To mark her tenth anniversary as creative director of the Italian fashion house Genny, which has belonged to Swinger International Group of Verona since 2011, Sara Cavazza Facchini inaugurated her first Los Angeles boutique at 9536 Brighton Way in Beverly Hills. The opening was celebrated with a party at Chateau Marmont, where the Italian designer took over the penthouse in a luxurious and intimate atmosphere, surrounded by friends and celebrities including Jaden Smith, Jasmine Sanders, Kate Beckinsale, Jarry Lee and Caroline Day Mia Moretti. The new opening is the brand’s third store after Milan and Capri. At the end of the evening, Cavazza Facchini invited FashionNetwork.com to view the boutique and discuss the label’s strategy and future projects.
FNW: Why did you open in Los Angeles?
Sara Cavazza Facchini: I love Los Angeles. I love the Californian weather and the idea that life is easier here than in Europe. We’ve been working with celebrities in Los Angeles for several years now, and we also have a PR office here. In our boutiques in Milan and Capri, we also have a lot of American customers, and our online sales come largely from the West American market and Los Angeles. And, most importantly, my chic and elegant collection fits perfectly with this market, with the taste of Los Angeles women and with all the events that go with it: red-carpet, parties, baby-showers. Here, women love elegance and glamour. And many celebrities are already wearing my dresses, including Rita Ora, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez…
FNW: Why did you choose Beverly Hills?
SCF: At first, we thought of Melrose Place. But this section of Beverly Hills, just off Rodeo Drive, was a perfect fit, more discreet, more confidential. I wanted to create a boutique that felt like home. I want women to feel comfortable, to sit on the sofas, to have a coffee. The design is similar to other stores in Italy, with the use of marble for the floor and the large communal table, gold metal for the racks too, but for Beverly Hills we imagined sections like private arched closets with wallpapers inspired by Jennifer Lopez’s iconic bandage dress.
FNW: Any further developments in the USA?
SCF: Yes, we’re thinking about it and looking for a new location, but it takes time. We’re planning to open in New York, but it’s likely that we’ll open in Miami first. Our sales are also very strong in Brazil and Mexico, and these customers travel a lot to Miami.
FNW: What about the Middle Eastern and Asian markets?
SCF: Europe is our first market, followed by the Middle East, which together account for 60% of our sales. The United States accounts for 40%. We’re currently looking for a location in Dubai. Customers there love our fabrics and silhouettes. Asia is not a buoyant market at the moment.
FNW: How is the brand evolving after 10 years?
SCF: I’m keeping the same DNA. With the same quality of Italian manufacturing and sustainable fabrics sourced in Italy. My favorite color is still white, and I’m adding a shiny touch. For the first 10 years, I kept the same logo with the Genny signature, but since September, we’ve been making a new start. We’ve just added a new one that’s more visible, simpler and more understandable for customers new to the brand. I want the brand to be more contemporary in a way.
FNW: Have you had to adapt your collections for the American market?
SCF: I naturally adjust my collections for the American market, with more tailoring, adapting to silhouettes with more bust. American women love absolute femininity in a more traditional style. A lot of women stop me on the street, complimenting me on my blouses, skirts, bags… They like volume, femininity, they’re open to more elegance.
FNW: Is the accessory business also expanding?
SCF: It’s a very important part of our sales. The sunglasses we develop under license are our number one product. And bags too. For this new season, we’ve just launched a new model inspired by the shape of the fortune cookie that women adore, and decorated with the X sign that comes from the first collections and was designed at the time by Gianni Versace, who was the brand’s first creative director. In the coming seasons, we’ll be stepping up our development of bags with the arrival of horse leather and crocodile prints, and renewing our fragrances. In September 2024, we will launch a new, spicier fragrance.
FNW: What are your other upcoming projects?
SCF: We get a lot of requests from designers who love the tailoring spirit and volume of our women’s collections and would like to adapt them for men. I’m working on it. I’m also keen to develop the furniture side of the brand, inspired by what we’re already doing in our stores. I imagine everything in detail, from our offices to our stores. So it seems natural to me. I’m a woman at work, not necessarily on social networks. That’s a part I need to develop too. I know I have to force my nature, show myself more. That’s part of the business, especially in the United States where image counts for a lot.
FNW : What are your best-sellers?
SCF: The bandage dress worn by J.Lo is one of our best-sellers and our evening dresses in general. I like the idea that dresses designed for the red carpet shouldn’t be too classic. I like to work the slits on the thighs and legs rather than systematically focusing on the breasts. My idea is that women should give a strong image of themselves during the day, and show a sensual, romantic side during the night.
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