Ultràchic, a fashion success story from Italy
Milanese label Ultràchic began almost as a pastime but has managed to make a name for itself with its own brand of chic, brightly coloured and playful ready-to-wear fashion at affordable prices. Ultràchic was founded in 2006 by Diego Dossola and Viola Baragiola. Its collections are produced entirely in Italy, mainly in Lombardy, and it claims 100 multibrand clients, plus a monobrand store at via Meravigli 18, in the heart of Milan, opened in 2015, and of course an e-store.
It all started when Diego Dossola met Viola Baragiola. At the time, the two friends worked for their respective family businesses, publishing for Dossola and knitwear for Baragiola. Being football aficionados, they decided to create three tongue-in-cheek football scarves in the colours of Italy's most prestigious and popular clubs - Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan - and approached some fashion stores with them, just before the Christmas period. They struck gold, winning over as many as 50 retailers. The luxurious scarves also provided the name for the label: ‘ultrà’ is the Italian term for a die-hard football fan.
From the scarves and a set of t-shirts inspired by the national teams competing in the 2006 Football World Cup in Germany, the creative duo rapidly moved on to a fully fledged ready-to-wear collection, distinctive for its prints and vivid colours, a fresh interpretation of womenswear infused with a young, quirky touch. With prices ranging from €500 to €1,000 for a dress and €300 to €500 for a skirt, with products rigorously made in Italy, rich in sophisticated details and positioned in the contemporary segment, Ultràchic managed to carve out a niche within the highly competitive world of fashion.
Executive functions are split up between Dossola, the creative director, and Baragiola, who is in charge of sales, with a staff of about 10 people working for them. The company produces a revenue fluctuating between €1.5 and €2 million, of which 60% is generated in Italy. Ultràchic is present on Farfetch.com and is also distributed in Russia, the Middle East, Asia and the rest of Europe. For the next summer season, it will be available at Parisian department store Le Bon Marché.
“The fashion we make is colourful and ironic. The silhouettes are highly feminine. We sell well both to 25-year-olds and to more mature women,” said Diego Dossola. In September, Ultràchic joined the Milan Fashion Week calendar, showing its Spring/Summer 2019 collection.
“To show at the Fashion Week, that was quite something. I love telling stories through my clothes, and having to face the challenge of redesigning everything from scratch every four months. When I see a girl wearing Ultràchic on the streets, I swear, I’m really moved,” said Dossola with a smile.
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