- LUISA ZARGANI
Pucci Travels to St. Moritz for Experiential Event
The brand's artistic director Camille Miceli and CEO Saar Debrouwere in her first interview since joining in July speak of the enduring lifestyle appeal of Pucci.
Pucci X Fusalp looks
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — Whether in Capri or the glamorous St. Moritz, on the beach or under the snow-capped Alps, Camille Miceli’s energy, fun-loving approach and zest for life are unwavering and contagious.
Unveiling the Pucci x Fusalp collection over a three-day experience here, the artistic director of Emilio Pucci explained during an interview at the storied and luxury Badrutt’s Palace Hotel that she knew she wanted to do a skiwear collection since Day One — although at the same time she emphasized it’s entirely linked to the brand’s lifestyle concept.
“I wanted to stick to the story of Mr. Pucci, and St. Moritz is more Italian than Swiss, all the Milanese love coming here — and now I am a Milanese, too,” said Miceli with a laugh. To be sure, the experience kicked off on Thursday and the town was teeming with Italians and plenty of visitors from Milan and nearby Como and Bergamo. Dec. 8 is a national holiday that follows the feast of Milan’s patron saint, Ambrose, a day earlier.
“I think it’s important to keep and emphasize the Italian side of Pucci,” said the designer.
There is also another reason for the tie-up with French skiwear specialist Fusalp: Pucci, who died in 1992, was a member of the Italian Olympic ski team in 1932. He began designing skiwear out of jersey fabrics in 1947 and opened his house in 1949.
“This is a tremendous opportunity and fits in perfectly with the Pucci history,” said Pucci chief executive officer Saar Debrouwere in her first interview since joining the company last July.
The Fusalp capsule is part of the collection called La Famiglia, and Debrouwere underscored that it is a key focus to “reach out to an extended audience,” while maintaining the sense of community, which this kind of experience fuels. “Being together, understanding the Pucci lifestyle is key — and who wouldn’t want to wear these colorful, joyful designs?”
Miceli also explained that there is a connection between her own family and that of the Lacoste family, a co-owner of Fusalp, which led to a “very easy and fluid collaboration.”
The capsule marks the 70th anniversary of Fusalp, blending fashion with technical expertise.
Miceli worked with Fusalp’s creative director Mathilde Lacoste, revisiting three best-sellers from the ski specialist — the Gardena jacket, the Elancia and Belalp ski pants and the Maria ski suit — with Pucci allover prints.
Miceli reissued three patterns that she employed for the summer collection unveiled in Capri in April with the goal of making them increasingly signature prints and recognizable as Pucci, “bringing them back season after season,” she said. They include the Marmo motif with black and shades of icy blue; the Iride pattern on the ski suit, and the Girandole.
Camille Miceli and Anok Yai photo by Shayne Laverdiere
“I want to establish and insist on these prints,” said Miceli.
The collection includes waterproof and protective materials, technical nylons and feathers in addition to thermals developed with “body mapping,” which give the effect of a contoured figure.
The core skiwear offer comprises eight pieces styled as three main looks, each characterized by three different color ranges and print variations. The après-ski proposal includes six heavy knitwear items and two padded ponchos.
Among the lineup of accessories accented with nylon Pucci trim are a cap, scarf, snood, ear warmers, and a polycarbonate helmet.
Miceli has been embracing the see now, buy now format, and the collection was available that same day, both online and in a selection of Pucci and Fusalp boutiques, as well as on Mytheresa.com, once again its exclusive online partner.
Precious Lee photo byShayne Laverdiere
There are currently 11 Pucci stores, and Debrouwere, asked about the brand’s distribution, avoided choosing one specific channel to further expand, rather focusing on the different opportunities depending on the collection and the occasion.
In accordance with Miceli, she said that temporary stores are a viable outlet that can be further explored and in locations that relate to the Pucci lifestyle. In addition to a pop-up in St. Moritz in an art gallery, where the Pucci x Fusalp collection will be exhibited for 12 days, another temporary store was slated to open in Courchevel a few days later.
