ABRAHAM A Zurich based company, Abraham has designed fabrics for Haute Couture and Pret-a-Porter for decades. Loved by designers such as Balenciaga, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Dior and Ungaro. Its famous jacquard prints, printed silks and wools, as well as its wonderful brocades have dominated the catwalks and adorned international stars.
CHIARA SANTONI Known worldwide for their bold and colourful printed cottons and silk jacquards. Chiara Santoni's timeless designs and original prints, made up, make the most wonderful and coveted outfits.
CHARLES JOURDAN Born in the late 1800’s Charles Jourdan became a shoemaker in his early twenties. In the mid 70’s a ready-to-wear line was introduced. Their timeless and reminiscent designs, as worn by royalty, are synonymous with elegance and grace.
CLAUDIO FIORETT Innovative in their mix of patterns and colour, Claudio Fioretti has been producing the finest original designs on silks, cottons and wools since the late 1980's.
D’ESTE D'Este is widely known for their wonderful use of vibrant colour and imaginative prints on the finest of cottons and silks.
DOLCE & GABBANA The conception of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana was in 1985. They have wowed the fashion industry with their edgy Sicilian, ultra-feminine couture. Easily recognisable,they have stood firmly through the years as trailblazers of iconic fashion.
EMANUEL UNGARO After working at fashion houses such as Balenciaga and Courèges from his early 20’s, Emanuel Ungaro went on to start his own brand a mere 4 years later. Consisting of men’s and women’s wear, as well as perfumes, the brand is still going strong today.
GAI MATTIOLO Born in Rome in 1968, he presented his first prêt-à- Porter collection in Milan at the age of just 19. The collection, with its attention to unconventional detail, was very successful and this is still apparent today. To date, Gai Mattiolo is the only fashion designer to have dressed the Pope.
GIANNI VERSACE As an apprentice seamstress in his late teens, Gianni Versace quickly became known, thanks to his interest in Ancient Greek art and for his vivid, colourful & bold prints. From the early 90’s, Gianni was dressing top models in his original and trail blazing designs. After Gianni’s death in the late 90’s, Versace was taken over by his siblings, Donatella and Santo, and it remains a thriving business.
GIORGIO ARMANI Aspiring to a career in medicine, Giorgio’s path took him in a very different direction after finding employment at Nino Cerruti in the 1960’s. After realising his passion for design, he became a freelance designer for many well-known fashion houses and a decade later founded his own label. Now designing everything from eyewear to skiwear, Armani is known for his tailored, elegant and clean lines.
GIVENCHY Founded in Paris in 1952, Hubert de Givenchy soon became known for his floaty and elegant dresses and for dressing celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.
HANAE MORI Being one of only two Japanese designers to have ever presented collections on the runways of Paris and New York - Japanese designer Hanae Mori, started out designing costumes for hundreds of movies in the mid 1950’s. She later went on to design uniforms for Japanese Airlines, and the Japanese Delegation to the Barcelona Olympics in the mid 90’s. Known for taking her inspiration from butterflies, her designs are fluid and elegant.
JAKOB SCHLAEPFER Jakob Schlaepfer is a 104-year-old textile company, known for their ‘fantasy fabrics’ such as sequined embroidery, developed in the 1960’s. The tortoiseshell-looking sequins that Marc Jacobs used in one of his first collections for Louis Vuitton, was in fact the L.V. logo chopped up in a blender, was a Schlaepfer creation. Recently current designer, Martin Leuthold has developed cotton guipures for Prada, as well as sequined ones for Miu Miu, inspired by Schlaepfer. Clients include CHANEL, Cirque du Soleil and Disney.
JOEL & SON Established in 1979, the leading retailer in world of fabric, Joel & Son Fabrics are known for their exclusive prints on the finest cottons, silks and wools.
LEONARD Joining forces with Daniel Tribouillard in 1958, Jacques Leonard launched Leonard Haute Couture. In 1960, they revolutionised the printing process. Though said to be ‘unprintable’ at the time, their invention proved everyone wrong and they won over the fashion industry all over the world with these fabulous new designs. Known for his bold and colourful prints, Leonard's originality was anchored with a unique and recognizable style.
LIBERTY’S Constructed from the timber of two ships, the Grade II listed Tudor Revival Building, which still stands today, opened its doors in 1920, as Liberty of London. Known today for using prints from its extensive archive range, Liberty prints are distinctive and recognisable worldwide. This is Italian craftsmanship that goes back generations, with a reputation for producing high-end, exclusive luxury fabrics and suiting cloth.
PIERRE BALMAIN Inspired by the Arts, her designs pay homage to Picasso, Manet, Klimt, Velazquez and many others. Born in 1943, Raffaella Curiel trained at the Pierre Balmain French School, and in 1965, presented her first Pret-à-Porter collection in New York for Bergdorf Goodman. From the 1980s onwards, Curiel designed ready-to-wear fashion, as well as accessories and home décor, before launching her first perfume in 1990. Her artistry is expressed through precious fabrics, modern shapes and refined embroidery.
RATTI The Ratti Group is one of the leading manufacturers in the international luxury textiles industry. Established by Antonio Ratti in 1945, Ratti has applied its professionalism rigorously to the entire finishing cycle of silk and other natural fibres. Investments in research and technology to produce only quality fabrics, are the principles that Ratti has based its strategy on. The Ratti Group now produces around six million meters of fabric a year, work with the most successful fashion labels, and employs about eight hundred people.
ROCHAS Established in 1925, past Creative Directors of Rochas include the highly esteemed Olivier Theyskens. Now under the innovative eye of Italian designer Alessandro Dell'Acqua, Rochas continues to garner praise from the fashion elite and glitterati everywhere. Beautifully refined femininity with a Parisian edge, a Rochas piece is the ultimate desire for elegant woman.
SOLBIATI The global linen industry leader, with a rich history spanning generations, Solbiati linen is quality at its finest. Now part of the Loro Piana family, the world's most exclusive manufacturer of high-end fabrics.
SWAROVSKI Daniel Swarovski was born in northern Bohemia in 1862, to a glass-cutter father. In his father’s glass factory, Daniel served an apprenticeship and became skilled in the art of glass cutting. In 1892 he patented an electric cutting machine that facilitated the production of crystal glass and in 1895, the Swarovski company was founded, establishing a crystal cutting factory in Austria to take advantage of local hydroelectricity for the energy-intensive grinding processes. In order to create crystal glass that lets light refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its products with a special metallic chemical coating. In 2004 Swarovski released Xilion, a copyrighted cut designed to optimise the brilliance of components with flat backs. The Swarovski range includes crystal glass sculptures, jewellery, couture and home decor.
GUY LAROCHE Upon completing an apprenticeship under Guy Laroche and Balenciaga, Valentino set up his own fashion house in Rome in 1959. Valentino soon became known for his red dresses, the colour of which were eventually referred to in the fashion industry as "Valentino red." Valentino's international debut, took place in Florence in 1962 and proved a hit Dressing people like the First Lady and style icon, Jacqueline Kennedy, in 1966, he achieved his biggest triumph, an all-white collection that attracted much fame and subsequent attention due to the "V" logo positioned throughout. Valentino retired in January 2008.