What has happened to Italian fashion and why I started Sfera – part 1

In the past few weeks I’ve had a lot of people ask me about Sfera and how it came about.  As its story is linked to my search for clothes that help women create their own confident style, I thought it might make helpful (and maybe even interesting) reading on Confidence Tricks.

Some background: Sfera is a collaboration between myself and Douglas Anderson – a fabulously talented Milan-based designer formerly of Isaia, Dior and Rena Lange among others.  It’s a collection which we put together each season to exemplify what Wardrobe is all about – we call it edgily classic.

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In the eight seasons since we started, it has become our top-selling brand – and we’ve been surprised at how many people are telling us that there is nothing like it elsewhere.

Why did we launch Sfera?

The short answer is that it was the only way to ensure the supply of the clothes that I knew my customers wanted to wear – beautifully tailored clothes that were not boring, but were innovative, feminine and sexily cut.

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Tailoring, as you’ll know, has made a comeback in the press in recent months not just as office wear but as a fashion statement. In an age of bling and devalued fashion brands, many women have realised that the only way to look elegant and glamorous is to minimise and simplify with beautiful cuts and high quality fabrics which cannot be replicated in the high street (nor, frankly, by the big top-end brands for whom publicity forms such a high proportion of the input cost that they end up needing to use cheaper fabrics).

But the companies using top quality fabrics are making very classic (and, frankly, generally boring) clothes. Our customers want tailoring, but they don’t want it to be boring.

What we’ve done is to take these top quality fabrics and make them into something that younger women want to wear as well.

Next time: how femininity and innovation have been squeezed out of Italian fashion

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1 Response to “What has happened to Italian fashion and why I started Sfera – part 1”


  • Wow, that explains a lot Susie. I can see that this has affected much of the clothing available here in the UK, most notably in the high street. I am appalled at the choice available to women in the 30’s – 60+ and more so with the fabrics around at the moment. You would be hard pushed to find anything with wool, silk or cotton in it! Ditto garment finishes, I have beautiful vintage items from my mum, aunts and grandmother all made locally or purchased from their nearest city, Birmingham, and so well made you would think they were couture!

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