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:: Spotlight :: Antonio Marras and his Kenzo adventure

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Acclaimed Italian designer Antonio Marras has recently taken up the reigns as the Artistic Director for Kenzo Woman. He took over the job from Gilles Rosier and has already injected his influence in collection shows already this year.

Antonio comes from a strong family fashion heritage. Very early on in life, he was accustomed to being surrounded by rolls of fabric at his grandfather’s shop. As a teenager he used to accompany his father to Milan to buy merchandise and discovered Elio Fiorucci’s bazaar, which brimmed with all sorts of clothing and accessories. By 1983 Antonio began to manage the family business and in 1987 he designed his first ready-to-wear collection called ‘Piano piano dolce Carlotta’. For the next ten years he created a series of collections and achieved success as an advisor to major fashion houses in Italy.

The passion for textiles grew into his own ideas for creative designs and Antonio entered the world of haute couture. He was able to use his freedom of expression to rework vintage and precious fabrics into unique pieces that marked his first collection show in Rome in 1996. After a short while, he realised that his creations could then be transposed into ready-to-wear. In 1999 the first Antonio Marras ready-to-wear collection eventuated. He quickly established his brand and his runway shows are said to be spectacular.

With his appointment as Artistic Director of Kenzo Woman late in 2003, Antonio sees this as a major step for him. He has quickly immersed himself into the history of Kenzo, discovering points of similarity with his own style. The passionate clothes designer has an exciting adventure with Kenzo, which needed a good lift in enterprise and fortune.

When the time came around for his premier collection for Kenzo, it seemed that no expense had been spared. With excellent staging, there were fifty different models for each of the fifty pieces on offer. Antonio had been quoted as saying, “I’ve always been fascinated by populations that are on the move, by streams of constantly migrating gypsies, armies of nomads on horseback from lands without borders.” I am told that his shows demonstrate a trend of mixing masculine and feminine clothes, in running the progression of street and high fashion. The designs showed ravishing colours, pink floral prints and tropical splashes.

Antonio Marras had done what he set out to do and kick-started the Kenzo brand and bring it out of a previous slump.

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