The ongoing Spring Summer 2015 Milan Fashion Week season marked the formal relaunch of Italian luxury fashion house of Krizia by its new owner, Chinese entrepreneur and designer Zhu Chongyun. Zhu acquired the Krizia brand from its iconic founder Mariuccia Mandelli earlier this year.
Zhu, who is based in Shenzhen has been spending the week in Milan, putting together a creative team that will, under her leadership, be charged with reviving a brand that had fallen on hard times in recent years as Mandelli and Aldo Pinto, her husband and business partner, struggled with age-related health problems.
The willowy Zhu has also been cutting a dash on the fashion week cocktail circuit, thanks to a catwalk figure and youthful beauty that defy her status as a 50-year-old mother of two.
Backed by some of the country’s most influential fashion publications, the exhibition is part tribute to Mandelli’s heritage as a pioneering female force in the industry, part welcome for Zhu and also partly an exercise in reassuring everyone that Krizia’s tradition will not be compromised as a result of the move to Chinese ownership.
Krizia’s formal relaunch took place during Milan Fashion Week at the 17th century Palazzo Litta. Architect Vincenzo de Cotiis served as the informal curator of the project that brought five Italian magazines together with five international artists or designers to celebrate the historic Milanese fashion label. De Cotiis created a dramatic metal sculpture, homage to Krizia’s famous pleats – which was set up at Palazzo Litta.
Unlike Wang, Zhu says her designs for Krizia will not be influenced by her heritage, even though the marque has a history of using Asian fabrics and styles. “I don’t think I will use a lot of Asian elements in Krizia. We don’t want to mislead the public into thinking that because it is now Chinese-owned it is going to have more of an Asian culture: that is not what I want.”
It is unclear how much financial trouble Krizia was in before Zhu stepped in, but it is understood the sale was concluded for around $35 million, a figure that will look a snip if the company, which has a claim to having invented hot pants, can be restored to its former glory.
adapted from AFP, Wallpaper*
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