Family Portraits – ETRO FAMILY
A FAMILY THAT HAS MADE AN ART OF TEXTILES AND FASHION, IF NOT A WAY OF EXPRESSION.
Etro is New Tradition, the sum of artisan know-how and creative experimentation.
The entrepreneurial venture began in 1968, when Gimmo Etro, the brand’s visionary founder, launched a production of highly prestigious fabrics using noble and natural fibres, which he embellished with original designs and innovative colour ways.
In 1981 the furnishing textiles line made its debut. The Paisley motif used to enrich the first collection was set to become the Etro mark of identity.
The product range added another string to its bow in 1984 with leather goods and the bag and travel bag collection in Paisley jacquard fabric, which, thanks to its special resin finish, was to become a symbol of pure elegance.
In 1986 Etro launched the home accessories and complements collection, thus consolidating the brand’s life style concept.
The creation of the Etro Perfumes division in the late 1980s was a natural consequence and today the collection extends to 24 exclusive fragrances and a dedicated boutique.
The 1990s saw the unveiling of the first men’s and women’s prêt-à-porter collections, their inventive and recherché style earning the label instant recognition.
The materials, the workings and a special talent with prints are what make Etro unique and unrepeatable.
« My work is an emotional endeavour. I observe everything, storing sensations and inspirations to share with my creative team. I keep a notebook in which to record things that strike me. Then I work by subtraction, gradually cleaning out the notebook and throwing away most of the notes until it is time to get up the courage to close the circle. What is left forms the heart of the collection. »
Veronica Etro was born in Milan on 19 April 1974 under the sign of Aries. She attended the Deutsche Schule of Milan, where she graduated from both the German “Abitur” and the Italian high school programmes. She then attended Central St Martins College of Art and Design in London, earning her degree in 1997. Veronica wanted to gain experience with other designers before joining the family company, which she entered in 1998 to work alongside her brother Kean as the creative directors of the Womenswear collection. She unveiled her first collection in 2000 to immediate acclaim. Her passions include travel, from which she never ceases to draw inspiration, photography and modern art. Instinctive and ironic, her imaginative yet pragmatic outlook surprise in equal measures. As well as the four men in the company (her father and three brothers), she is surrounded by her husband Alessandro and two children, Filippo and Lorenzo, to whom she dedicates the other half of her life.
« It’s all a question of timing, which is true also of life.
The trick is to know when to press down hard on the accelerator
and when to ease off it. »
ppolito Etro was born in Milan on the 31st of January 1967 under the sign of Aquarius. At 11 years old he went to boarding school where he completed his secondary schooling and passed his English A Levels. He then attended University College London (UCL) graduating in Biology in 1988 but taking simultaneously business and economics classes. That same year he left for New York, where he lived until 1991. After gaining work experience with an administrative, tax and real estate consulting group, he joined Etro USA when the company decided to open a New York office. On his return to Italy in 1991 he was responsible for the Administration Department and then became its Director. He is currently Etro’s General Manager. With little inclination for social life, he rarely appears in the press despite the key role he plays in the company. In fact, Ippolito adroitly calibrates pragmatism and entrepreneurial imagination to define Etro’s commercial expansion and square the accounts. Father of three children, Lazlo, Greta and Audrey, he is also a collector with a passion for photography, ancient Japanese art, contemporary Chinese art and urban art. Jogging, skiing, tennis and football make Ippolito a versatile sportsman.
« The definition of designer is too tight-fitting for me, I’d prefer to be associated with the idea of an imp, a fantasy creature that discovers and rediscovers brand new ideas. What I want is to find unprecedented and solid solutions in an entirely Natural ability. »
Kean Etro was born in Milan on a windy day in 1964, the Year of the Dragon. After studying against the majestic mountainscape of Villars Svizzera, he attended first Aiglon College and then Cambridge before returning to Milan to study Medieval History. He joined the company in 1986 to work on upgrading the information systems. In 1989 he developed the Etro Perfumes division. In 1990 he designed the first Menswear collection, giving extraordinary momentum to the wave of creative transformation that was already sweeping the Etro brand. In 1997 he presented the first Menswear show, theorising the concept of New Tradition, which would become a keystone theme of his style. He also designed the Womenswear collection until his sister Veronica came on board in 2000. In 2003 he designed the family website, which went on to earn many awards in both Italy and abroad. Kean is highly sensitive to environmental and social themes, creating and developing initiatives such as “Gli Oggetti dell’Affetto” (Objects of Love) with Sotheby’s for the Vidas charity association or “Tree of Life”. Volcanic, passionate and cultured, Kean is dominated by a nomadic, cosmopolitan and generous spirit.
« I would describe myself as a researcher. Research and experimentation are the grass roots of textiles, but you need to be consistent, to never ever stop, even though, for me, the quest for the new cannot be separated from the strong attachment to the values stemming from one’s personal experiences. »
Jacopo Etro was born in Milan on 22 September 1962. Jacopo has been working for the company since 1982 and is now the Creative Director of the Etro Accessories and Leather, Home and Textile collections, as well as Head of Communications. In 2010, he was invited to sit on the board of the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana (Italian Fashion Council) as the delegate for the Italian textile industry. Thoughtful, but also capable of making extreme decisions, his daily agenda revolves around the development of ideas and projects in a balance of pure creativity and commercial zest. Jacopo has a passion for contemporary art, including sculpture and photography, but his true love is ancient textiles, a collection he has built up over many years and the fruit of his travels, mainly in Asia, India and China.
And some joy from the last collection at the end…