As a sublime expression of the excellence of Made in Italy, one of Italy’s finest and most lucrative silk mills — Mantero — and upscale shoe designer Paola d’Arcano — came together earlier this year to produce a unique shoe collection that was conceived and designed on Lake of Como.
Paola Vitali d’Arcano, who grew up in the lake region hails from a family of artists, brought an original twist to this collection by mixing the famous silks of Mantero, with its precious prints and its savoir faire that comes from a hundred years of experience, with her cosmopolitan, innovative designs.
The result is a capsule collection whose aesthetic mirrors the tapestries and fabrics that adorn the lavish palazzi of Northern Italy. The Mantero and Paola d’Arcano collaboration mirros the latter’s essential yet elegant spirit, which is expressed in the contours and choice of silks, unique textures, as well as the innovative patterns from Mantero’s archives. The hallmark of the first capsule was the tulip, which was splashed over satin silk.
Collaborations are nothing new for Mantero. Earlier this year, they teamed up with La Double J, for a collection of floor-length silk dresses and made foulards that transformed into turbans for Milan’s San Raffaele hospital. Contemporary ready to wear brands Jo No Fui and France’s Paul & Joe are some other labels that have collaborated with Mantero.
Since 1902, the Mantero factory has been providing vanguard fashion labels with its luxurious ready-to-wear and couture fabrics. Just last year, after stepping into the social media with Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram, Mantero amped up its e-commerce presence, offering the possibility to internet users to buy Mantero-branded scarves and shawls online — directly from Facebook.
In the meantime, d’Arcano’s shoes, rich with lavish Italian textiles and enhanced by romantic florals like roses and tulips, have risen in popularity since the launch of her spring summer 2014 collection. They are now sold in some of Milan’s most fashion forward and trend-setting boutiques: Memem, Miki Thumb and Wait and See.
“The natural palette of neutral colors and contrasts of light that only the lake can give, inspire all my collections,” Vitali d’Arcano said, noting that the section of Lake Como, where she grew up, is one of the more historical Italian districts, famous worldwide for the production of silk.
“I continue to use it because I am captivated by its magnificence.”