Antonio Berardi, Gibo SpA
In 1994 the label “Antonio Berardi” was established and the first show was whowed in 1995 in London. The degree collection of Antonio Berardi was bought by Liberty and A La Mode in London, Kylie Minogue modelled for the first official show and Philip Treacy and Monolo Blahnik designed the accessories. In 1999 the fashion shows moved from the London catwalks to Milan.
The following year, Extè appointed Berardi as their head designer, also becoming producers of his own collection. The partnership ended in Autumn 2001 and a new Italian backer, Gibo, stepped in to provide Berardi with financial security. So Berardi signed a 5 Year contract with Gibo, the prestigious Italian apparel manufacturer, in February 2002.
Berardi has now found an impressive international market and his clothes are available at Liberty and Joseph in London, as well as Saks Fifth Avenue in New York. His designs are a triumph with orders from more than 100 stores in London, New York and Paris. Sales of the Antonio Berardi fashion house totalled $ 2.6 million in 2001. It will continue to be distributed by L.A. Distribution, the showroom that takes care of the label worldwide, except Japan. Franco Pene of Italian company GIBO (behind Hussein Chalayan, Paul Smith, Viktorand Rolf, and Julier Verhoeven) are now handling the manufacturing and distribution of the Berardi label.
Berardi credits many design influences to his Italian roots: hourglass figures are his preferred silhouette and he constantly references Catholic symbolism. Berardi's designs combine sensuality with fine tailoring, quality materials and attention to detail. He is known for sexy, provocative, highly feminine clothes which often incorporate elements of street style. Some critics say that his ideas are copies of Galliano's designs and he picked up more than inspiration while working with him. This doesn't faze him; he says "it is an honour to be compared to him".
Eva Mendes, Emily Mortimer