July 6, 2015

The name of the rose – Anna Molinari

When you first start researching Anna Molinari – the designer and business woman behind the Blumarine and Blugirl collections – success if the first idea that strikes as representative.

The Italian fashion scene force widely known as the Queen of Roses melds together a sense of delicate, romantic fashion with tremendous business-minded energy. Today, 38 years since fashion business debut, the Carpi-born designer employs a fine-tuned team of 250 Italian artisans. They are, in fact, bringing the Made in Italy craftsmanship acumen of generations to Anna Molinari’s design-centered lines: Blumarine, the focal brand of the Blufin world, Blugirl, its youth-oriented counterpart, home decorations, perfumes, or hotel interior design. In fact, starting 2015, the Blufin portfolio is seeing a widening boost with two new design pursuits – a menswear line (announced this previous February) and a recently premiered kids’ line.

What’s more, Forbes magazine has counted well over 20 licensing deals crossing-over Anna Molinari’s estethic in ever expanding directions. And they are all natural expressions of Molinari’s personal and professional universe, as joining the two together are numerous examples of close-up looks at a leading designer and business woman’s on and off the clock hours.

For instance, Molinari’s favourite times have been the 1980s. Why? Because of the over the top styling and joy of fashion experienced besides career influential photographers Helmut Newton and Albert Watson and supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova, Helena Christensen, Carla Bruni and Monica Bellucci.

There come her muses – Audrey Hepburn and contemporary Sharon Stone – as well as the women that, in turn, find her creations to be inspiring: Adriana Lima, Behati Prinsloo, Karolina Kurkova, Hofit Golan, Elizabeth Hurley, Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Minogue or Jessica Alba.

Anna Molinari’s passions are equally intriguing, genuinely breathing an air of joie de vivre: her private collections are both art and sentimentally-motivated. First and closest to her (literally) skin are several rose tattoos – a tribute of love to the enormous passion Molinari bears to these flowers. Second is her collection of jewellery – one started off by the beloved heirlooms received from her mother and then continued with her own additions, all of them marking some of the designer’s life’s most memorable moments. Third, her and her late husband’s several Ferraris – testimony of a common passion as well as of their common love for Italy.

Fourth, her deep appreciation for entertaining and for being elegantly entertained. When receiving friends over, the designer likes adapting the table set and menu to the place, season and occasion of the gathering. Nevertheless, on her table laden with either lace and gold-rimmed plates or Italian country-home wares, invariably included are roses and as many and as bright a flowers as possible, as well as fabrics, sequins or pearls from her latest collection. A menu favourite? Roses risotto, of course!

Family and a loving relationship with those around have always been important for the designer. As a matter of fact, this has been the case from the earliest days of her fashion-path. Molinari first recollects of herself dressing up dolls, as a child. Then, when 14 years old and frequently skipping school, Anna Molinari was taken by her parents to do in-house apprenticeship of what would become her future career, at the family textile factory.

The factory used to manufacture fabrics for Sonia Rykiel, Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci among others, and Anna was beginning to fall in love with her mother’s role in the business. At 18, with her husband, Gianpaolo Tarabini, began doing knit work – colourful pullovers and corsair-style trousers, as they had seen on their Saint Tropez honeymoon. Molinari then went off to study music, art history and, in 1977, establish her own label.

Today, the museum in her family’s native town of Carpi runs a permanent Blumarine exhibition, her slip–dresses and Blu V (a form-fitting cashmere cardigan with a mink collar) are Hollywood and world-recognizable fashion hits and one of her fondest career memories is a dinner invitation from Princess Caroline of Monaco. Indeed, a life and career grown under the bright signs of love, success and roses – thing that makes us say that the Name of the Rose (paraphrasing Umberto Eco’s book title) is, undeniably, Anna Molinari.

Anna Molinari Blumarine Janina Nectara Fashion Avec Passion Milan Fashion Week MFW

Anna Molinari’s Blumarine and Blugirl fashion shows are headlining at Milan Fashion Week, season after season (see the video’s full English transcript here).


Anna Molinari and Blufin’s latest fashion news comes from Florence, where during the Pitti Bimbo children’s fashion fair, the collections Miss Blumarine and Blumarine Baby spring-summer 2016 have been launched.

Shown at Palazzo Capponi all’Annunziata, they tell of a journey through the gardens of the world. True to Molinari’s key fashion notes, ingenuity, delicacy and sweetness are clearly highly prized features. From France’s Provence and Saint Tropez to a Japanese traditional garden, flowers and blush tones and shades have been carefully collected to form a blooming little kids’ collection: yellow, baby blue, cream or beige, presented on delightful pieces offered in macramé, sequins and lace, in, for instance, candy-style baby-doll shapes or featuring bows and frills. A baby-girl’s fashion delight.


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Photos: forbes.com, Blumarine