The Maestro of Vintage
Where can you find a jaguar fur coat, mint-condition Norma Kamali swimsuits from the eighties, off-the-wall hexagonal Guy Laroche sunglasses, and a seventies suede and fur skirt from Gucci? Head to Italy’s vintage Mecca, or Meccas, Elio Ferraro in both Milan and Florence. Established in 2002, it’s named for the man at its helm, who has held design positions at Salvatore Ferragamo and Emilio Pucci. “Being a designer, Elio’s approach in buying is completely different from regular vintage dealers,” says Sabrina Querci, Managing Director of the store, “the commercial side is certainly not the priority in his selection.” The offerings generally range from the eighties to the early 20th century—like one of their crowning finds, a fringed, fully sequined “Jeanne Lanvin” dress from the ‘30s. Though some of their most memorable pieces predate even that, like an 1870’s silk and lace cape in perfect condition. “We carry everything Elio considers to be an extraordinary piece, regardless of style or era,” Querci says. And they also stock a well-edited selection of antique furniture and true one-of-a-kind clothing prototypes that were never produced. It’s this mix that attracts the celebrity and fashion crowd, from Kate Moss and Eva Herzigova to Rihanna and Victoria Beckham. “Most of our clients are extremely selective and look for a unique piece in reaction to the recent luxury-made-in-series shift. They are horrified by the idea of being identified in a specific logo or brand,” says Querci. “And there is the obvious difference in the quality of older products.” Karla Martinez, W’s Fashion Market and Accessories Director stopped into the shop during Milan Fashion Week this season. “I was looking to buy something that I wouldn’t see on anyone else,” she says. “I found a navy blue long sleeve dress with gold buttons slightly below the breast line. Nothing feels more special than vintage Saint Laurent.”
Virginia VanZanten – WMAGAZINE
Elio Ferraro, Creative Director and Founder behind his eponymous vintage brand, is a legendary figure from Italy.
Following his fashion consultancy at Salvatore Ferragamo and Emilio Pucci, Elio has created a luxury approach at vintage.
His selection (Alaia, Chanel, Gucci, Mugler, Valentino and YSL to name just a few) is editing a dimension of style, which bestows his reputation by the worldwide press as ‘King of Vintage’ [Harpers Bazaar, UK].
Stepping into Ferraro’s store, or gallery as it is often referred to, you may well feel you have left the city and are falling into the Alice in Wonderland syndrome… and then comes another sensation: you do not want to move out!
The space is filled with classic one-off pieces. Highlights include vintage Pucci, Missoni and Valentino mixed in with Elio’s own creations and interior design pieces from the 50’s to the 80’s.
Thanks to the global reputation of his two ‘galleries’ in Florence and Milan, he has been hosted in exclusive pop-in concessions in London (Selfridges and Harvey Nichols).
While further ‘gallery’ openings are in the agenda, the e-commerce launch will soon display this collection to a worldwide audience. I, for one, cannot wait!
Jasmeen Dugal – EXPLOSIVE FASHION
Dubbed ‘the King of Vintage’, Elio Ferraro opened his gallery/store in Milan, following the success of his world renowned Florence space.
For several years now, celebrities have sought out this stylish Sicillian who “transforms the fantasy of nostalgic decadence in an environment of pure undeniable glamour and luxury, with a precise contemporary interpretation”.
His client list includes Kate Moss, Eva Herzigova, Britney Spears, Rihanna, and Victoria Beckham.
Ferraro has even had the odd pop-up store in Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. What can you expect from his new store?
Well, he aims for a “total lifestyle concept” and has created a sophisticated environment where even the “greatest 20th century design furnishings” are for sale.
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