Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
During men’s fall/winter 2014-2014 fashion week in Milan, Kiton debuted the new Palazzo Kiton on Via Pontaccio in the former headquarters of Maison Gianfranco Ferré. The building, which the brand worked to restore and maintain in its historical integrity, provides a new home for its showroom, sales department, atelier, and art collection. We spoke with Kiton’s CEO Antonio De Matteis, the nephew of the brand’s founder Ciro Paone, earlier this week.
WHITEWALL: What is the historical significance of Kiton’s new home in Milan?
ANTONIO DE MATTEIS: This building was owned by Gianfranco Ferré and when he put this building up for sale, my uncle wanted the building. He liked the style and taste of Mr. Ferré. We bought the building in October and my uncle wanted to be here in January so we worked night and day to make his dream possible. For us, this building is a dream.
WW: Can you tell us about the art collection we see on the walls here?
ADM: Kiton has a beautiful tradition of art collecting. And the shared owner of the company, every year we make a profit, he gives a present to the company [in the form of an artwork]. So this is part of the collection we have made in the 50 years of our history. In Naples we have a larger selection of art.
WW: Did you do any renovations to this space?
ADM: The building was completely empty when we bought it, and we tried to keep it in the same way Mr. Ferré would, because he was magnificent.
WW: Can you tell us more about Kiton’s women’s collections?
ADM: The women’s collection started ten years ago. But when Giovanna Paone came on to the collection it started to improve a lot. This for us was a big step, and now it has become a very important part of our business.
WW: How do you find new clients?
ADM: By promoting quality every day, it’s the only way for us to find a new customer. We’ve had a very good response from the market especially in the last four to five years where we see the average ages [of our customers] go down. That is a very good sign for us. We are approaching a lot of new customers, a younger generation.
WW: Is Asia a big market for you?
ADM: Asia is starting to be a good market, and the biggest market is in the US and the second one is Italy.
WW: You are a family run company. What are the values of the Kiton family?
ADM: The family is the power of the company. My uncle is our god because he is the one to teach us about everything. We are simple people that believe in quality, that is it.