During one of the latest weekend in Versilia we gladly spent a rainy Sunday morning with Silvia Bini, volcanic and resourceful protagonist of the Italian retail and buying panorama.
Silvia, third generation of a traders family, heads of different stores in Viareggio (Tuscany) where you can buy more than one hundred brands between traditional luxury brands and emerging talents.
Sipping coffees we chatted and learned a lot about the retail panorama, a key component in the cycle of fashion, but still quite unknown to us.
Silvia has a deep knowledge in fashion and a truly infinite general culture, as well as a burning passion for her work, so deep that this emerges from her words as by her every time she starts talking and concerning a collection, a fashion designer or a brand.
Today we decided to pick up some answers that Silvia gave us during our well spent time together.
Enjoy the reading,
F & F
Silvia, could you tell to our readers three key pieces a man should have in his closet for this summer?
SB. The real must-have of this summer is a military jacket, tailcoat type as those proposed by Saint Laurent or Gucci.
Then, you should’t miss a classic shirt, maybe with a used effect and with wide cuffs and cufflinks.
Timeless, of course, a pair of jeans, once again with used effect.But we must bear in mind that the new is never chic, as isn’t go out of a store with a whole new wardrobe. The beauty and talent are in the ability to mix past and present and that the true modernity is tackling the canons without taking them to the extreme.
What shouldn’t be missing in the wardrobe of a man?
SB. If I were a man I would opt only for cult pieces, to keep forever! I would’t never purchase trivial items or accessories.The cabinet, instead, must contain passe-partout pieces that allow you to go out in the morning and returning home in the evening without the need of constantly change.
What should wear a woman to be elegant and contemporary?
SB. She must wear clothes that make her feels good, that are easy to interpret and adaptable. Is a woman who shares the closet with her man, in order to the unisex trend proposal from brands like Saint Laurent, Faith Connection or Balmain.
As for the man, she must have a series of cult pieces in her wardrobe, clothes that, if well chosen, she will never remove from her closet.In one of my shop windows I’m showing (down below) an old Valentino notebook that has more than 20 years, where there are collected identical tissues to those proposed in this year’s catwalk.Fashion is a repetition, in fact, now there isn’t something new. The contemporary states only with the fashion culture.
Fashion is now more and more on the web. Who can a woman follow to catch some inspiration?
SB. My advice is to avoid reference models that everyone loves. We must stand out and take inspiration from characters / icon like Anna dello Russo, perfect in every situation, even if extreme, or the talented Miroslava Duma.
Among the young girls I really like the ‘”ramshackle” looks of Cara Delevigne as well as those of Leandra Medine (aka Man Repeller).
Which are the main brands of the season?
SB. Sain Laurent, Valentino and Chloé are definetely the spearheads for the woman. Even Dries van Noten is going great.Many young and contemporary brands such as Marcelo Burlon are work well in men, while in womenswear are slowing down.
How is the customer of Silvia Bini?
SB. In my shop I do not sell only fashion, but I try to convey a bit of culture, and my customers know it well. My clients are now prepared and informed and it’s rare that they show up in boutique saying “dress me”.My costumers “like” or “do not like” something, no matter what the brand. We sold very well collections so dear as unknown.In young children, the situation is reverse: the brand dominates.
How is, instead, the man who buys Silvia Bini?
SB. The man who buys from me, at 90% already knows what he wants. The forty tend to be more humble and open to suggestions, while the young guys, have very clear ideas.What makes the world Silvia Bini different from other shops?
SB. My shops are at the same time the kingdom of mix and privacy.
Among your boutiques, the one dedicated to men is quite unique. How did this project born?
SB. The man shop is from 2003. I had in mind to do a man’s wardrobe more than a shop. The small size have been a stimulus rather than a limit, and the optimization of space prompted us to choose cabinets from the American libraries and to design a tape similar to those normally found in laundries. An unusual solution that allows us to hang over 4000 pieces.
A menswear website that you like?
SB. The most beautiful man site is MRPorter: always respectful of a well-defined philosophy beyond the fashion of the moment
.Plans for the future?
SB. I’m trying to expand with the help of young and enterprising guys. My dream is to create a Dover Street Market in a “Viareggina” key!