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United Colors of Benetton by Stella Jean

stella_jean_capsule_benetton_winter_2016_campaign_vUnited Colors of Benetton launches its first collaboration with an external designer, and does so with a capsule collection by Stella Jean. The Italian-Haitian has emerged as one of the fashion world’s most original designers with her vibrant, colourful, multicultural style that merges glamour and folk influences with polished classics.
Stella Jean, who has always embraced the philosophy of Creole beauty that combines high end fashion and traditional craftsmanship, was the natural choice of partner for this experiment.
The challenge launched by the Treviso-based company was to give a new interpretation to the concept of knitwear. Stella Jean accepted the challange and has created a knitwear collection with a wealth of nuances and meanings, a kind of “fashion anthropology”, just like United Colors of Benetton’s DNA.
The capsule, which will go on sales on 1st December in selected Benetton stores around the world, comprises coats, sweaters, dresses and skirts, all knitted and featuring ethno-folk motifs. Some of the accessories are made in collaboration with a community of Haitian and Ethiopian artisans, in keeping with her philosophy – shared with Benetton – of socio-cultural mixing and the revival of traditional crafts.
A reoccurring motif of the collection is inspired by the words “natal” and “native”,– that of the birthplace, roots and pride in expressing one’s culture to the full – also in the use of costumes, decorations and symbols – and a meeting place, the final destination of a long journey made up of images and influences.
The capsule, which stands out for its vibrant shades of bright blue, army green, orange and brick red, has been created exclusively from the best yarns, such as cashmere and mohair.
Lines are cocooning but feminine, enveloping and stylish, and feature original asymmetrical cuts.
Coats, skirts, jumpers and shoppers feature eye-catching motifs inspired by Navajo culture, particularly the benevolent supernatural Yei spirits, depicted with stylized figures, who for Native Americans are symbols of protection for the wearer.
As Benetton begins another long journey in world fashion alongside a forward-thinking, talented creative, it issues an invitation to happiness, to a mix & match of styles and cultures – all in the name of respect for all minorities, under the protection of benevolent spirit guides.
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