Corneliani has hired Paul Surridge for its Corneliani Circle capsule collection. The English designer will infuse his vision into the brand’s sustainable offspring project, starting with the presentation of the new s/s 2023 collection during the next June Milan Menswear shows.
Paul Surridge brings to Corneliani the experience he has gained over the years through numerous major assignments in Milan, London and New York. After studying at Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design, Surridge held various positions of responsibility and creative direction for Calvin Klein, Burberry, Jil Sander, Z Zegna, Roberto Cavalli and Acne Studios in Stockholm.
Since the recent acquisition of Corneliani by INV Italia and Investcorp that own respectively 45% and 35% of the Italian menswear brand, some other significant have already happened–and the recent naming of Paul Surridge is another example of the new direction the brand wants to take.
Corneliani Circle is a relatively new sustainable capsule collection, and the brand's second line, that could play an increasingly important role for the company’s growth in attracting a wider client base of younger and generally more conscious consumer target.
Stefano Gaudioso Tramonte, general merchandising manager & style director, Corneliani, explained The SPIN OFF, how Corneliani Circle will evolve in this direction.
It was born in 2019 as the company wanted to take the new step to offer a sustainable collection made by using certified suppliers. We wanted that each piece of that collection - from the lining to the button, including the packaging - was sustainable.
We started offering first a jacket and soon after we created the first Corneliani Circle capsule collection and right after we continued to offer products made with certified material every season. As part of this strategy, we have also created a special book meant to inform trade about how each piece is responsibly made.
Since f/w 2019/2020 Corneliani Circle has become a complete a total look that includes, jackets, trousers, shirts, t-shirts and knitwear. It is 100% made in Italy and characterized by Italian taste and research. It offers about 120 pieces, and it represents the 10% of our total offer of 1200 pieces, (including all fabric and color variants).
Since s/s 2023 this sustainable capsule collection will have an own stylistic and directional content, hyping an aspect that more customers are looking for - an aspect and a request that the pandemic has accelerated.
Thanks to the collaboration with this designer, it will offer a more casual and deconstructed style than our usual products, though also translated into suits. We had achieved these results by collaborating with freelance designers who brought us this kind of research and inputs, but have now decided to collaborate with Surridge, steadily.
By involving him we want to focus on products with an attitude that is different from tailor-made looks, it has the aplomb of the jacket, but it is relaxed and not rigid, is near to our identity of elegance and sophisticated fashion, but it is slightly different.
Not yet, but we aim to reach this result. Along with it, we aim to calculate our footprint and gradually reduce it in order to lower it to half of its present value.
Moreover, despite the collection itself is not certified, all the suppliers we work with are certified in terms of garment durability, clean process, ethical contracts and working conditions. The materials our suppliers use are only GRS-certified and made, for instance, with BCI cotton only, according to terms we have already respected since our first capsule.
Did you also launch any sustainable collaboration capsule collections?
We did some colabs like, for instance, with ACBC, a footwear brand and a manufacturer specialised in producing eco-friendly high-quality shoes. Together with them, we produced a colab that is the opposite of what others do as we did the ACBC with Corneliani capsule offering a raincoat and an outer jacket, made according to the same principles they believe in.
What are your expectations for Corneliani Circle?
Each of our initiative was ever meant to offer products that are not for granted nor made with the aim to do greenwashing. We are firmly convinced that this trend is meant to always better anyone’s impact on the environment and, always more in our business, we think it is the right decision to take.
What aims do you want to reach?
We want to approach a different generation and type of consumer - which is not necessarily younger. This can help us to widen our client base, change our distribution and refresh our offer while giving a different style and ethical message.
Are there any other projects in store?
For s/s 2023 we will also launch a new athleisure capsule, part of the Corneliani collection - Style E-Motion. It is made with four different high-performance materials, some of them are more stretch, others are less, and each of them has very different hands. These very comfortable materials are declined in some key items of our collection…but this is a different story, and we will disclose it later…