As the fashion industry flocks to Europe and the dust settles stateside, it’s an Italian-bred New York transplant who’s basking in the residual New York Fashion Week glow. Veteran accessories designer Sofia Sizzi drew further acclaim to her already established name with her new womenswear label Giulietta. As its name sonorously exclaims, Giulietta is Italian to the core: the designs are strict, rich and harken back to an era when women defined sexiness by more body coverage rather than less.
An unlikely New York entry, the launch of Giuletta has fulfilled Sizzi’s lifelong dream of adding clothing to her repertoire. Of the decidedly demure aesthetic, Sizzi remarks that her designs are “for women who are conscious of [their] own self and body, and know how to dress up without revealing too much.” Giulietta’s buttoned up look consists of long sleeved collared blouses, swingy floor-length skirt ensembles in sumptuous heavy gauge silks, elongated wool jackets and a sublime long chiffon cape dress in an arresting red hue. And look no further than the tapestry printed, perfectly tailored 3/4 sleeve sheath dress for the ideal modern-meets-Fellini film siren ensemble.
So why launch a project of such uniquely European taste in the New York market? “Because New York is where I live and where I achieved my creative freedom,” explains Sizzi. “I love the contrast of my Italian tradition opposite the modern influence of the city.” And it appears that the gamble has already started to pay off. All the coveted store buyers are now marching through the designer’s modest Soho atelier to follow up on the buzz from her NYFW showing. Although we’ll have to wait and see how Sizzi’s hand develops as a clothing designer, her talent for crafting beautiful shoes, belts and bags has been evident since she began her career at Gucci when she was only 19.
A veteran of both Calvin Klein and Donna Karan, Sizzi is now clearly intent on keeping the focus on her clothing. She has brought in former Art Basel director Cay Sophie Rabinowitz as creative collaborator and plans to craft her luxury accessories from non-animal products. “I made a decision not to use leather in my collection both in the apparel and the accessories and so far I like the results,” says Sozzi, “a lot of colors of satin and velvet will always available, lots of prints on very strong, classic silhouettes.” We say if someone can challenge Stella McCartney in this category, they’re in the money.