Berluti have been making shoes for 117 years, but the company is diversifying following its entry into the LVMH kingdom. The first ready-to-wear collection was presented in Paris on 20 January 2012, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Styled by Alessandro Sartori, previously at Ermenegildo Zegna, the collection is based on cool greys and blues, with a few other Berluti classic colours, burgundy and bottle green, with prestige materials such as flecked cashmere and fur, and meticolous detailing (such as leather buttonholes, antelope pockets inside the cashmere blazers, mink lining in greatcoats).
Everything is hand-made in the Turin area, by sixteen workshops, and for a first collection, there are a lot of garments: 400, including shoes and leather accessories. Many of the fabrics were made specially for Berluti. Some of them were high-tech as well as high luxury: a large cashmere parka is treated with Teflon to make it water-resistant. The presentation included a feature that was seen in a few fall-winter 2012-13 shows in Milan, namely ordinary people – or personalities – as opposed to just models. Just like the Prada show, in Paris, Berluti chose a mix of models and ordinary folk. A good way of demonstrating that even 50-year olds who don't work out in the gym can soup up their appearance with the right clothes! The Berluti man is styled as "cultivated, an art lover, a collector of vintage cars."
The presentation was based on a series of scenes illustrating the Berluti lifestyle: the library of a country chateau, cocktails with friends, or a shoe-polishing session using Dom Pérignon as polish (something that happens at the Swann Club evening held for top Berluti customers every year).
Antoine Arnault, currently managing Berluti, plans to double the number of stores worldwide (currently there are 35). That means a few more big steps forwards, but now there's no doubt he's got the shoes to do it!