What is Etro, how to pronounce Etro, and where to buy Etro
You might have heard of Etro, the eclectic Italian brand that blends tradition with contemporary style in its extravagant yet sophisticated designs. Vibrant hues, intricate floral patterns, luxurious fabrics…everything about this iconic Italian label makes you want to embrace the adventurer within you and hop a plane to a remote corner of the globe.
What does Etro mean?
Pronounced EH-TRO, the label is named after its founder. Inspired by his travels across the world, Gerolamo “Gimmo” Etro opened a textile company in Milan, via Spartaco, in 1968. In 1981, Gimmo travelled to India and came back with what would become the brand’s signature motif: paisley.
While initially the company focused on soft furnishings, Etro’s bohemian silk shawls and cashmere scarves immediately gained fame. The label grew, expanding its women’s and men’s ready-to-wear collections, and branching into leather accessories, home décor, and fragrances.
Today, the maison is managed by Gimmo’s four children: Kean is creative director of menswear, Veronica is is creative director of womenswear, Jacopo is Head of Communication and creative director of Accessories, Leather, Home and Textile, while Ippolito is General Director of the brand. The four siblings work together to preserve their father’s vision, celebrating travel, exploration, and innovation and proposing unique, extravagant garments crafted in refined fabrics.
“Our success is probably due to the fact that we simply don’t care what other companies are doing.” – Kean Etro, in an interview to GQ Magazine
Paisley pattern: what is it?
The paisley is a decorative textile motif that originated in Mesopotamia in the 3rd century BC, and then popularized in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries.
This intricate swirling pattern is said to evoke the date palm leaf, symbolic of the tree of life. From the 11th century, it was hand-woven on Kashmir shawls and dresses worn by Indian and Persian women, and was originally referred to as buta, or boteh.
The paisley gets its modern name from the Scottish town of Paisley, the first to imitate the design—Kashmir shawls became synonymous with wealth amongst European women, and quickly began to be mass-produced.
The paisley pattern in its countless variations has been the label’s signature since its introduction in 1981. It plays a central role in the Fall-Winter 21 collection (unveiled through the advertising campaign “The House of Etrovaganza”): find it on jeans, capes, jackets, dresses, and more.
What we love about paisley is that it provides a canvas for designers to play and experiment with, and Etro does it masterfully: every piece is innovative and unconventional. The label’s exquisite paisley patterns are a breath of fresh air in a fashion world that is shifting towards minimalism and muted tones. Truly magical!
Where to buy Etro
So where to buy Etro? Today, the brand operates 140 flagship stores in 58 countries: whether you’re in New York, London, Milan, Berlin, or Tokyo, you will find a boutique near you.
However, if you want to save up to 40% on Etro pieces, make sure you shop in Italy. Why?
Prices in Italy tend to be lower, even with currency exchange rates, because there are no importer or distributor costs like there often are in other countries, and the price of doing business is lower.
Not ready to hop on that plane just yet?