Consuelo Castiglioni

Giulia Bussinello

Designer Biography

DOI: 10.5040/9781474260428-FPA059

Consuelo Castiglioni is of Swiss-Chilean origins. She was born in 1959 and brought up in Lugano, Switzerland. At the end of the 1970s she met her husband-to-be, Gianni Castiglioni. He was working in his family’s fur coat and leather goods firm, Ciwi Furs, which had been founded in the 1950s. Ciwi Furs supplied important brands such as Prada and Moschino; it was to reach its greatest success in the 1980s.

Consuelo began her collaboration with the firm as a fashion consultant and, in 1994 during the Milan Fashion Week, presented a new women’s wear collection. This was the official launch of Marni (a label derived from the nickname of Gianni’s sister Marina), a fashion brand founded by Consuelo together with her husband.

Consuelo Castiglioni, head designer of the brand, works side by side with her husband, CEO of Marni, their daughter Carolina, head of the online store and of special projects, and their son Giovanni, head of sales. In 2002 the brand launched its first menswear collection and, in the following year, its first jewelry line. In 2006 it opened the Marni Virtual Store and, in 2009, the “Summer Edition” and “Winter Edition” collections.

Over the years Marni has worked with a long series of internationally famous artists: from Richard Prince to Peter Blake, Kim Gordon, Gary Hume, Claude Caillol, and Pastis. In 2011 it launched Anticamera, the brand’s online journal, edited by Carolina Castiglioni, and which grew from a creative collaboration between contemporary artists, photographers, and designers.

Consuelo was self-taught in fashion. Her work concentrates on materials and she interprets leather as though it were fabric; she is also fascinated by the matching of various textiles and colors, by prints, and by accessories. Her aim is to create iconic and timeless garments. Her creativity derives from instinct and from inspiration sparked off by observations of art and nature.

Marni has a policy of no advertisement, but rather communication through quality and an attention to detail. Today it is the reference for anyone who loves an intellectual and chic style.

References and Further Reading

Find in Library Flaccavento Angelo. ““Lontano dai red carpet, l’istinto come strumento di design: Consuelo Castiglioni racconta Marni”.” Moda24, 4 May 2012. http://www.moda24.ilsole24ore.com/art/stili-tendenze/2012-05-03/lontano-carpet-istinto-come-193621.php?uuid=AbvO5HXF# .

Find in Library Jones Terry , ed. 100 Contemporary Fashion Designers . Cologne : Taschen, 2009.

Marni. Website. www.marni.com .