Founded in 1994 by Consuelo Castiglioni, Italian fashion house Marni started out as a fur fashion label. However, given Consuelo's eye for modern design and unique fashion sense, it was only a matter of time that Castiglioni would veer off the fur track and tackle a different line of fashion.
As grand and global as it may seem, it feels like Marni is a family-run business; Gianni Castiglioni, Consuelo's husband, is the CEO of the company, and Carolina manages the online business. The brand itself is named after the designer's sister.
Today, the label includes ready-to-wear clothing for women, men, and children, accessories, shoes & handbags, and eyewear. Marni has more than 16 stand-alone boutiques worldwide in cities like Milan, London, Paris, NYC, LA, Tokyo, Sydney, Hong Kong, Beirut, Dubai, Kuwait.
In 2006, Marni began its venture into e-commerce and started selling items through its website, which today is run by Carolina Castiglioni. In this short interview with Carolina, we discuss Marni's evolving relationship with the Internet and media.
Carolina talks to Khaleejesque about her role in the luxury Italian label, and discusses how the artistic contemporary fashion brand is expanding its media and commerce territory locally, in its hometown of Milan, and internationally, due in part to the speed and global access of the Internet.
Tell us a bit about your role at Marni and the projects that you are working on within the brand.
Marni is a family-run company constantly evolving and moving forward on many different aspects and projects. In 2006, we were the first brand to create an online store powered by YOOX Group and I was the person who was taking over this project. I wanted the Marni Virtual Store to look as close as possible to our real boutiques and to experience the purchase in a very ‘Marni way’. Now, I have decided to mingle our virtual store and the corporate part, but in a more direct and intimate way. I think that it is really important that we communicate directly to the public to give an insight of our world.
How else do you think that Marni will expand its brand with new media and technology?
Waffling is my personal blog where I can explain through my opinion and vision by associating art, design and images that I see around me. The aim of Anticamera is to underline experiences, like travels or particular moments or another interpretation of the Marni collections.
Who are the designers that you would like to see collaborate with Marni?
I would like to collaborate with different artists and designers who are not necessarily well known, but have a personal and open-minded vision.
How would you describe your style?
I like to mix; I love feminine items worn with more masculine ones and I love dresses, maybe in more simple shapes, but with eccentric prints.
Which is your favorite city and why?
My favorite city is Milan, the city where I live and work, because here I feel I’m at home!
– Osman Ahmed
Images courtesy of Karla Otto
Note: This article was first published in Khaleejesque's APR/MAY/JUN 2012 issue "The Art & Design Issue".