It occurred to us that we don’t really know anything about most of the designers whose products we talk about every day. So we’re trying out this Designer who is series starting with Marni.

What we know about Marni off the top of our heads?

We know we like most Marni designs we’ve seen, but we don’t really know anything about Marni as a label off the top of our heads. We’ve always just assumed Marni is a brand named after its founder and that it’s a woman who is behind the label. As it turns out, it is indeed a woman behind the Marni Label. But her name is not Marni.

So who is Marni?

According to Wikipedia, Marni is an Italian luxury fashion label that was founded in 1994 by Consuelo Castiglioni. The brand is actually named after the founder’s sister. So there is a Marni. She’s just not the brand’s founder. She’s the founder’s sister. (this assumes the accuracy of the information on Wikipedia)

From our interpretation of what we’ve read, Consuelo Castiglioni started out making a name for herself in her husband’s family fur-making business. She broke away from the traditional “old-fashioned” designs and started creating more modern designs with furs.

Marni furs
Image via

Eventually she branched out to start designing clothes for people to wear under their furs. And people liked her stuff well enough that the Marni label is now well-established as a high end designer label producing handbags, shoes, jewelry and clothes to the tune of annual earnings in the hundreds of millions.

In 2012, OTB Group bought a majority stake of Marni. Consuelo Castiglioni remains the label’s designer. She and her husband Gianni were able to retain full creative control of the label in the 2012 deal.

The Marni aesthetic

Muppet Bicolor Fold-Over Clutch
Image via

The Marni style was classified in a 2007 Vogue article as having a “European-inflected bohemianism.” echoes this sentiment in an online magazine feature on Marni handbags and jewelry. They write:

[pull_quote_center]Marni’s woman is curious, sophisticated and far from being a victim to any kind of fashion, whether Marni’s jewelry or handbags, clothing and leather shoes, everything is blended in a collection that showcases a bohemian chic aesthetic with vintage flair. Marni’s girl goes her own way, she displays unique shapes, beautiful prints and textures set side by side with elegant yet strong sandals and boots. (source link) [/pull_quote_center]

Forzieri also describes Marni designs as having an “androgynous quirk” as well as being “heavy in retro-modern prints”, having “beautiful simplicity” while still having “the aura of the biker trend” (speaking of Marni 2015 bags).

The Marni aesthetic to us represents a non-conformist style. Marni might not be the favored label of women famous for using their bodies to establish their presence and maintain their celebrity. The designs, from our viewpoint, are not about showing up a woman’s sex appeal. They are about showing off her personality rather than showing off her body.

Marni styles
Marni Pre Fall 2015 – image via Moda Operandi

Marni products are sold online at Moda Operandi, Farfetch, Nordstrom, Yoox

Shop Marni at

You can also shop in person at Marni boutiques in locations including London, New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Beijing, Shanghai, Sydney, Moscow, Kuwait, Hong Kong and Tokyo.


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