The first word that comes to mind when describing Alberta Ferretti is elegance. And ironically it is elegance that is the epitome of her designs. Created for the elegant woman who perhaps in many ways resembles herself, Alberta’s creations are exquisite and feminine. When it comes to the fashion industry, Alberta Ferretti know it’s better than anyone. Having worked as a designer for almost fifty years on her own name brand, the welcoming Italian is still so in love with her work, and is constantly pushing boundaries. Her Fall 2019 collection saw a progression and switch in her designs to cater for the modern woman, who is working during the day, but still wanting to look beautiful at night.
Aside from this progression in her designs, she recently opened her first store in The Middle East, within Dubai Mall’s new Fashion Avenue expansion, and the imminent launch of her children’s wear line is another step into a new market for the designer. As well as all this she has big plans to launch “something unexpected” later this month. Alberta and her team are tight lipped on the details but they assure us it going to be “very exciting.” Despite being a very busy woman, the designer still goes to her studio every day and shares her passion with her expertly skilled team, who are based at her studio in Italy. Here, she talks us through her fall collection, the opening of her new store in Dubai Mall and her plans for the future.
Tell us about your fall 2019 collection
It is a very important collection for me as it translates my thoughts at this time and the way I see women. I look around and I see women walking in the street and the story behind it is one of a strong, assertive woman, but at the same time there is always a feminine and sensual side to her. The woman I have created this collection for is all of these things together. There is also a concept of day wear that turns into evening wear. I wasn’t that used to day wear before but I think it is something that women are looking for today.
The collection was very different from what we have previously seen from you; why the change?
I’m very focused and concentrated on the role of women at this time. They are very busy, very on the go and they have different needs from previously. So the collection is a transition from the day to the evening which is something women are looking for, and that’s why I decided to shift and change a little bit with my designs.
The collection was very eighties inspired – is that an era that you look to for your inspiration?
At the beginning when I started designing the collection I didn’t really mean to get inspiration from the eighties, but it turned out to be like this! There are lots of highlighted waistlines and statement shoulders, so it does recall the eighties but it wasn’t intentional.
Who is the Alberta Ferretti woman and do you think that woman has changed?
No, the woman is always the same and I know that because she mirrors myself. It’s the pace of life that has changed, so I want to show respect to women and try to understand the different pace of life they have today and try to match their needs.
Why did you choose to open your store in Dubai Mall?
I think here [the UAE] there is a great sensitivity towards fashion and I like being here. I have to have my shop here because you have so many different flows of women. Different kinds of women and cultures, but they all have a sense of care for themselves and that’s why I like it. It’s a great hub for women from many different walks of life.
What are you expecting from opening your first store in the Middle East?
I like the idea of having direct feedback from the local clientele because it is an audience that still appreciates the elegance, the highest quality and the femininity. So I think it’s a very good point to have direct feedback from my customers.
What’s the one item every woman should have in her wardrobe?
A nice slip dress. A really feminine item.
It was recently announced that you are launching children’s wear – can you tell us about that?
I think it’s very interesting. I was asked to do it before by now I decided it is the right time. We are launching this June. When I came here, and I walked through the mall I realised that it’s a really good point to work on because I see many mums and babies.
What can we expect to see from the first collection?
It is a complete collection. It’s focusing on the rainbow.
Will we get it here in the UAE?
Of course. This is the perfect market for it.
The materials you use for your collections are quite unique – can you tell us about the process they go through?
Yes, we are very lucky in Italy because we have access to amazing artists and craftsman so they are used to working with these lovely fabrics and materials but quickly. They are very skilled and understand quickly what you would like to do. We are very lucky because of this. One great thing is that although it’s not that difficult to copy designs in general but when you have these unique and skilled designs it’s really difficult for others to replicate.
Do you make everything in Italy?
We do all of our embroideries in India because they are the best at it. But we have everything else in Italy. It is a really nice collaboration.
What do you think about the new generation of models like Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber who both featured in your last show?
I picked both of these models firstly because they are famous and well known, but also because they have a feeling and synergy that is in line with my collection. They respond to what I’m looking for. They are beautiful, but at the same time feminine, kind and gentle. When Gigi came over the first thing she told me was that her very first fashion show was for me in LA!
How are you embracing using social media to market your brand?
Well we work with them [social media platforms] every day and they are very useful, very helpful, because they can broadcast to the mass. So it is a mass communication. And of course when you have a show or certain commitments it means it can be spread worldwide immediately. But at the same time I do believe that you still must refer to the printed press and keep a different way of sharing things like Haute Couture. You have to be very careful with different types of communication. I think a balance is very important.
What can we expect to see from you SS19 collection?
A beautiful woman. You will see. We have lots of new projects and surprises coming up.
What is a typical day in your life?
I wake up very early in the morning and have breakfast. Around 7.30/8am I go to my company. It is important for me to arrive before all the other people so I can gather my thoughts. I never work late in the evening. At night I love walking by the beach and having an appetitive with my friends.
What do you hate in life?
Boredom and being false.
And how would you want to be remembered?
As a well-mannered and correct person.