Prete & Bruno
Prete & Bruno may not be household names just yet, but if the Italian designers' Fall Winter 2012 collection, which debuted during New York Fashion Week, is any indication, they will be in short order. The talented design duo behind Prete & Bruno, Salvatore Prete and Filippo Bruno came together a year ago to combine their visions.
Originally from Milan, Prete & Bruno tell Uinterview in our exclusive interview that their line stands out from others on the market because of how it combines couture elements with ready-to-wear pieces. Submitting their request to the CFDA to show at Fashion Week a mere three weeks before the start of the festivities, the designers clearly had the talent, style and ambition to win over the toughest of critics. Since then, they have started working on the Prete & Bruno Spring 2013 collection and are getting ready to take on the industry one dress at a time.
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- Q: You are both Italian and your line was started in Italy last year, but you decided to have your first show in New York instead of Milan. What was behind that decision? - Uinterview User
- A: We made the decision to have the show in New York for two reasons. The first is that our base for the business is in the United States. New York is the capital of fashion in the United States and it is maybe the most important place to achieve the most [exposure] worldwide. With our fashion line, our label, we made the collection very elegant, with French and Italian twists. So maybe, it was the right choice because, in New York, it is hard to find a collection like our collection. We had the chance to have the right visibility to show our view of fashion.
- Q: You decided, relatively late on to show in New York. Take us behind the scenes and tell us what it was like to put the show together at the last minute. - Uinterview User
- A: Yes, it's true. We asked the CFDA just three weeks before the start of the fashion week… that is a record! Actually, we were ready to do it. After we had a couple of meetings with our production manager and our distributor, they said to us that Milan is fine, but it is too small for the new market. By the new market, we mean the United States, China, the Middle East and Russia. New York is now the capital for fashion in all of the new market. So we reached [the decision of] New York in maybe one week.
- Q: Your fabrics arrived late. How did you handle that? - Uinterview User
- A: The world collection was made in Italy and the fabrics are actually 80% from an Italian manufacturer and about 20% from a French manufacturer. So it's 100% European. The heritage of the fabrics like silk, suede and cashmere are actually French and Italian, and we were able to find the traditional fabrics with the twist of a new look. [But] maybe the next collection will be manufactured in the United States. We are trying the find the right manufacturer to do it.
- Q: After all of that work, can you settle on a favorite piece from the collection? - Uinterview User
- A: You know, that's like asking a mother if she has favorite child. We love to do jackets and cloaks, and we are very happy to have achieved a red cloak because, you know, a jacket and cloak with a special shoulder and a special silhouette, that is very [much] our style. You can see it's a different style between us and the other designers — that is kind of our particular style. So maybe the jacket, the coat and the evening dress, too.
- Q: What else is particular to the Prete & Bruno brand? How do you differentiate between your designs and those from other fashion labels? - Uinterview User
- A: We think that the difference is that we try to put, in the ready-to-wear, a touch of couture. We try to use the material of the couture, but leave a dress usable for the day and evening, too. So, if you can see the collection, you can see a jacket for wearing in the morning, but for a very elegant woman — not for wearing to go to a job. I think the difference is, we don't use contemporary fashion. Maybe it is very traditional... but not all the traditional fashion. It is traditional with a trendy look.
- Q: Tell us the story of how you met and decided to design together. - Uinterview User
- A: We actually met one year ago. Very soon, we decided to do something together, in fashion, because both of us have the same view of fashion: the same feeling about how women should wear dresses, should [dress] during the day and during the evening. And both of us like a chic, glamourous and elegant woman. So this was the first point that we made the decision to go through and make a collection together. It is not easy to match two designers in the same collection; but, for us, it was easy. It was easy because we have the same views, the same mind and we like to do the same things. Then, it's not easy, because we had to find the right partners to do the manufacturing, to make the production and for the distribution. It is very expensive.
- Q: Yes, and then finding the backers must have been a challenge too. So what was more important: the creative side of designing or the business side of fashion? - Uinterview User
- A: First of all was our feelings toward fashion and secondary was the experience that I have with the fashion market, that Savaltore has for the research, for finding the details. We put together everything.
- Q: Now that the Fall 2012 show is behind you, what can we expect next? Are you already preparing for the next one? - Uinterview User
- A: We are now in our office in Milan. We actually spent the last three weeks discovering all the new prints, fabrics, colors and silhouettes for the next season. We already made the design books for the collection, and we are now making the choices for the fabrics, for the prints and the colors. And, in the following days, we will work on designing the collection... maybe during summertime we will work on the special pieces for the [next] show. Salvatore said to me, if you want some details about the collection, [it] will be a very bright collection. So there will be a lot of metal, diamonds. I don't know how to describe it — maybe the silhouette will be a new icon for the collection. You will be very surprised... an American icon.
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