Marisa Minicucci - spring/summer 2002

Marisa Minicucci
In the world of high-tech computer software, the epic financial success that the operating systems sector has achieved is proof that exclusive products require radically unique delivery templates. In the Canadian fashion business, Marisa Minicucci provides a perfect model for exclusive goods and innovative ways of presenting them to her myriad customers.

The MM Loft in Montreal, inaugurated on February 6, 2001, is truly a unique concept in personal shopping; style-savvy women peruse the latest Marisa Minicucci offerings in a luxurious setting where their personal needs are catered to - by appointment. Minicucci discusses with Minimidimaxi the walk-in closet premise that is making many career women skip the tiresome downtown shopping jungle. “The loft is about planned shopping. My customers generally know what they want. In the fall, they place their orders for the spring collection. That gives them a few months to accessorize what they know they’ve already bought, so there’s no need to panic with the changing of the seasons.” Could it get any better? “Every customer walking in is a sale,” adds Minicucci.

With collections of over 200 pieces, it seems that choosing may be the only difficulty encountered at the MM Loft. “The collection has always been big, and it’s an important element in marketing to the U.S.” Zenobia, founded in 1993 by entrepreneurial partners Minicucci and marketing expert Barry Bly, is the multi-million dollar company that oversees the production and distribution of the Minicucci collection. With 85% of Zenobia’s business generated from exports mainly to the United States (including retail powerhouse Sak’s) and recently to the U.K., trunk shows have become a staple in propelling the high price-point brand, of which 30 are conducted each season. Minicucci sums up the business structure concisely. “As a designer - manufacturer, we have total control.”

The Spring/Summer 2002 collection features a wide variety of classically coordinated outfits, versatile separates and underpinning options. The colour palette is subtle and basic: white, summer chocolate, camel, navy and black. The waist-defining tulle-embroidered dirndl skirt forms perfect structural counterpoint with the sharp three-quarter-length sabbia and oyster-grey jackets. A similar navy issue with undulating white seamwork makes this season’s jackets a must-have. Perforated suede and geometrical chiffon prints offer a certain panache, as do the articulate, crisp collars that show up consistently. The accessory of the season is the wide felt belt, available in an array of colours. The incredible sense of balance is an unmistakable Minicucci trademark.

Minicucci explains this season’s approach with a laugh. “I’m just trying to simplify my life.”

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer