lCORRADA, lDELFINA & lMARIA SOLE
If the Italians are known for one thing, it’s their precision tailoring that keeps everyone from toddlers to grandmothers looking as well-polished as the family silver. But where to go for the best selection of razor-cut, beautifully made jackets that don’t feel too classic or too manly? Italian stylists Corrada Rodriguez D’Acri, Delfina Pinardi, and Maria Sole Torlonia offer an intriguing answer with Blazé, their one-year-old niche fashion label dedicated solely to impeccably crafted, made-to-order blazers.
“A blazer gives immediate elegance to whatever you put on,” explains Rome-born, Rodriguez D’Acri, 34, who studied fashion design at FIT in New York and serves as Blazé’s designer. “Whether it’s over a pair of jeans or an evening gown, you’re always super-chic.”
The name borrows from the French blasé, meaning “bored” or “indifferent,” and despite being 100 percent designed and made in Italy, these perfect blazers are indeed shot up with a Parisian insouciance. The balance between cool and classic is what makes them wardrobe staples.
“It’s one of those fashion pieces that will never go away,” adds Brussels-born, Tuscan-raised Pinardi, also 34 and the team’s marketing leader. “It’s the most timeless, discreet garment you can buy.”
To prove their point, the girls model some of their favorite Blazé pieces, together with vintage items, at CLS Architetti, an architectural studio inside Milan’s Chiesa di San Paolo Converso. The soaring Baroque interiors are no big deal for these women, who all hail from fancy Italian pedigree. But these three women are also hard-at-work, Milan-based career girls who met while schlepping around the fashion department of Elle Italia. “We spent way too many nights returning samples at 3am to Valentino in Place Vendome,” Rodriguez D’Acri recalls with a laugh.
The threesome launched Blazé at the end of 2013 with three models: the Every Day Blazer, a versatile double-breasted piece to wear from 9am until cocktail hour; The Weekend Blazer, with oversized pockets and a slightly gaucho feel; and the Midnight Smoking, a tuxedo version for evening. Now, they’ve added a relaxed, blazer-robe as well as a double-breasted bomber.
Sticking to a single category allows for a deep and studious approach to their hero product. The jackets are made-to-order, and each client receives direct contact with Blazé to choose her material, color, piping and buttons. The fabrics, ranging from fine silks to sturdy tweeds and wools, are thoroughly researched and the details, including the hand-stitched initials of the individual owner, are beautifully finished. Best of all is the intricate internal system of pockets, designed to fit keys, a cell phone, cigarettes, lip gloss, and a credit card holder.
“The idea is that a girl doesn’t have to carry a handbag if she doesn’t want to,” explains Sole Torlonia, who handles the business side of the company.
In just one year, Blazé blazers have won a cult following, including Caroline de Maigret, the tomboyish Parisian style star, who was an early adopter. Since then, private clients from Rome to Los Angeles have come knocking, and many retailers have followed suit. Though they may expand soon to traditional shops, the girls plan to stay niche. “It used to be that Italy was full of artisans making just a single product,” explains Pinardi. “You would go to one man for the shoes, one man for the sweaters, one man for shirts. We love this old idea of mono-product. Specialization is key today.”
– J.J. Martin