Marisa Minicucci… the art of renewal

Sometimes designers simply repeat what works well, season after season. That’s never been the case for Marisa Minicucci. A meeting with an inspiring designer.

Marisa Minicucci has had several lives in the world of fashion. She was first a determined and gifted student who, barely out of Lasalle College in 1981, got a job as an Assistant at Irving Samuel, a brand recognized at the time for its coat and suit collections. She quickly made her mark at the upscale retailer, launching the Irving Samuel sportswear collection.
After a ten year journey, the designer had accu­mu­lated the requisite experience to launch Marisa Minicucci. Always upscale, the collection displayed continuity with her work, but featured a little more of her personal flair. The break away from that legacy came with the founding of Marisa M Siamo in 2003.

“every woman needs a well-cut jacket and a high quality stylish coat”

The objective was to present an elegant, but closer fitting line, with techno and trendier fabrics. M Siamo was a great success, notably in the U.S., but the economic crisis in the United States forced Minicucci to shut her boutique in 2008.
It would have been easy to admit defeat, but the designer seized on the situation to rethink the business. To get through this period, Minicucci was able to rely on the support of her daughter Anissa, then 21 years of age. Determined that her mother not give up, Anissa had the idea of launching a collection with Marisa. For Marisa, howe­ver, it was out of the question to continue to offer complete product lines. With the knowledge that contemporary women’s shop­ping patterns were changing, she preferred to focus on her strengths. It was clear to her that a woman could buy jeans at one location, blouses at another, while swearing by a third brand for cashmere sweaters…

At the end of 2012, Marisa and Anissa thus launched Minicucci x Marcanio (their two surnames), a collection specializing in jackets and coats. According to designers, every woman needs a well-cut jacket and a high quality stylish coat, essential items for which they’re prepared to spend more.
The Minicucci x Marcanio collection is very modern in its approach favoring an elegance sans chichis (effortless chic), and less classic than those traditionally created by Marisa. But with her daughter at her side, the creative leap was easy. This ‘marriage of vision’ between women 53 and 26 years old is the greatest strength of the brand. Marisa brings her experience and expertise, while Anissa offers a breath of fresh air in terms of design and even marketing. The result is a product that appeals to different generations.
Designers agree that the Minicucci x Marcanio client is an intelligent woman who knows what she wants and gets it! And when questioned on their experience of working with family, both reply that even if the relationship – and every decision – is very emotional, they could not do without one another!

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