By Tali Jaffe
There’s a new kid on the block at Bal Harbour, and you can be sure it’s a welcome one. La Perla, the luxury Italian intimates and swimwear house, opened late last month and this week celebrates its grand opening to coincide with Miami Swim Week. The new store boutique will house the entire La Perla corsetry collection, and La Perla Mare swimwear year-round to cater to the Bal Harbour clientele. Additionally, the new location will feature exclusive pieces from La Perla, as well as the Jean Paul Gaultier Collection Createur. Private shopping appointments and bridal concierge services are also available.
La Perla’s creative director, Giovanni Bianchi, will be in town to celebrate the grand opening haand the brand’s swim show at Soho House on Sunday. We caught up with Bianchi before the show to discuss creating the "Bold and Beautiful" swimsuit, Monica Bellucci and the designer’s latest inspirations.
How long have you been the creative director of the company?
I've been the Creative Director of La Perla for 10 years.
What are the signature elements of the La Perla brand?
The signature elements of La Perla are: the hand crafted pieces and artisan work that first debuted in the 1950s. A high level of creativity and craftsmanship in the design process makes the brand "haute couture" lingerie with the best laces and innovative designs.
Who do you have in mind when you design for La Perla?
A woman in her splendor like the iconic Italian actress Monica Bellucci, who is in a way an of ambassador of Italian Sensuality.
Which pieces from the current Swim collection are your favorites?
The Mondrian bikini and the Plisse black swimsuit with pleated details.
When did the brand expand into swimwear, and how did that expansion come about?
La Perla expanded into swimwear during the 1980s when women began to ask for the swimsuit from the "Bold and Beautiful." We were the first brand to develop a swimwear collection with special cut and construction to reshape the body, and also the first to create a line with embellishment details like embroidery, sequins etc.
The brand has recently begun showing its lingerie and swimwear during fashion weeks. Why is this important to you?
Today it is really important for a brand like La Perla to show its collection during fashion week because La Perla collections are designed on trend and current, similar to pret a porter fashion brands. A client can match our garments with the trendiest looks from seasonal pret a porter, and some of our pieces easily transition from innerwear to outerwear—like a bustier.
What was the inspiration behind the SS13 swim collection?
The inspiration behind the SS13 swim collection is the 18th century in Sicily, and the South of Italy as it is represented in the book "The Leopard," by Tommasi di Lampedusa. In the 1960s it became a movie directed by Luchino Visconti with Alin Delon, Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale. Colors and historical architecture from "Barocco Siciliano" are visited in this collection in a modern way.
What else is on your itinerary this trip to Miami?
I love Miami and am excited to spend time here. I'll be meeting with buyers during Salon Allure to present our SS13 swim collection, and we'll also preview key pieces from the collection at our event celebrating the grand opening of our Bal Harbour boutique on Sunday night at the Soho Beach House. When I have free time, I'll enjoy the Deco district restaurants and atmosphere, and of course I'll be visiting our new boutique at the Bal Harbour Shops.