Designers to Watch: Nicolò Beretta

From Valentino Garavani to Coco Chanel, most fashion visionaries were called to design, art, and fashion from an early age and 21-year old Nicolò Beretta was no exception.  Today, Nicolò, through his brand Giannico, is taking shoe and accessory design to the next level.  We recently caught up with the designer in Milan and we are thrilled to be featuring his collection as it finally steps onto center stage in the US with Barney’s carrying the line later this year.

Nicolò is a self-taught designer who speaks fondly of his life’s obsession.  “From the age of three, I was constantly drawing my mother’s dresses.  I was obsessed with proportions and shapes,” he says.   As the Milan-born designer grew up, traveled, and lived abroad (he spent some of his childhood and pre-adolencence in Sydney, Australia), he was fanatic about art and culture.  “Fashion was the confluence of these two things.  And in designing fashion, I could take references from the art world and apply them to real life.”

At the age of 15, the designer had the opportunity to present his artistic ideas to Manolo Blahnik and Franca Sozzani.  Nicolò speaks admiringly of Franca who remained a strong advocate and mentor to him until her death.  Encouragement from some of the fashion world’s most prominent figures helped Nicolò found Giannico in 2013, which he determined would focus on shoes and, to a lesser extent, hand bags.  That same year, Nicolò was listed on the first 140 Emerging Designers of Vogue Italia.  And in 2014, Giannico was selected to be part of Milan Fall Fashion week.  The list of achievements and accolades continues and, today, Giannico is available in over 90 retailers and fans include Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and many others.

What we love most about Giannico is that Nicolò manages to artfully layer the delicate and classic styles of established shoe gods – Manolo Blahnik’s influence is apparent, for example – with the needs of the modern, stylish woman.  “The kind of woman I like to dress is fun, cool, fashionable, but in an intellectual way.  She is stylish, feminine, and wants to be unique,” says the designer.  With this woman in mind, Nicolò re-imagined the crystal buckle shoe making it fresh, modern, less conservative, completing the design with an elastic strap and colors that pop.  Shoe materials and textures also vary to keep the styles fun, creative, and noticeable.  We also adore the perfect day-to-night Gainnico tuxedo shoe and, of course, Giannico’s “Olivia sandal.”

“Olivia came to see the collection during Milan fashion week.  She fell in love with a sandal that was displayed.  But it was a new style and did not yet have a name.  The sandal is sexy, sophisticated, fun.  Just like Olivia!,” says Nicolò.  “This is the first time I’ve done a sexy sandal and I am always working hard to keep innovating.”

Needless to say, we eagerly await Giannico’s foray into Barneys!  Select product will initially be available in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Beverly Hills.

About the Author

Sarah Berner is a fashion industry advisor, investor, and business leader. She is particularly passionate about brands that empower women and fashion for the woman on the go, given her non-stop schedule that traverses the many disparate dress codes of Manhattan and beyond. While she spends an inordinate amount of time in Gucci slides, her favorite accessory is Luddie her 5-lbs Chihuahua. You can follow her on Instagram @saraheberner.