A Conversation with Ermanno Scervino

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We spoke to charismatic Italian designer Ermanno Scervino ahead of the launch of his Dubai store tomorrow.

Ermanno Scervino, a name instantly associated with elite modern womenswear with a classic Italian luxury flair, sat down with us for a conversation about his personal design aesthetic, the role of fashion in women’s lives today, and his recent expansion into the Middle East. Read the interview below for a better understanding of the man behind the brand, and make sure to stop by the Dubai Mall to get your hands on those covetable pieces.

Photo: Courtesy of Ermanno Scervino

What was your childhood like growing up in Florence?

I had a happy childhood, aware of living in a city where art, colors, and nature are unique.

What took you to Paris?

Paris was a liberal city, a mixture of transgression and tradition that fully reflected my spirit at that time.

When did you know you wanted to go into fashion design as a career?

In high school for artistic studies when I was 14.

Where did you receive your design training?

The world and the street were my classroom.

Did you land any internship or work with any design mentors that helped shape your present-day design aesthetic?

I trained in international maisons, which helped me understand what I wanted to create. This experience is an indispensable prerequisite for everyone.

What is your fashion design philosophy?

Not to be a victim to fashion.

What was New York City like in the 1980s?

It was the city everyone wanted to be in. I was lucky enough to be able to live there in a period of exciting upheaval: my encounter with Andy Warhol and the Studio 54 experience.

What do you think matters more to success, ambition or talent?

Intuition, ambition, talent, and determination.

How would you describe your latest collection? Where did you derive your influence for it?

The PE13 collection is a harmonious coming-together of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic; an explosion of colors, patchwork, interweaving, and transparencies for the boho-chic woman.

What is a signature design technique that you employ, one that would cause a patron to say, “Aha, that is classic Scervino!”

Modernism, creativity, wearability, and innovation.

Who is the Ermanno Scervino woman?

She’s a modern woman who can chair a board of directors and be a mother at the same time.

Do you have a muse? If so, who is it?

Angelina Jolie. She’s always at the height of the role she plays at any given moment. She can walk the red carpet with the utmost elegance and the next day be a testimonial to social projects that involve her firsthand.

Your workshop network in Florence is very unique. What inspired you to open it?

The fact of having gathered together various ateliers in one single space allows me to be able to personally follow all the steps of the creative process from design to fitting on the mannequin.

How much does your Italian heritage play a role in your designs?

The strength of the “Made in Italy” label has deep roots that date back to tailoring traditions that are unique in the world. My goal is not to lose this value, re-interpreting it in a modern key.

How do you think your designs fit into the life and esthetics of Middle Eastern women?

There are no frontiers; I always have an international woman in mind.

Congratulations on your new store opening in Dubai. Do you have plans to expand further in the region?

I hope to soon be able to expand our direct presence in the United Arab Emirates that have always shown a great sensitivity towards Italian excellence.

What is next for the Ermanno Scervino label?

To continue to grow throughout the world.

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