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Etro is an Italian fashion house that produces textiles, home decor and perfumes. Founded in 1968 by Gimmo Etro, it remains to this day a family business.
The entrepreneurial venture began in 1968, when Gimmo Etro, the brand’s founder, launched a range of fabrics using noble and natural fibres, which he embellished with original designs and innovative colour ways. In 1981 the furnishing textiles line made its debut. The Paisley motif used to enrich the first collection was set to become the Etro mark of identity.
Leather goods were added to the product range in 1984 with a bag and travel bag collection in Paisley jacquard fabric. In 1986 Etro launched the home accessories and complements collection, thus consolidating the brand’s lifestyle concept. The 1990s saw the unveiling of the first men’s and women’s prêt-à-porter collections, their inventive and recherché style earning the label instant recognition.
The materials, the workings and a special talent with prints are what make Etro unique and inimitable.
The Etro family began using textiles and fashion as a mode of art rather than a mode of expression. Etro is identified primarily with Gimmo (born Gerolamo), the founder, but today the company is managed by his four children: Jacopo manages textiles, leather goods and the home collections, Kean is responsible the menswear collections, Ippolito is the CEO and Veronica is responsible for the women’s collections.
The Paisley pattern is a constant point of inspiration for Etro. The pattern is an ancient decorative feature originally from Mesopotamia where it symbolized the shoot of the date palm which represented the tree of life. The pattern was much used on precious hand-woven Indian fabrics until it later was adopted for the use on shawls of nineteenth-century women.
Etro has a collection of one hundred and fifty cashmere design shawls dating from 1810 to 1880. The collection lead to the inspiration of the Paisley pattern, commonly used in the Etro collections from 1984 to present day.
Etro continues technological exploration and experimentation with the pattern; the cashmere design is illuminated with pop hues, fossilised in lunar prints, pulverised in embroidery with crystal fragments, sectioned into small samples and plastified in glass-bags. Each season the pattern continues to be used in the Etro designs.
Kean Etro has been designing menswear collection since 1990.
In his early years, he studied at Aiglon College, at Cambridge, and Medieval history in Milan. His collections have often been inspired by his many travels around the world, through encounters with distant cultures, the collection of artistic manufacts and ancient books. He joined the family business in 1986, taking care of the digital side. In 1990 he designed his first menswear collection, and in 1997 the first fashion show, theorizing the concept of "New Tradition".
- Etro. "Family Portraits". Etro. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
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