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Peruzzi Creative Team Interview
We sat down with Linda McDermott and Sinead Robinson, the creative team behind our in-house design label Peruzzi to find out more about this hugely successful brand from the Irish and international fashion world.
Tell me about the Peruzzi brand and what it stands for?
Peruzzi is about timeless design, good quality, well-fitting garment with a contemporary point of difference, clothing that enhances the wearer rather than overpowering her.
How did it get started?
We established the brand over 20 years ago, in response to a need in the market for good quality knitwear with a point difference. Peruzzi grew organically from there to include smart separates. We also became very well known for our great fitting trousers. Over the years the brand has evolved into the complete collection that it is today.
As the creative team behind Peruzzi, we’re also are the unique position that not only do we design the collection, but we also sell it in person to our stockists, so we hear the needs of the customers and try to accommodate them when creating any new collection. We truly value our customers feedback because at the end of the day they are our yardstick and this is one of the main reasons for the ongoing success of Peruzzi.
Who is the typical Peruzzi customer and what do they like about the label?
There is no typical Peruzzi customer but rather a collective of stylish women in Ireland and internationally (Peruzzi is stocked in retail stores in 12 countries worldwide) who love wearing the brand. Recently the fashion world has started to move away from strict market segmentation, recognising that age is just a number and that women of all ages can look stylish in the right clothes. At Peruzzi we have always known this to be true and have never pigeonholed our customers by their age.
And as mentioned earlier, we hear directly from our stockists about what customers like about Peruzzi so we always design with them in mind. Plus the brand ticks all the important boxes - design, quality and craftmanship, good fit, comfort and affordability.
What are the signature themes of SS21 for Peruzzi Key design features/details Colours & fabrics?
We looked to the artworld for inspiration for our Spring Summer collection. Our prints are based on the graphic work of the Opart movement (a visual art style that uses optical illusions, often in black & white), and the artists’ marks such as brushstroke, crosshatching and scribble.
Our palette was created from looking at vibrant pigments from artists such as Yves Kein blue, an electric blue shade that was created by the artist in 1960. Other strong colours include Schiaparelli pink (based on the famous Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli’s signature shade), luscious watermelon and citrus shades.
We aim to use natural fabrics as much as possible such as linen, cotton and viscose. This season we have some lovely fabric blends such as an airy viscose linen mix and a stretch linen which is a wonderful development as it gives comfort and movement to our traditional linen weight.
Where do you draw your inspiration for each collection?
Inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere, it’s more of an intuitive feeling of what we want in the collection rather than focusing on any the main trends of the season for direction. It could be a wet Monday, and Linda and Sinead will often come in with the same suggestion for a print idea, colour or shape.
We always try to anticipate what our customers want to wear so that they feel unique and stylish without being slaves to the passing trends of the fashion world.
What's important to you about the collection such as comfort, fit, style, cut, quality...
Firstly we feel design should not be elitist, we believe in providing good design at a good price so that the customer can look stylish everyday not just on special occasions.
Like many of our customers, we’re busy women with busy lifestyles, and we don’t want style at the expense of comfort, so we have worked at designing in features to increase that comfort level of our pieces such as using high stretch fabrics like stretch panels in our more tailored pieces. For example an elasticated panel at the back of a clean tailored waistband gives stretch and comfort to a smart trouser.
For the Peruzzi knits we always seek out soft luxurious yarns and have engineered our fit from the years of customer feedback to create shapes that we know fit and flatter real bodies rather than model sizes. This is where Linda’s 20+ years of listening to Peruzzi customer feedback is vital to the development of our shapes.
When it comes to design, we ensure that each piece has a unique design detail and truly deserves its place in the collection. We do not include any filler pieces in the range, every garment has its place.
Plus we’ve been working with our Italian manufacturers for many years now and they too feel like family. They understand our requirement for high quality fabrics, yarns and craftmanship.
What sets Peruzzi apart from other labels and why your customers return again and again to the label?
Ultimately it’s the confidence that our garments give to the woman wearing them, the compliments they receive about how they look, and the fact that they can wear our pieces season after season and still look relevant and smart. We hear all the time from our retailers that their customers get excited when they hear that the new collection has arrived and many ask to be called before the collection even gets put out on the floor.