BRAZILIAN FLAVOR: Raquel Diniz was celebrating an important next step for her brand of femininity and romance during Milan Fashion Week, with a little help from friends including Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Coinciding with her spring 2023 presentation, she officially opened the door of her first 750-square-foot boutique on central Via Santo Spirito replacing a former unit of furrier Simonetta Ravizza.
“Milan is where it all started, in my living room, and for the past five seasons it has been my brand’s home,” she said fly-kissing her clientele, already cramming the space.
Developed by architectural firm Chahan, the space pays homage to Diniz’s Brazilian roots with stone flooring bearing motifs reminiscent of sandy beaches in Ipanema.
A mix of organic materials such as walnut wood used for displays, stone panels and furniture with concrete walls contributed to the sophisticated decor, against which her joyful concoctions for fall were in full display.
“I wanted the store to have some kind of Brazilian imprint, but also a touch of Made in Italy,” the designer said. “One of the reasons I came here is because I wanted to be part of this country’s culture,” she said.
Diniz, who is married to fashion investor and Formula 1 mogul Lawrence Stroll, came to Milan to study at Istituto Marangoni, before going to work for public relations maven Noona Smith-Petersen.
She feels Milan was the natural first retail stop for the brand but she’s already planning to secure a location in Brazil, potentially in Bahia where she often vacations and owns a house.
Business is doing great, she offered, in spite of the pandemic quagmire, after securing deals with marquee independent retailers such as Milan’s Antonia and e-commerce power players, including Matchesfashion.
Diniz’s foray into America was curtailed when Barney’s folded, as the brand had signed an exclusive deal with the retailer.
This week she is meeting with Bergdorf Goodman and Saks, but has already secured distribution via Intermix in the U.S.
The spring collection hinged on a painterly palette inspired by Henri Matisse and his mastery in color assemblage. Diniz offers resortwear for summer gateways with boat dinner-filled agendas. Flowing cape-like gowns had a dégradé effect veering from yellow and peachy orange to fuchsia, while plissè numbers fitting on the torso had revealing cutouts, befitting for beach days as much as party nights.
The designer also expanded her daywear offering, adding cotton frocks bearing irregular geometric motifs and leave prints and complemented the look via a new iterations of the Raquel Diniz x Aquazzura footwear capsule.
She topped her busy day with a cocktail reception and dinner on the terrace of the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, attended by A-listers, which also included Alessandra Ambrosio, Jourdan Dunn, Margherita Missoni and Coco Brandolini.