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Alessandro Dell'Acqua

Founder, No. 21

With his masculine-meets-feminine aesthetic, this designer is experiencing a resurgence after 20 years in the business.


Alessandro Dell’Acqua is the founder of contemporary line No. 21 and the former creative director of Parisian luxury house Rochas. Educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, Dell’Acqua launched his eponymous label’s first collection in Milan in 1996, entitled “Punk on a Mediterranean Woman.” The label, known for its refined eveningwear and cocktail dresses inspired by Italian cinema, also expanded into menswear and fragrance, earning celebrity clients including Winona Ryder, Gwyneth Paltrow and supermodel Iman along the way.

In 2009, the designer departed his label, issuing a letter to the press which stated that Cherry Grove, the company that produced and distributed his label, had not allowed him to check the quality of the product. "In order to protect the other licensees of the brand, I have to detach myself from these two collections that have not been approved by me and that I don't acknowledge as realisation of my creations," it read.

In May 2010, he joined Brioni as creative director of the house's womenswear line, which was shuttered the following year. Also in 2010, Dell’Acqua launched No 21, a new contemporary womenswear line named after his birthdate and lucky number, which has since launched menswear and opened stores in Milan and Tokyo. Alongside his own brand, from 2013 Dell’Acqua was the creative director for six years at Paris maison Rochas.

In November 2018, Dell'Acqua was tapped to collaborate with Tod's on a capsule collection, in the first leg of its "Factory" initiative aimed at turning around the ailing shoe brand. 

Vital Statistics

21 December 1962


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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.