LONDON — When Fiorucci re-emerged onto the fashion scene in 2017, its London flagship in the then-buzzy Soho area was the beating heart of the relaunch — and an ode to the Milanese emporium Elio Fiorucci built in the ’60s, revolutionizing the world of retail.
“The spirit of Fiorucci has always relied on a strong physical connection with people. It’s a key part of the brand’s spirit and identity, and having this taken away felt like a huge loss,” said Evie Reddy, the label’s head of women’s wear, of the Soho store’s almost yearlong closure during the pandemic.
But the brand is keeping its upbeat spirit and flair for all things funky and Technicolor alive, with some refreshed ambitions for 2021.
“We are excited to welcome our customers back in true Fiorucci style,” said the brand’s chief executive officer Simon Backhouse, who took the reins at the company during the summer of 2019. He also enlisted Reddy to head the women’s wear division and Netflix star Daniel Fletcher to lead the men’s wear team, adding more excitement around seasonal collections and the label’s overall design capabilities.
The last year might have meant the designers’ launches were delivered a lot more quietly than anticipated, but the business managed to maintain “positive growth,” according to Backhouse.
“We rebalanced our channels to respond to our customers and have accelerated our investment in digital. Operationally, we also invested in a warehouse move to support our growth, customer experience and journey,” said the executive, who previously held roles at the now-defunct Arcadia as well as at Asos.
As lockdown measures start to ease, Backhouse said that there will be opportunities to scale both digital and physical retail channels, with the Soho flagship — which comes complete with neons, hanging palm trees, and glitter lattes on tap — remaining “the beating heart of the business.”
There will also be an opportunity to expand into new categories, beyond the more casual jersey, denim and woven categories that naturally drove most sales during 2020, according to Backhouse.
“Expect to see category extensions, bold graphics and collaborations coming through in the new collections,” he added.
Reedy’s newly launched fall 2021 collection is a taste of what’s to come — particularly in the bold graphics department.
Digging up archival prints, patches and graphics, Reedy created an arctic-themed collection filled with icy blue hues, intarsia knits featuring the famous Fiorucci angels and logo, playful fur accessories and separates with bold graphic patterns that hark back to vintage ski wear.
The brand’s optimism and flair for electric color will gain new relevance as the world opens up and celebrations recommence, according to Reedy: “Fiorucci’s celebratory and spirited approach reminds us to look to the future, be inclusive, have emotion and be ready to party again. Using archive references, that personify fun and positivity, we looked to creating capsules full of Fiorucci’s quintessential sense of humor, that hopefully transported people to a more positive place.”
While she took the bold route when it came to color and pattern, silhouettes remained laid-back: Loose knits, shirt dresses, plenty of flared pants and more elevated, glossy versions of track pants.
“I think that even though we are longing for freedom, it can feel daunting to break out of the routine that we have been in for the past year. For this collection, we incorporated styles I personally hope can inspire people to take off their sweatpants and just swap them for the vinyl effect track pants,” mused Reedy.