becoming an influencer. 
Known for her glamorous style, she generated $49,000 in MIV for a post with Ugg in May, but can generally be seen in high-end designer clothing by the likes of Burberry, Tom Ford and Versace. She even has a dedicated web site, kefiscloset.com, to sell her castoffs. 
Mabote’s personal life made headlines last year when her then-boyfriend, businessman Edwin Sodi, was caught up in a corruption scandal. She subsequently lost a defamation lawsuit against the weekly tabloid Sunday World.

A post on Lesego “Thickleeyonce” Legobane’s Instagram account. 
Lesego Legobane/Instagram

4. Lesego Legobane (@thickleeyonce): 765,000 followers on Instagram, 66 percent of engaged audience from South Africa
Photographer, plus-size model and body positivity activist Legobane — known professionally as Thickleeyonce — also has her own online clothing store, Leebex. 
A recent post with Fashion Nova Curve generated $39,000 in MIV; another with Bombay Sapphire was worth $63,000, and a third for Beyoncé’s Ivy Park collection with Adidas generated $50,000. 
Legobane revealed last year that she had been selected as an influencer for Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie line, but last week called out the brand on Twitter for not offering any pay. The tweet was subsequently taken down, but she posted a separate message that read: “PAY INFLUENCERS. CREATING CONTENT IS WORK.”
5. Sarah Langa (@sarahlanga), 579,000 followers on Instagram, 61 percent of engaged audience from South Africa

A close friend of fellow influencer Kefilwe Mabote’s, Langa landed her first paid gig with South African department store chain Woolworths in 2015. She has frequently countered criticism from haters by highlighting her academic achievements, which she lists on her Instagram biography.
Langa works with a variety of brands including hairstyling appliances company GHD and mobile phone maker Samsung. She generated $31,000 in MIV for a recent post with fast-fashion e-tailer PrettyLittleThing; $26,000 with Nespresso, and $16,000 with Patrón Tequila.
One of her most recent Instagram posts shows her unboxing an Hermès Birkin handbag in a promotion for luxury goods sourcing service Aquarius Luxury Concierge. 

Sarah Langa 
Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images

SEE ALSO: 
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Istituto Marangoni Firenze Adds High-Profile Collaborations

Istituto Marangoni Firenze Adds High-Profile Collaborations

EDU-INDUSTRY: Amid growing competition for international fashion schools to provide premium academic curricula, the Florence unit of Istituto Marangoni has secured high-profile partners including the Yoox-Net-a-Porter Group and Italian luxury houses Versace and Etro for three post-graduate master courses kicking off in October.
The school’s goal is to shorten the gap between academic education and the labor market.
In particular, the e-tailer will support the school’s nine-month master course in Fashion e-Business and Digital Transformation, aimed at providing future fashion professionals with skills ranging from digital capabilities and e-commerce to design thinking, sustainability and new media.

Experts from the YNAP group as well as from other leading fashion companies will provide guest lectures, as well as workshops and masterclasses flanked by a project work initiative as part of which students will be tasked to develop a strategic plan following a company brief.
Ivana Conte, director of education at Istituto Marangoni Firenze, touted the master’s course in that it allows students to “develop skills and abilities that nurture a digital first entrepreneurial approach.”
“The master’s course developed together [with Istituto Marangoni Firenze] is a further proof of our commitment towards new generations, offering them not only a high-profile education but also an opportunity to acquire skills that are essential on international markets,” offered Paolo Inga, global human resources director at Yoox Net-a-Porter Group.

Versace and Etro are supporting the Florence school’s students with two scholarships starting from the 2021-2022 academic year.
Each brand will cover 50 percent of the school’s tuition fee for the winning applicants in the Luxury Accessories Design and Management and Fashion, Art and Textile Innovation master course, respectively.
Students applying for the Versace scholarship will be tasked with creating a handbag, as well as footwear and a piece of small leather goods inspired by the Italian brand’s signature codes, while those interested in attending the Etro-backed Art and Textile Innovation course are required to provide sketches or digital drawings of three total looks, one with a sustainable bent, in sync with the brand’s DNA and offering a creative take on the use of fabrics and materials.
On July 6 Istituto Marangoni Firenze’s director Lorenzo Tellini, alongside Conte and representatives of the two brands, will select the winning projects.
Istituto Marangoni counts nine campuses across Milan, Florence, Paris, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Miami.
As reported, the enrollment rate at Istituto Marangoni Firenze – which was opened in 2016 – inched up 9 percent in 2020, despite the pandemic.

A look from a student in Fashion Design at Istituto Marangoni Firenze. 
Courtesy of Istituto Marangoni Firenze

Last week in conjunction with men’s trade fair Pitti Uomo, the Florentine fashion school hosted its fashion show displaying the collections by the 10 best designers from its Fashion Design undergraduate courses. Among them, Filippo Matteo Paolo Barbagallo was the recipient of the International Catwalk Award assigned at the London Graduate Fashion Week 2021.

Halima Aden and Hend Sabri are the Stars of Etro’s Latest Campaign

Halima Aden and Hend Sabri are the Stars of Etro’s Latest Campaign

Somali-American model Halima Aden photographed by Matthias Vriens for Etro’s Pegasus Club Campaign. Photo: Courtesy of Etro

Etro has unveiled its latest campaign and it features some very special stars, notably Somali-American model Halima Aden and Tunisian actor Hend Sabri.
The Italian label chose Aden and Sabri to star among the diverse line-up for its new Pegasus Club Campaign. Aden and Sabri join models Alton Mason, Elsa Hosk, actor Hikari Mori, rapper Myss Keta, Italian fashion expert Anna Dello Russo, and Spanish socialite Naty Abascal for the campaign which celebrates Etro’s Pegaso bag, which debuted in the brand’s Fall 2020 runway show this year.
Tunisian actor Hend Sabri photographed by Matthias Vriens for Etro’s Pegasus Club Campaign. Photo: Courtesy of Etro

The Pegaso cross-body bag is a re-imagined design of a style dating back to the 80s, with its name derived from the winged stallion of Greek mythology, an image that has been synonymous with the brand since 1968. Shot by Dutch photographer Matthias Vriens, the images show the iconic Pegaso bag in two different sizes and versions with a glossy finish in black, red, yellow, and electric blue colors. Vogue Arabia’s Diversity Editor-at-Large, Aden, can be seen modeling the glossy red style, while Vogue Arabia’s September 2020 cover star Sabri is seen holding the blue colorway.
23-year-old Aden is one of the most sought-after models in the fashion world. The former Vogue Arabia cover star was the first model to wear a hijab on international runways in 2016, and the first hijab-wearing woman to be featured on the cover of Vogue. The model and activist, who grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp, has recently celebrated buying her first home, in Minnesota in the US.

Both Aden and Sabri are formidable women in their respective fields, with the Tunisian actor being one of the most in-demand actors in the region. The Egypt-based actor has been a longtime champion of female empowerment in the Arab world, both on and off-screen, often portraying roles that reveal the overlooked complexities of Arab women. Furthering her commitment to inspiring young, regional creatives, Sabri was recently named as the head of the jury panel for a filmmaking challenge to encourage young filmmakers from Saudi Arabia to produce new work.
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