Ermanno Scervino creates its clothing in Florence, Italy, but when the brand decided to open its first store in the States, Bal Harbour was the choice.
Entrepreneur Toni Scervino and designer Ermanno Daelli started their luxury label in 2000. The brand made its debut on the catwalks of Milan Fashion Week in 2003. Their collections immediately were noticed for their emphasis on tailoring and Made in Italy’s quality.
In September, Ermanno Scervino opened its first store in North America and chose Bal Harbour to be its U.S. flagship. It is part of a worldwide expansion plan, which includes stores in Shanghai — its first in China — Taipei, Dubai, Kuwait City, Monte Carlo, and last summer’s opening at Harrods Knightsbridge, London.
Trillionaire talked to Toni Scervino about the choice of Miami and the past, present, and future of the Made in Italy’s Ermanno Scervino.
TM: How did Ermanno Scervino get its start?
TS: We founded the Ermanno Scervino brand in 2000, combining his name and my last name. Nowadays, Ermanno identifies himself with the pen name. He is Ermanno Scervino. Previously, returning from his experiences abroad, Ermanno owned and managed several fashion stores in Italy, where he proposed his concept of style. The Ermanno Scervino brand arose from the insight of Ermanno, my business partner and creative director.
TM: You are the entrepreneur behind the brand and Ermanno is the designer and creative. How do both of your different personalities contribute to the brand?
TS: Personally, I manage the business aspects; Ermanno is the creative soul. The reciprocal esteem makes us overcome our differences.
TM: Men and women ready-to-wear lines, juniors, lingerie, beachwear, and street wear — can you talk about the different lines and what inspires each one?
TS: All the collections are created from a common DNA — glamour, hand-crafted, and experimentation.
TM: Where do the inspirations come from?
TS: It’s all to Ermanno’s credit. He is creative and he loves beauty. He can find it everywhere — in a movie, in a book, in a city.
TM: How does Italian sex appeal play a part in the designs?
TS: Ermanno loves international style. The Italian character of the brand is linked to the creation of the collections where Made in Italy’s is an essential part of our philosophy.
TM: What makes an Italian woman different from other women?
TS: Italian women live life surrounded by the beauty of the country that has seen them grow. They are strong and full of charm.
TM: Thoughts on Florida style?
TS: Florida plays an important role in the market. Its geographical location is strategic, and it is one of the key locations in the States. Miami and Bal Harbour are the perfect international showcase for our brand. The space covers 2,200 square feet (200 square meters) with all the brand’s collections.
TM: Do women wear clothes that they know men find sexy or do they wear clothes that make them feel sexy?
TS: Ermanno loves women who choose to feel beautiful and sexy for themselves before other people.
TM: How is style and fashion different between Florence and places like Milan, Rome, and Amalfi?
TS: Florence, Milan, and Rome are important centers of Italian fashion. Each city has played a key role in the birth of the Made in Italy’s concept, as we interpret it today. We decided to settle in Florence, favoring a secular tradition of craftsmanship and a heritage of manufacturing knowledge that is unique in the world. But we are often in Milan, a showcase of international fashion.
TM: Why do you only manufacture your products in Italy?
TS: Because we blindly believe in Made in Italy. Italian style has cultural roots and tailoring skills of excellence that go beyond all time and which is unrealizable elsewhere.
TM: In 2014, you had over 500 international points of sale, including 39 stores worldwide. Where do you do the most business? Which cities?
TS: Mono-brand boutiques will be 50 by the end of 2015, with milestones such as the arrival in the U.S. in Miami and in China — with the opening in Shanghai. Europe and Russia are still the main markets. We recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Maison in Moscow and then the Middle East and the Far East.
TM: You opened a store in Doha. Why the Middle East?
TS: The Middle East is one of the most interesting markets for the Maison; it is dynamic and luxury oriented.
TM: You have branded with some incredible international photographers. What were some of your favorite campaigns?
TS: Peter Lindbergh shot the latest campaign of the brand with Elisa Sednaoui. He is a great professional with whom we have already worked in the past.
TM: The Bal Harbour store is said to reflect the concept of the brand’s stores around the world, which include black-smoked glass, mirrored surfaces, as well as steel and concrete elements. The boutique also features an octagonal VIP room decorated with a Murano-glass chandelier, handmade in Venice. Tell me how your designs are also incorporated into the aesthetics of your stores?
TS: We choose precious materials and simple furnishings, embellished with handcrafted details that make the difference. We like to play by mixing the clean lines of the contemporary architecture with the most glamorous decorative elements.
TM: What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
TS: During the little free time I have, I like to read books on history and travel.
TM: Where do you spend most of your time?
TS: In the office or in the workshops of my company.
TM: Have you ever been to Art Basel Miami Beach? Thoughts?
TS: I won’t ever miss Art Basel Miami Beach. I find it an international event and extremely glamorous.