Designer Biography Brioni

Credits & copyrights: Courtesy of Brioni

Founded By Nazareno Fonticoli and Gaetano Savini in 1945

Nazareano Fonticoli, a tailor and Gaetano Savini, an entrepreneur, founded Brioni – a high fashion tailor shop for men focussing on technical and stylistic excellence in via Barberini, Rome.

In 1952 Brioni showed at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, featuring men on the catwalk for the very first time. The show gave the company worldwide exposure and two years later Brioni showed in New York City and followed with eight other American shows. Conquering the United States, Brioni became the chosen label for many Hollywood stars.

In 1957 Brioni changed there style by adding a touch of colour to their formal wear which culminated in the Hess collection. The following year the brands first fragrance ‘Good Luck’ was created. During the sixties Brioni made their mark, becoming known as the world’s ambassadors of Italian sartorial excellence. The following decade Brioni expanded their innovations but kept their traditions intact, adding more colours, combinations and accessories to their designs. Now offering a total ‘look’ the company added a tie line to the label.

In 1985 Brioni opened the Nazzareno Fonticoli Scuola Superiore di Sartoria tailoring school, aiming to pass on their sartorial knowledge to the next generation.

During the nineties Brioni had more than 300 shops world wide. The company also purchased the Burini and Ciceri shirt factories and Sforza, a leather goods shop. A sportswear range was established and in 1995 a book entitled Brioni, fifty years of style, recognised the half a century of excellent work.

During the period between 1995 and 2001, Brioni experienced remarkable growth, with its revenue tripling to reach $150 million.

In 2007, the brand enstablished a significant partnership with the esteemed Royal College of Art in London, creating an extensive three-year program to train master tailors. The same year marked a notable leadership change, as Umberto Angeloni and his wife sold their 17% stake in the company, setting the stage for new directions.

The transformative phase for Brioni began in 2011 when it was acquired by the renowned French luxury group PPR, which later became Kering. This acquisition aimed to redefine the brand in response to the growing influence of streetwear and casual office attire. Francesco Pesci, a dedicated employee since 1994, played a pivotal role as CEO during this transition.

In 2012, Brendan Mullane assumed the position of creative director, infusing collections with silk, hand-painted fabrics, and kimono-belted suits.

Subsequently, Brioni underwent shifts in creative direction, including the appointments of Justin O’Shea as creative director in 2016, followed by Fabrizio Malverdi as CEO and Nina-Maria Nitsche as creative director in 2017. Under their leadership, Brioni experienced a revitalization and introduced contemporary interpretations of the brand’s iconic tailoring. In 2018, Norbert Stumpfl became the Design Director, introducing a tonal suit design featuring luxurious fabrics like cashmere, silk, vicuna, and suede.

Currently, Mehdi Benabadji serves as CEO, leading Brioni into a new era. With 30 stores globally and a team of skilled tailors and craftsmen, Brioni upholds its commitment to excellence and quality. Each made-to-measure suit involves the expertise of 200 tailors and quality control specialists, with garments undergoing around 80 pressings and steaming processes to achieve a flawless fit and finish. Brioni’s marketing campaigns have prominently featured acclaimed movie stars such as Samuel L. Jackson, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Harvey Keitel, Pierce Brosnan, Matt Dillon, and Brad Pitt, showcasing the brand’s timeless allure and sophisticated appeal.

Brioni Biography

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Written by Saxony Dudbridge

Saxony Dudbridge was one of the first contributors to the Catwalk Yourself project, Saxony studies International Fashion Marketing and she is responsible for our great History and Designers Biographies sections.

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