HE & SHE: Andrea Pompilio, he of the preppy look and retro-tinged tailoring, is ready for a new gig.
On Saturday the designer will unveil his first full women’s collection with a digital coed presentation as part of Milan Fashion Week.
“The project came about before lockdown as a natural expansion of women’s capsule collections I did in the past. They never translated into full lineups because I had some manufacturing issues related to the fact that I rely on small Italian artisans,” the designer explained from his Milan’s headquarters.
He said female “industry insiders looking for a certain mannish look used to buy men’s wear in smaller sizes,” and also offered that roughly 65 percent of the brand’s social media following is made up of women. “This had us reflect quite a lot.”
The women’s lineup borrows silhouettes and fabrics from the men’s range, only at times rendered more feminine by way of delicate materials such as featherweight tulle frocks worn over bootleg pants and masculine shirts.
“It’s a blunt return to my roots, a process that was fostered by the pandemic,” Pompilio said. “I really could focus on ideas and be less distracted,” he said of the last few months, citing a more straightforward proposition.
In sync with the enforced slow approach to designing a collection due to the health crisis, he had already sourced fabrics before lockdown was enforced in Italy.
“The female collection is a new experiment for my business, but I’m confident it will succeed,” Pompilio said, citing Asia as his brand’s most relevant market.
During lockdown the designer did not rest on his laurels. With a number of consulting projects ongoing in different regions of the world, including China, Japan and the U.S., he kept busy with Zoom calls and remote meetings.
For instance, his partnership with leading Chinese apparel-maker JNBY for the men’s wear and kids’ wear brand A Personal Note 73 is still going on and thriving in the Asia region with plans for international expansion still under wraps.
As part of his creative director role at Onitsuka Tiger, Pompilio is to unveil his first store concept for the Japanese brand in a flagship store in Italy opening by the end of the year.