A Q&A with Italian heritage brand Genny

The Genny fashion brand looks back to its rich history to move forward

During the 1980s and 1990s, Genny was one of the most acclaimed Italian luxury brands in the world, renowned for its unique style and tailored cuts. With none other than legendary designer Gianni Versace as its creative director, Genny spawned diffusion lines Byblos, now an independent company, and Complice.

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Today, under the creative helm of Sara Cavazza Facchini, Genny has regained international prestige, blending its distinctive timeless elegance and sophisticated femininity with a contemporary flair.

We reached out to Genny to ask a few questions.

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Genny has a rich heritage rooted in quality and traditional craftsmanship. Tell us some more about the brand’s origins. 

Genny was founded in 1962 by couple Arnaldo and Donatella Girombelli as a line of skirts and blouses. The brand quickly gained popularity among women in Italy and internationally, also on account of the stylistic contributions of famous designers: Gianni Versace, Claude Montana, Keith Varty, Alan Cleaver, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Lacroix, Rebecca Moses, John Bartlett, Richard Tyler, and Josephus Thimister.

After Arnaldo’s death in 1980, Donatella became the chairwoman of the company, overseeing the evolution of its style. In 1987 Genny became a holding company. Since 2011, the Genny fashion brand has been owned by the Verona-based group Swinger International. 

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What impact did Gianni Versace have on the brand?

1973, the year Gianni Versace became Genny’s creative director, is a historical moment for the brand. Genny became a part of the Olympus of Italian fashion.

Fashion is constantly evolving—how has Genny changed over the years?

Since the 1960s fashion has completely changed, but Genny has managed to reinvent itself, while also staying true to its DNA: extreme femininity, masterful tailoring, and premium quality.

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A Modern Genny

How would you describe Genny’s aesthetic today?

An aesthetic that valorizes women, highlighting their elegance and femininity. Genny is a brand that keeps up with trends choosing materials, shapes, and details that allow women to feel feminine and contemporary.

Who is the quintessential Genny woman?

A woman who loves feeling chic and sophisticated from morning to evening; who is always unique in her style; timeless yet cosmopolitan and ready to live anywhere in the world; passionate and sexy at night, and above all sensitive to environmental issues. She loves natural, organic, and sustainable fabrics.

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With your “sustainable wardrobe”, you’re committing to sustainability and environmental protection. Which materials do you use, and how do you source them?

Sustainability has always been important to the brand. For our new Business Bag, as well as for the small shopper bags, we are using a special kind of vegan synthetic leather called Appleskin. For the SS21 collection we created an innovative trench coat which shields the body from external agents, protecting our clothes, too.

This trench is made from a special fabric called Light Mask WR-A, entirely made in Italy, and often used to produce medical devices, including face masks. This fabric undergoes an antibacterial treatment, and acts as a filter to provide protection against bacteria, dust, smoke, pollen, and pollution. 

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Give us some details about your Fall Winter 2021/22 collection. What was the inspiration behind it?

Our Fall Winter 2021/22 collection blends fashion and art, in a celebration of Italy. Italy is a truly wonderful country, renowned all over the world for its artistic and cultural heritage. To breathe life back into one of the most important cultural centers, Milan’s Royal Palace, Sara Cavazza Facchini, the Genny fashion designer, has set up a creative fashion show, a journey through art and beauty.

The collection is designed for busy, independent, and sophisticated women. It’s reminiscent of the timeless beauty of London’s private member clubs, such as Annabel’s.

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How important is Made in Italy to you?

Made in Italy is our strength, and our distinguishing feature. Genny produces on a large scale without renouncing the artisanal care given to Made in Italy products.

Where do you see the Genny fashion brand in five years?

Stay tuned.

Shop Genny clothing for women on italist and save up to 40%! We offer a wide selection of dresses, shirts, sweaters, trousers, coats, and more.

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About the Author

Alex English is the Head of Content Marketing at italist.com, building on a lifelong passion for fashion and luxury. After publishing a lifestyle blog for nearly ten years and obtaining an MBA in Milan at SDA Bocconi, one of Europe’s top business schools, he joined the italist team in 2019. His work since then has focused on upper-funnel messaging, brand storytelling, establishing italist as a thought leader in the space, and enriching the customer experience on the platform. Find him on LinkedIn.