A very special meeting with Nicoletta Spagnoli, CEO of the brand founded in 1928 by her great-grandmother Luisa. An entrepreneur who follows, with determination, competence and passion, the tradition of a family that has made and continues to make its mark on the history of Italian entrepreneurship. A big smile, welcoming and serene, showing just how proud she is of her roots and how happy she is to follow in her family’s footsteps.
A degree in pharmacy, then further studies at the University of San Diego, where she lived for 5 years, and a real passion for drawing.
Design has always been my true passion. As a child, as soon I could, I spent all my time with the company’s stylists. I watched, I learned, I created. I remember my father Lino had a garment made from a sketch of mine. I was ten, maybe my destiny was already clear! That memory is still very emotional for me
Luisa Spagnoli is a well-established brand worldwide, an icon of style and elegance for women who love refined, sartorial garments. Its success is due to the brilliant ideas of an entrepreneur who knew how to turn her every idea into successful projects. A woman to admire.
Are you inspired by her work?
Luisa Spagnoli was undoubtedly a pioneering woman, especially for somebody who lived in the twentieth century.
She was the first Italian woman ever to sit on a board of directors.
During World War II, when the men were at the front fighting, Luisa called women to the company. She built a nursery and stores where they could shop. It was a way to manage the forced emancipation that women had go through, replacing their absent husbands at the head of their families.
In 1928, she had the idea to make rabbit wool sweaters: thus, she invented the Angora yarn, which is still the distinguishing feature of the finest garments in our collections.
It is truly impossible to not be inspired by this visionary businesswoman, she was absolutely extraordinary.
When I found myself at the helm of our company, I felt the weight and the responsibility to carry on a job that began almost a century ago and I believed, as my great-grandmother always did, that I had to followed my instincts.
If it had been up to me, I would have spent all day sketching and drawing.
After Luisa, her son Mario took over: he gave a couple of long-haired rabbits to every family in Perugia, together with a comb to collect the fur and a loom to weave it, creating “the city of Angora”.
Another strong personality with great vision. But the solidity of the brand is linked to the entrepreneurial choices of your father Lino.
What are your projects for Luisa Spagnoli today?
My father taught me so much. He’s the one who wanted to make our garments affordable: “to make working women dress well”.
His decision allowed women to wear practical clothes without having to forego style and elegance. The attention to detail is fundamental for us.
Over the years our customers have changed, the young women who came to accompany their mothers to our stores are themselves our customers today.
Watching them touch the clothes, feel the quality fabrics that we use for our garments, try on the twin sets that have been a style icon for many incredible women, I realised that we could also offer them beautiful things to wear. So I started to draw, thinking about the needs and tastes of a dynamic woman, who travels, worksand who lives every moment of her day to the fullest.
I added a young touch to the collections with sheath dresses and short jackets in bouclé fabrics. In my collections, colour is always present, as it is an element that has always characterised our brand.
In a world that seems to be attracted only by what you “see”, I continue to believe that the quality of the garments we offer is our distinctive trait, as well as our way to bring Italian craftsmanship to the whole world.