A Pucci x Fusalp look
“I like this idea of rushing to get to a collection that is available only for a few days, otherwise you’ve missed it,” said Miceli, adding that “people get bored so easily. And the concept of seasons is old-fashioned. We are addressing people in Brazil, Europe or Japan, meteorology is very boring and old, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s always summer somewhere for a new bathing suit.”
Indeed, Debrouwere is aware that Europe and the U.S. are strong markets for Pucci at the moment, but she is more interested in catching the attention of the clusters of customers, often traveling around the world.
“Where is my customer? Where can we develop our business more? People can buy anywhere when traveling, and we must pay attention,” she said.
Michael Kliger, CEO of Mytheresa, touted the experiential events endorsed by Miceli. “With Mytheresa you become part of a family, you participate in fashion and luxury, art and creativity, and it’s fun and joyful to bring together the family in beautiful locations — and Pucci equals Italy,” he said, echoing Miceli.
The event drew around 150 guests, including several Mytheresa top customers from around the world.
“It’s a real privilege to have this kind of experience,” mused Kliger. “Clienteling is so important, staying close to the customer, maintaining loyalty, and we started early on so we see the results,” continued the executive, pointing to 21 percent growth in Mytheresa’s sales in the third quarter.
He expressed pride in being the exclusive partner of the launch, saying that “the Pucci business is expanding and evolving. The collection has been out since this morning and we’ve already seen a good reaction to the designs,” noting that skiing in particular has become “very popular” with Gen Zers.
Michael Kliger and Saar Debrouwere photo by Shayne Laverdiere
Miceli has been staying away from traditional fashion shows, unveiling her first designs for Pucci over a fun-packed weekend of lunches, yoga classes and partying last April in Capri, the jet-set island where founder Emilio Pucci opened his initial boutique in 1951 — and offering plenty of Instagrammable moments, such as models lounging on towels doing synchronized leg lifts.
“I am more interested in the production of images — we are living in the time of images, after all, and in offering the point of view of different talents, photographers and models, which is far more accurate than a fashion show,” said the designer.
Debrouwere was attracted by Miceli’s “way of thinking of Pucci as a lifestyle brand, in a fun, positive and open way.”
The respect and strong relationship between Miceli and Debrouwere is palpable. The latter brings to Pucci experience in product, merchandising and sales. She joined the Italian brand from Shanghai-based fashion house Icicle, where she had been executive vice president, design and product, since 2020 — and she admitted that being in China throughout the lockdowns was a very instructive experience.
Before that, she worked for eight years at Swedish fashion house Acne Studios, which she joined in 2012 as ready-to-wear director, studio and product, ultimately becoming chief product officer in 2014.
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, where she received a master’s degree in contemporary art and photography, the Belgian Debrouwere started her career as a project manager at Ad!dict Creative Lab, a management consultancy specialized in customer experience. She would later join fashion brand A.F. Vandevorst in sales roles, and would be recruited in 2009 by Raf Simons as his collection director.
“Saar knows exactly what she wants, and she has a clever way of getting to it, in her nice but strong way,” said Miceli of the soft-spoken executive.
Jasmine Daniels photo by Shayne Laverdiere
“Camille is also very strong, and we look at the world in the same way, we are aligned and there is chemistry,” chimed in Debrouwere. “I truly believe that there must be a good match with the creative director; it’s the only way it can work.”
While admitting she was still in a “discovery and observation phase,” she offered that she is “a big fan of simplicity and efficiency. Collaboration and communication equals success and this is key in all companies.”
At Pucci, which has been controlled by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton since 2000, and rebooted as a resort-focused brand, more collaborations will follow, “if Camille feels they make sense, if the occasion arrives,” said Debrouwere.
Miceli said she is still mulling the location for the next collection, which will be unveiled at the end of April or in May.
“Beauty in the end wins, and we have to have the right product with the right story and the right package, otherwise it makes no sense,” said Miceli, who was accessories creative director at Louis Vuitton before joining Pucci last September. “We are a resort and lifestyle brand: We show the clothes in a context.”
The Pucci party in St. Moritz photo by Shayne Laverdiere