Italian designer Daniele Calcaterra launches ethical ‘fur’ fabric made with organza
Milanese designer Daniele Calcaterra has always been fascinated by fabrics. His preference goes to Italian materials and top-quality Japanese textiles. He has made a name for himself with his pared-down, timeless style and 100% made-in-Italy fashion, and recently launched a new type of ethical ‘fur’, entirely made from tiny organza and silk offcuts, using a process the designer intends to patent. Daniele Calcaterra is also working on a project involving genuine vintage furs.
In the last few seasons, Daniele Calcaterra has worked with a London-based partner on old fur coats, which he deconstructs in order to create new, exclusive models. There are about fifteen people working on this project. “I experiment a lot with new materials. I cannot work if I don’t have a piece of fabric in my hands. Before I design [an item], I drape the material on a dummy and I fashion it,” said Calcaterra to FashionNetwork.com.
Daniele Calcaterra works closely with fabric manufacturers: “Between 75% and 80% of my collections are made using fabrics that are exclusive to my label. For example, I recently worked on a major project for the development of a high-tech silk fabric specific for haute couture with Gruppocinque from Como [the silk industry’s hub in Italy],” he said.
Daniele Calcaterra was born in 1973 and began his fashion career at the age of 22, working for several labels, among them Piazza Sempione. In 2014, he started a new venture: having been successful with his first women’s ready-to-wear label, Daniele Calcaterra, launched 13 years ago, the eponymous designer began working on a new project, the Calcaterra label.
“My first label was doing well, and was distributed via about forty retailers. But once it was licensed out, it went off in another direction: it was distributed more widely and positioned in the contemporary fashion segment. I therefore decided to close it down, refocus on product development and launch Calcaterra, which is manufactured in-house. The idea was to position this new line in a more upmarket segment, with a greater emphasis on sleeved items,” said the designer, who for the last six years has also been in charge of style at another Italian womenswear label, whose name he did not wish to disclose.
Calcaterra is the property of Auge, the company founded by Daniele Calcaterra with his associate Diego Corbellini, the label’s CEO. Auge has about twenty employees and is based in Brescia, one hundred kilometres east of Milan. In 2017, Calcaterra opened a first store close to Brescia, in the town of Salò on Lake Garda. The store has now doubled in size, and it occupies six rooms totalling 300 square metres. Besides womenswear, the Salò store also showcases a small men's capsule collection.
“Calcaterra sold 650 items in a year! The collection is highly versatile, with a broad range of sizes and items suitable both as day or evening wear, and it’s excellent value for money. Jackets are priced between €800 and €1,000, coats at around €2,300, and skirts and trousers between €300 and €700,” said Daniele Calcaterra.
Since February 2017, Calcaterra shows in Milan, where Milk Showroom, its distributor, is based. It currently has 20 clients, the majority of them in South Korea, followed by Europe – principally in Italy and France – and Japan, where it is distributed by the Alco group.
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