By Alexandra Orloff – July 2011 for www.luxuryfacts.com
The men’s fashion heritage brand Canali continues to excel in its ‘made in Italy’ bespoke tailoring for the Indian men’s market…. but is it only for India or for the entire world?
When Cinecitta meets Bollywood at Milan Fashion Week; from the first scene on the catwalk, Canali knows how to fully capture the attention of its entire audience, and produce a collection that is both bold and innovative.
The journey started in 2009 when Canali initiated its new voyage in the Orient Express to India. At the crossing between a westernisation of the ‘Nawab Collection’ and targeting a new culture, the brand has imposed to the West the novelty of the ‘revised Maharaja’s luxury dressing’; giving to its customers the royal feeling of being incontestably fashionable.
The Canali strategy to dig into the Indian luxury dress code is so rich, that it can only appeal and fascinate the international capitals. The brand is a leader in a strong emerging market, and can be saluted for its vision to conquer the Indian luxury retail market.
Canali follows in the steps of Pierre Cardin, who in 1968 modernised the famous ‘Mao Look’ and imposed its style to an entire generation of fashionable men. The new Spring and Summer 2012 collection aims to address the largest Indian population with its theme: India is a mystery and adventure, colours and aromas.
To capture this larger audience, and become a beacon of style in this growth market, Canali’s strength has draped its branding around its celebrities and who is the best male actor for this role: the one and only Anil Kapoor, the golden boy of the Indian movie scene, a man of many facets and strong charisma.
The entire Canali family showcased their collection at via Savona, with Mr Kapoor and his wife Sunita in front row seats, and enveloped by the entire Indian Consular delegation, celebrities, business people, Bollywood stars, and press.
The runway begins with oriental music dispersing the flavours and colours of India; subtlety, harmony, mystery, adventure, and luxury. A cohort of young men each dressed better than the other; young allures embodying a creativity of materials and evolution in style. Playing with less rigidity and more flexibility to showcase the real Indian man of today.
A strong theme where shapes of clothes played with mandarin collars; shaped waists and long flowing silken scarves; the cuffed pants that fall softly around the ankles accentuated by laced espadrilles. All themed by embroideries, colours and styles of India, the collection brought back to life the splendour of luxury made for the 21st Century, never neglecting its deep Italian roots and personality.
Although the heritage and royalty of Indian princes belong to history, not fashion, a new breed of princes headed by Bollywood royalty heading to the Canali after show dinner party in honour of Anil Kapoor, who represented the global face of India dressed intricately and by the Italian brand. Your humble servant representing Luxuryfacts India had the pleasure to participate at this dinner party hosted by the Canali family in honour of Mr. Kapoor. The sit-down dinner was held in the palazzo Bagatti Valsecchi now a museum, where culture was at the ‘rendez-vous’ with a twist of simplicity and real grandeur.
This dinner was an opportunity for Italy to intersect with India, and bridge “vieille Europe” with an emerging Tiger, with luxury at the heart of this rendez-vous. A handpicked number of illustrious guests hosted by Mr Eugenio Canali and family Elisabetta, Stefano, Paolo, and Giorgio include Consul General of India in Milan S. K. Verma, Dino and Shilu Bhattessa, Concetta Lanciaux, former LVMH adviser to Bernard Arnault, Judi Jarvis, Givoanni Gastel, Jas Arora, Elena Masnini, Roasie Ahluwalia, Aindrila Mitra, and many more.
In a warm summer evening, the splendour of the Indian saris were floating lightly in the wind contrasting with the latest European fashion, the Canali elegance of the gentlemen was a tribute to taste.
However, nothing of the sort could have been possible without its protagonist; Mr. Eugenio Canali, the founder of the brand. With a true sense of vision and leadership, Eugenio Canali has given the extraordinary chance to carry on the family name around the world. Canali’s second generation are consolidating on their savoir-faire and unique heritage brand. Such a fashion name needs nurturing and constant control in re-shaping its objectives. As a market leader in the bespoke tailoring for an entire nation, the eminent step to move forward in reaching the global market share is to move fast forward into the digital world, where social media is key, and e-commerce is an added value to best practice.
Not only Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube presence are an obligation but where the e-commerce will give the consumer the choice to buy something of true value. At the present time, in Europe few luxury brands have gambled on e-commerce sites. Only a few have got a first step into it, however the American blueprint can help them in gaining customers and digital presence, particularly when the aim is to appeal to a new dynamic market such as India. With Elisabetta Canali and her brothers Paolo, Giorgio and Stefano having an increased influence on the direction of the fashion label, this will bring a wind of youth that will appeal to the younger Canali fashion generation.
Be bold, be brave, be Canali – the ever new generation of fashion through the digital culture of style.
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