Alberta Ferretti has long designed for the elegant Italian woman. While her woman has evolved, one thing has remained consistent; the inspiration Ferretti’s gets from her home country of Italy.
The Alberta Ferretti Maison began its life in Italy in 1973 with a small boutique in Cattolica. Ferretti began showing seasonal collections in Milan in 1981 and has remained consistent and true to the Italian fashion industry for over forty years.
Her feminine and elegant designs embody the values of Italy, especially its women. Attention to details is at the core of the Alberta Ferretti Maison and this is synonymous with Italy and Italian design. Here we discuss with Alberta Ferretti how her surroundings and the people of Italy inspire her collections, year after year.
How would you describe Italy through your eyes?
I would describe Italy as a wonderful country to explore and discover in its diversity and traditions, where the pursuit of excellence and quality, not only in fashion, represent its strength and essence, but while always looking towards the future.
Tell us more about the importance of “Made in Italy” and why do you think there is such a fascination with this concept globally?
Craftsmanship, quality and tradition are still the characteristics that distinguish Italian fashion today. A tale of expert hands that interpret and give shape to a creative idea, through techniques and processes that are never forgotten, but preserved over time and still incredibly modern today. This is still an element of charm that characterises our country today, making it unique in the world.
How important is it to you to preserve traditional crafts and handmade techniques?
It’s very important! Especially for those like me, whose work begins with materials and the use of original embroideries and techniques that require expertise, as well as meticulous craftsmanship.
When it comes to these techniques – what do you think Italy offers that is unique?
Italy is the only country where creativity becomes an object. It is universally considered a reference model for production. Our country has the merit of having been able to maintain its leadership in the production chain over time, welcoming and positively integrating technological innovations.
How do you think the values and culture of Italy are seen throughout Alberta Ferretti?
I have always thought of Alberta Ferretti as a Maison, and I have always referenced a coherent style as well as my very personal vision of fashion to create an ethereal, sensual and timeless look for women who choose pieces not based on trends but on their taste. This vision of fashion is very “intimate” and reflects my training, which took place inside my mother’s tailor shop. A place full of imagination and creativity, where women could feel free. Fashion at the time was really about couture. Putting fabrics, colours and silhouettes together was a magic that came together on a woman’s body. Women were suddenly transformed into more beautiful women because of what they were wearing! It was incredible for me to see how a dress could transform every woman into a character. I am
We know the woman that you create for is very important to you and that she is a reflection of Italy’s modern woman – how would you describe her in your own words?
I love how different each woman can be and through my creations, I desire to enhance their characteristics without masking their distinctive beauty. In particular, I am interested in the women of today and for this reason, my fashion wants to represent modernity.
How do you think the Alberta Ferretti brand has evolved over the years?
Out of sensitivity and choice, I have always worked on building a very precise, coherent and de ned style that has characterised my fashion and my creations. Over the years, I have always tried to anticipate and closely follow the changes and needs of my customers. I believe I have always remained faithful to my vision of elegance and romance, to enhance the personality of my clients through my clothes. Having always been careful to represent modernity, in recent years I have also worked on special projects and unisex capsule collections that have expanded my universe, without altering its DNA.
Italy has suffered greatly throughout the global pandemic we are currently experiencing – when all of this is over what do you expect to see from the recovery of this crisis?
I am sure that the fashion industry will find a way to overcome this difficult moment. I think it will come out stronger as there is no limit to creativity, and today, more than ever, we need to dream. It will take time to return to the rhythms of the past and surely there will be several changes. However, I believe that nothing can replace the emotion of a fashion show because in those moments you don’t only see one dress but enter a whole new world.
In every crisis, there is always an opportunity – what is something positive that will come out of this painful situation?
This moment is surely teaching us to give more value to intimacy, to affections and not to take anything for granted. I found some photos of my two children when they were little, which fondly reminded me of those days. I am always projecting towards the future. Being a fashion designer means to run without ever looking back, to be constantly up to date, but now and then, stopping and reliving beautiful moments of the past is good for the heart.
When all of this is over will you be changing any of the strategies of the brand and has it had an impact on how you will move forward?
I am spending a lot of time studying what women might want after this pandemic. Certainly, they will want easy, comfortable, eco-sustainable, elegant and above, all quality clothing: garments and accessories that last over time, that enter the wardrobe and are there to stay and be reinterpreted season after season. Extravagance will end, but we will not stop dreaming.
The collections will certainly be less broad and more focused on the identity of the brand. A timeless style that remains attentive to the needs of the women of today. A style that thanks to sober lines, will always be current and fulfil a woman’s desire to feel beautiful and comfortable in any situation.
What is the motto you are living by during this time?
Never stop dreaming!
Looking forward, what does the second half of 2020 hold for Alberta Ferretti?
I talk to my closest collaborators every day and together we continue to work on and design the new collections: the next steps will be the Resort and the SS2021 collection, which will surely be communicated with a different approach. Intense months await us, made up of big challenges, some unknowns that will require great commitment.
We want to talk a little about current the spring/summer collection – what can you tell us about it?
I started working on this collection with the idea of creating a story of modernity, trying to nd a balance between the feeling that women have towards fashion and the spirit of freedom of our days. I decided, therefore, to deepen my search for personalisation, to make each garment the chapter of a story and transform everyday clothing into many special occasions.
Growing up, what is your first memory of Italy?
I was born and raised in a small seaside town but in the warmer months, my parents would send me to the countryside to a large farmhouse with some of our relatives, where I spent my days immersed in nature and playing with my cousins. I still remember the emotions I felt when I heard the sound of the cicadas, the scents, and the views of the hills between the Marche and Romagna regions. In the evenings, I loved looking at the stars in the total darkness while facing the immense sky.
Where in Italy do you like to travel to?
I love to drive. I like to take my car to explore and discover the beauties of our country. Each trip is a different surprise as each region has its own unique charm, which never ceases to amaze me. I love roads surrounded by nature, sea or countryside. The cities I have recently rediscovered are Orvieto and Matera.
Can you share with us any Italian traditions that you to this day continue with your family and friends?
Most certainly Saturday lunch with my family and the inevitable aperitif by the sea with friends. I can’t wait to be able to resume these habits!
What’s your favourite Italian dish to eat?
I was born by the sea, so there is nothing more beautiful to me than experiencing the flavours and scents of my homeland, even in the kitchen! One of my favourite dishes is tagliolini pasta with squid ink, salmon and ricotta cheese cream with a hint of lime… Roberto, my chef, cooks these dishes that I love always in summer.
What’s your favourite Italian era?
The Renaissance, for the innovation and vitality it has brought in all areas, especially on an artistic and cultural level, making Italy a role model for other countries. Let’s just think of Leonardo da Vinci’s genius… but there are so many I could mention!
How would you describe Italy in one word?
Surprising! For its indisputable beauty and the strength and character of its inhabitants.