Georgetown Retail & Luxury Association

Georgetown Retail & Luxury Association

Bringing Retail & Luxury to the Hilltop.

Ferragamo X Oscar De La Renta

Famous Luxury Fashion Houses: a Remarkable Family History 

Left to right: Alex Bolen (CEO of Oscar de la Renta), Serafina Hager (Director of Italian Research Institute), Chester Gillis (Dean of Georgetown College),  and Massimo Ferragamo (Chairman of Ferragamo) 

Left to right: Alex Bolen (CEO of Oscar de la Renta), Serafina Hager (Director of Italian Research Institute), Chester Gillis (Dean of Georgetown College),  and Massimo Ferragamo (Chairman of Ferragamo) 

On October 4, the Georgetown Retail and Luxury Association had the incredible opportunity of hosting Massimo Ferragamo, Chairman of Ferragamo USA, and Alex Bolen, CEO of Oscar de la Renta, for a talk on the history of the two brands. Selecting the theme of family, both men gave insightful talks about the inspiration and methodology that drive two of the world’s greatest luxury brands.

Speaking first, Mr. Ferragamo detailed how the Italian brand started with only handmade leather shoes designed by his father. Ferragamo began as a small, family owned business known for its attention to detail and absolute love of product. Eventually, as demand for its shoes grew, Ferragamo expanded to include bags, clothing, and non-leather accessories such as scarves as well. Despite the rapid expansion of the brand both in terms of its product range and global presence, Ferragamo stuck to its roots of family with his sons taking over the managerial side of the business, and his daughters continuing to develop the product side. This familial structure continues today, evidenced by Massimo’s position as Chairman of the brand.

Next up, Mr. Bolen showed the audience a video detailing the background and thought process of Oscar de la Renta. Bolen noted how Oscar de la Renta had never attended fashion school, rather picking up the process of developing clothing on his own. The collections that resulted from this self-driven method were described as clothes that made women “look and feel like a woman.” Thus, the combination of great craftsmanship and incredible care for his clothing allowed Oscar de la Renta to develop into one of the leading designers in fashion, particularly for formal events. Countless First Ladies and red carpet celebrities such as Anne Hathaway and Jessica Alba turn to Oscar for one of a kind dresses worn in the public eye. Bolen concluded his message by noting Oscar’s signature smile, a feature that he described as encapsulating the essence of his brand.

The Ferragamo and Oscar de la Renta event inspired those in the audience to stick to their roots and trust individual creative processes en route to building a luxury brand. We thank Massimo Ferragamo and Alex Bolen for their time and message, and hope to have more events like this in the future.





 

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