As the creative director of Italian fashion label Marni, Consuelo Castiglioni has won praise for her sophisticated and forward-thinking designs that boast a cult global following and admiration from influential industry insiders. Despite holding no formal education in design, Castiglioni’s sleek silhouettes married with colourful prints and bold textures marked her as one of the most innovative designers within the industry. In 2010, Castiglioni was also named to the 100 Most Creative People in Business list by Fast Company magazine.
A Swiss native, Castiglioni launched Marni in 1994 in collaboration with her business partner and husband Gianni Castiglioni in Milan. Initially founded as a side business of Ciwifurs, the Castiglioni family’s fur business, the label split from the company in 1999, allowing the designer to establish a more fashion forward aesthetic. While fur still features regularly in Marni collections, the brand is more widely known for its creative prints created in collaboration with artists such as photographer Richard Prince, British pop artist Sir Peter Blake and musician Kim Gordon. For Autumn/Winter 2011, Castiglioni also famously partnered with French artist Claude Caillol and British Gary Hume on a range of PVC bags and t-shirts.
With its rising popularity the brand has expanded rapidly in recent years, counting nearly 100 standalone stores in emerging and established markets. Although Marni had remained a family owned business for over 15 years, in December 2012, Castiglioni announced the brand’s sale to OTB Group, owned by Diesel denim founder Renzo Rosso, in order to further their expansion.
Despite the label’s relatively under-the-radar positioning, Castiglioni has atypically eschewed advertising and celebrity placements throughout the brand’s history – the celebrated designer entered into a creative collaboration with H&M for Spring 2012, resulting in a sell-out capsule collection. Castiglioni also unveiled the brand's first venture into fragrance with the launch of the brands first fragrance ‘Marni’ in Berlin in March 2013.