Niccolo Ricci, CEO of lifestyle label Stefano Ricci, gives t2 a peek into the world of Italian luxury

Fine tailoring, fine leather, fine wine, fine interiors…. Italian uber luxury brand Stefano Ricci — founded in 1980 by the eponymous designer — is all about the finer things of life, handcrafted to perfection. Niccolo Ricci, the CEO of the label, takes t2 through the journey of the brand and tells us why the world loves all things Italian.

  • Published 11.05.18
A glimpse of the Stefano Ricci spring/ summer 2018 line inspired by Matera, a world heritage site located in the south of Italy

Fine tailoring, fine leather, fine wine, fine interiors…. Italian uber luxury brand Stefano Ricci — founded in 1980 by the eponymous designer — is all about the finer things of life, handcrafted to perfection. Niccolo Ricci, the CEO of the label, takes t2 through the journey of the brand and tells us why the world loves all things Italian.

Niccolo Ricci

Some of the world’s most celebrated fashion brands — from Valentino to Versace, Prada, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana — are Italian. What is it about Italian fashion that the world loves?

The ‘Made in Italy’ that has conquered the world is the highest expression of quality, creativity and dexterity. During the last 30 years, our brands have established themselves by focusing on these values; it’s not easy to imagine a period as prolific as this in the future. But so long as Italian companies respect the best artisanal traditions, and so long as the artisans continue to demonstrate their passion for work, Italian products will be successful. The same strong concept found in quality of life here is our best ambassador.
Milan, Florence, Rome — which is your favourite fashion city? Both in terms of high fashion and street style...

These are three wonderful cities. Milan is undoubtedly the capital of glamour; Rome of opulence; and Florence of elegance. Florence is also the cradle of ‘Made in Italy’, which began in the early 1950s with the first fashion shows taking place in the Sala Bianca within Palazzo Pitti.
Take us back to when you started out as the CEO of Stefano Ricci. Over the years what value have you added to the brand?

It’s not easy to take control as the CEO in a company founded by one’s parents, and which bears the name of an important and visionary father. I have been aided in this path by the fact that I grew up in the company. When I left school, I was studying at my grandparents’ house, which was also the headquarters of the company at that time. It was in this way that over the years I assimilated the knowledge that today is so invaluable. 

When my father decided to appoint me as CEO, after years of working in the sales office, I wanted to accompany this step with constant innovation related to the world of IT, the certification of financial statements, and an innovative logistics concept, all without losing pace with market evolutions, and the relationship with our boutique managers around the world as well as with our top clients.

From fragrances to wines and yacht interiors, Stefano Ricci’s offerings include all things luxury

From menswear to jewellery, leather goods, home accessories and even wine… Stefano Ricci deals in all things luxury. Which is your strongest suit?

The concept of lifestyle itself. The Stefano Ricci client does not enter into one of our boutiques because he needs an outfit, but because he is searching for an emotion, a personal pleasure. This is transmitted into each of his choices, from the definition of his residence to the personalisation of his private jet or yacht. He is a client who chooses in first person, and who knows how to recognise the difference between cost and value.
With your expertise in luxury menswear, why have you not ventured into clothing for women?

I share in the choice that my parents made many years ago: do not contaminate a product of absolute masculine quality with projects that are not as relevant. Men’s fashion speaks a language that is different from that of women’s fashion: the more conscious is the former, the more instinctive is the latter. In reality, we already produce a selection of accessories for women, such as a bag model made by our artisans in crocodile leather and with a buckle in gold or platinum with diamonds.
Is there anything else you would like to include in the brand offerings?

We are working on various projects, including one for a high quality Stefano Ricci watch. We still need some time to perfect it all.

What’s Stefano Ricci’s offering for spring/summer 2018?

The spring/summer 2018 collection starts with an absolute refinement of a style that has conquered the world of male elegance. It features tailored double-breasted suits and two-button jackets, both casual and sporty outfits and unique leather accessories that are truly ‘Made in Italy’ with the work of experienced hands and passionate hearts. The collection was inspired by the eternal beauty of Matera, a world heritage site located in the South of Italy.

Stefano Ricci is all about handcrafted luxury. And in India, too, our luxury is all about handcrafted and handmade. What’s your perception of Indian fashion?

I have always observed, with interest, the best of international production. Concerning India, I am enchanted by the colours, the designs, and the great manufacturing capacity of the country. You must be proud of the extraordinary heritage of culture and refinement. 

I was fascinated by the extraordinary beauty of Indian weddings, from the refinement of the clothes to the party that captivates all guests. This is why I wanted to dedicate an exclusive production for an extraordinary people, including a tunic that will be on sale only in our Mumbai and New Delhi boutiques. It is based on the characteristic Indian tunic that has been reinterpreted with our Africa-patterned fabric with a lining of hand-printed silk displaying an eagle design.


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Tell us about your wine collection. What is special about Italian wines?

The geography, the working of the land, the climate of our hills. Italian wines are among the best in the world, and perhaps not everyone knows that even French champagne was born from our traditions. In fact, it was the ancient Romans who took the vine shoots and planted them wherever they decided to settle. 

As for our collection, everything has come out of a meeting between friends. One evening at dinner, at the Enoteca Pinchiorri, the most famous three-starred restaurant in Italy, Giorgio Pinchiorri asked my father to start a collaboration producing a limited-edition wine. The choice involved the production of great wines including Oreno, which was awarded as the best wine in the world. And every year Stefano Ricci can choose the best wine for its 1,000 bottles, with a bottle design that changes every season.


What’s luxury to you?

The value of a true friendship.

A fashion brand (apart from your own) that you love wearing?

When you wear absolute quality, you stay true to a brand forever. In my case, this is Stefano Ricci!

A country you love visiting?

I want to get to know India better, and not just the big cities.

Among the four fashion capitals of the world — London, Paris, New York and Milan — which do you think is leading the game?

As an Italian, I must say Milan, but I recognise that Paris has the qualities of luxury and creativity as well, in addition to the absolute primacy of the groups that drive the market.

A tourist’s must-do on a visit to Florence…

Stroll through the streets of the historic centre at dawn.

Smita Roy Chowdhury