Tory Turk

Designer Biography

DOI: 10.5040/9781474260428-FPA109

Miriam and Piero Cividini established the Italian knitwear label Cividini between 1987 and 1988. Their garments were produced in Albettone in northern Italy, in the McAdams factory—part of the Gioacchino Longo empire. Gioacchino’s son, Fabio, became Cividini’s president. Cividini’s key objective was to produce minimalist knitwear enriched by plush yarns.

The brand went on to make their name through their cashmere knits under the name of Cividini. The cashmere came from the Loroplana Mill. In 1989 they started to add silks and linens. In 1991 they expanded their range to include tailored clothing in cashmere and luxurious fabrics. The brand continued to add fabrics and innovative techniques to their production methods, and became well known for blending silk yarn with threads of steel as well as stonewashed cashmere, unusual finishes, garments with no seams, and tubular styles.

In 1992 Cividini started to export to the U.S., which increased the company’s overall growth. Piero Cividini said of the change in focus: “I’ve noticed that the U.S. clients like to stick to the total look, so they’ll wear knitwear from head to toe. The Italians, in contrast, like to mix and match according to their taste.” Piero and Miriam do not like to consider their garments as classic pieces and instead see them as reactive to seasonal trends. Piero comments: “Trends are very important. We don’t want to make fashion, but we pay attention to trends. We don’t want to do something super-classic because we want an identity of our own.” The brand’s marketing director, Nucci Patel, described the label as “something that is very rich but not loud.”

In 1993 the brand introduced a men’s knitwear line and in 1994, during Milan Fashion Week, they officially presented their apparel collection with a runway show in their Milan showroom. The Cividini Collection launched in 1995. It distinguished the ready-to-wear garments from the original fine knits Cividini division. In 1996 they added leather goods, such as handbags, belts, shoes, and small leather items, all produced in Italy. In 1997 the brand opened a showroom at Claridge House in Manhattan. In 1998 a full menswear line was introduced. In 1999 Ecco, owned by Nadar and Mirelle Manesh, in Beverly Hills, became the first U.S. Cividini boutique.

The Milan-based fine-knit ready-to-wear collection has continued to export internationally, including to Japan and the U.S. A series of single-brand shops has opened in Milan, Hamburg, and Munich among other cities. The couple continue to work together and have showrooms in New York, Tokyo, and Milan.

Cividini, Autumn/Winter 1999 Photograph by Niall McInerney, Fashion Photography Archive

References and Further Reading

Find in Library Hammond Teena. ““Cividini’s Next Home”.” Women’s Wear Daily , 9 June 1999 .

Find in Library Ilari Alessandra. ““Cividinis Are Taking Aim at Big Growth in the U.S.”” Women’s Wear Daily , 3 November 1994 .

Find in Library Parr Karen, ““Knit Report: Cividini Woos U.S. Stores”.” Women’s Wear Daily , 5 November 1997 .

Find in Library Vergani Guido , ed. Fashion Dictionary . New York : Baldini Castoldi Dalai editore, 2006.