Born in Milan, Ermanno Scervino grew up between Florence and Cortina d’Ampezzo. He has lived in some of the world’s most exciting cities where he was captivated by the trends and styles he saw showcased in his professional life, from Paris – his second home – to the New York of Andy Warhol, London and Ibiza, with its boho-chic aesthetic. The designer finally chose to base himself in Florence and decided that he wanted to dress the most beautiful women in the world. He is self-taught and, following a stint in Paris and a period studying architecture in Italy, he gained experience from Italian mentors in the fields of luxury goods and fashion design. In 2000, Scervino founded his eponymous label, which embodies both his love of architecture and that of the human form. We caught up with the designer to find out more ahead of his Milan Spring/Summer 2018 show.
With Milan Fashion Week fast approaching, can you give us any indication of your inspirations for next season?
I never do that because the surprise effect is a key factor of every fashion show. Of course, there are some fundamental features that I always like to express in my collections: femininity, a chaste sensuality, a mixing game between feminine and masculine dress codes. But then, I always develop them in a new form, updated every season.
What do you look forward to most at Milan Fashion Week?
Milan Fashion Week is a great moment for the whole Italian fashion business. It’s a great opportunity to meet, in the same place and moment, all the correspondents of the international press and worldwide buyers. For me personally, it is a truly emotional moment, because I present to the public for the first time the results of six month of hard work. I do always look forward to the initial feedback regarding my latest collection.
Which Milan Fashion Week designers do you admire?
In general, I admire those who have a strong and well-defined stylistic identity and carry it forward with consistency.
You’ve studied in both Paris and Milan. How do the two fashion cities compare in terms of style?
I actually find them both inspiring, lively and modern cities. Paris is very different in its various arrondissements and the mix of people is very challenging, the cultural offering is unbeatable. Although it is a modern and dynamic metropolis, Paris has kept its charm. Milan, on the other hand, is more concrete and constantly changing. It has a more understated and sober style, yet it is constantly updated and contemporary. What I prefer to do is to walk the streets of these cities: it’s there, on the pavements and among the people, that I really find inspiration.
How do you think Italian fashion has evolved?
It has become more aware of itself and of its global importance. The whole fashion industry, not only the Italian one, has certainly changed over the years, becoming more demanding, faster, with less time conceded to creativity and style, and more attention to marketing. What remains unchanged is an Italian way of doing fashion: inspired and concrete, with excellent craftsmanship. That’s something that makes the difference and that will always exist.
Where are your favourite places in Milan?
I like 10 Corso Como for its library and temporary exhibitions, the Marchesi pastry shop and restaurant in the Vittorio Emanuele II gallery and barber shop Antica Barbieria Colla, for its historic grooming traditions.
What do you like most about the city?
Its energy and modernity, and the great way that it has found to mix and combine its ancient and aristocratic palaces with a new, modern skyline.
How would you describe your signature aesthetic?
I’d say it’s a modern and glamorous aesthetic, based on the value of Italian craftsmanship, which reinterprets the tailoring tradition through innovation and research. Experiments continue to inspire me, and I always try to set new boundaries in the process.
Who is the ultimate Ermanno Scervino woman?
A woman of character, emancipated and independent. I have always been inspired by the world of film, such as movie icons of Italian cinema, including Sophia Loren, Anna Magnani or Monica Vitti, who have influenced me in my way of creating sensuality and femininity on the catwalk. Today, I really admire Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as Elisa Sednaoui, Rita Ora, Elsa Hosk, Jourdan Dunn and Jennifer Lopez: all beautiful women and above all talented, intelligent and autonomous.
What are your plans following Milan Fashion Week?
I will immediately start thinking about the next collection. I’ll fly to Paris for a couple of days to seek some new inspiration and then I’ll go back to Florence and start working with my team directly on fabrics and shapes.