Family affairs are known to be a tradition amongst Italian fashion brands. The Missoni's, the Fendi's, the Ferragamo's and the Castiglioni's, are just a few of the renown names that come to mind when thinking of the fashion empires that keep it in the family.
One of these is Aliita, the jewellery brand established by Venezuelan-born and Milan-based designer Cynthia Vilchez Castiglioni with the help of her husband, Marni scion Giovanni Castiglioni, the son of Marni founders Consuelo and Gianni Castiglioni.
A former student of fashion marketing of Istituto Europeo del Design, Vilchez Castiglioni’s brand took off in 2015, with a set of design inspirations that are still some of her favourite things today: the sea, the beach, the sun, the ocean.
These initial minimalist designs managed to establish her a loyal fanbase of customers all across the world, from Korea to Japan, to America and last but not least, of course, Europe.
On the other hand, the designer, likewise her sister-in-law Carolina Castiglioni (of Plan C), is profoundly connected to family values and slow production and has been showing this as she has been integrating her children’s designs and sketches into her collection, for a while now. Tiny golden velociraptors, robots and chemistry beakers adorn one of her latest collections, called ‘Scientific Match Point’.
“Some of my favourite elements in the latest collections are the dinosaur and the shark because they also happen to be the elements favoured by my eldest and youngest son,” Vilchez Castiglioni stated.
Extremely interconnected to the world of design, Vilchez Castiglioni loves to present her collection of jewels during Milan’s Salone del Mobile. But unfortunately, as the event was cancelled due to the pandemic, this year’s presentation was postponed.
And although the possibility of interacting with possible new clients and presenting the new concept to the press dissipated in thin air, Vilchez Castiglioni found a ray of light in the dark, a positive way of interacting with her audience. She and her team launched an e-shop and worked on a personalized service which ensured her clients would feel comforted and receive their packages on time. And it worked.
“I believe the customer wants to buy something symbolic, that means something, not just a necklace for beauty. Aliita's jewels are rich in meaning and can also be worn very easily thus I believe this becomes a way to convince a customer to buy a jewel that can be worn every day, with every possible outfit,” explained Vilchez Castiglioni.
Now that things are slowly going back to normal though, the designer seems to have other plans in store for the future. One of these is, of course, launching her latest collection, called ‘Adentro’ which she developed during the quarantine. A focus on the introspective aspects of quarantine and the positivity of slowing down and finding time for ourselves.
Second but not least important, the designer plans on developing a personalized service where clients can come meet her and design with her their very personal jewel is one of them.
“It is so hard to emulate this kind of emotional connection on a virtual platform. This is why we want to organize these intimate appointments, as it won’t just benefit the client, but also both me and the team,” she concluded.