Could this be a trend? More Italian fashion brands looking to the L.A. market for exposure and retail growth?
Just a few months ago, Italian brand Eleventy expanded to a new permanent location in Beverly Hills, and now Genny, where Gianni Versace got his start by working with Genny sister brand Byblos, has come to Brighton Way with its first U.S. store just a few doors down on the same side of the street.
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This new outpost is a big deal for Genny, which has only two stand-alone stores in Italy — one in Milan and one in Capri.
“I think it is going to be a good market for me,” said Sara Cavazza Facchini, Genny’s creative director, who was in town for the new boutique’s opening. “People like the femininity and the shape of my clothes. They like the quality of the fabric and the touch of elegance.”
White is a predominant color in the Genny collection, and it was well employed throughout the nearly 2,700-square-foot space located at 9536 Brighton Way. The interior is a combination of white marble floors and white oak touches. The white walls have a special texture to resemble the blockchain pattern used in much of Genny’s fabric.
Cavazza Facchini, who has been the creative director since 2013, wanted to create a calm, relaxing environment with a California vibe that was inviting for women to enjoy their time perusing the collection’s stylish looks.
Working with celebrity influencers has been important for building the brand. Three years ago, when Jennifer Lopez selected a Genny white blockchain bandage dress for her music video “PaTi Lonely,” a trailer was broadcast for two weeks in New York’s Times Square, elevating the label’s name recognition. Other influencers wearing the brand include Eva Longoria, Rita Ora, Becky G and Cindy Mello.
On Wednesday night, Genny held a cocktail soiree at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood to celebrate the store’s opening. Attendees included Jaden Smith, Jasmine Sanders, Kate Beckinsale, Carmella Rose and Mia Moretti, and the brand is counting on celebrity dressing and red carpets for exposure, now that the SAG-AFTRA strike has ended.
The U.S, has already been a good market for the Milan-based brand. About 40 percent of the company’s revenues come from the U.S. through online sales and wholesale accounts, the company said. The label is very popular in Europe as well as Mexico and Brazil, Cavazza Facchini noted.
Genny’s typical customer is 30 years old and above. “She is a businesswoman, a powerful woman who needs to go from day to evening. She wants to be chic,” the creative director explained.
The label was founded in 1962 by Arnaldo and Donatella Girombelli, who had a boutique in Ancona with an adjacent tailor shop. A little more than 10 years later, the Girombellis introduced an additional brand called Byblos, where Gianni Versace was a young designer. In 2001, Prada acquired the company, and in 2011, it was bought by Swinger International, based in Verona, Italy.
The brand is still made in Italy and uses luxurious Italian fabrics that have a soft feel and elegant sheen. “When I look at my clothes, I see the same DNA, the white color, the metallic details and the special embroideries,” the creative director explained.
The label’s spring 2024 collection was recently on the runway in Milan. The looks had more flowing silhouettes, letting go of previous more constructed designs. The predominant color was white, often done in a shimmery fabric that added a casual but sophisticated feel to the pieces.
Since 2016, Cavazza Facchini said she has been putting more emphasis on sustainable fabrics and materials. “I not only wanted to do this from a business standpoint but from an ethical standpoint,” she said, noting she has two children who should inherit a better planet.
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