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Synergy of Art and Fashion hits Paris with Cara&Co
Freitag, Feb. 18, 2011, 11:54
With the depth of a department store and curatorial approach of a boutique, ‘luxury emporium’ Cara&Co hosts a stable of international designers known for quality and authentic design.
Cara&Co’s Australian co-founder and CEO Rosa Alpert was born in Russia, a sure influence on her decision to enter the exploding Russian market and establish the flagship store in the country’s capital: “We started the company in Moscow because Moscow is the most fashion savvy place in the world. There is no place where women spend more per capita on fashion. Conspicuous fashion is a thing of the past – non conspicuous fashion is something steadily growing in this part of the world,” explains Alpert.
Since opening in 2007 the store has achieved a cult following from the fashion establishment and Russia’s new elite. Designed by co-founder and Creative Director Alexey Oleshov, the the 350 square metre loft space is located inside Winzavod, the Moscow Centre for Contemporary Art. The pair subscribe to the aesthetic credo of “discreet luxury”, valuing longevity over flashy fashion. “From the very beginning we started the company with the motto ‘no logos fashion only’. We were there at the right place at the right time... no regrets so far,” says Alpert. The stocked designers reflect this ethos – think Delvaux, Issey Miyake and Cerruti, with a smattering of handpicked vintage by André Courreges, Lanvin and the like.
But it’s not just about clothes – the innovative retail venture has an altrustic edge. Sponsored by Cara&Co, The Sound World charity was created a mere five months after the store’s opening to support deaf children living in countries where government support is not provided. Charity recipients undergo Cochlear implant surgery enabling instant hearing ability, and are provided with important post-surgery rehabilitation.
During Paris Fashion Week, Alpert and Oleshov present their blend of fashion and philanthropy with touring exhibition CARA & CO Synergy of Art & Fashion. Taking artistic direction from American sculptor Sean McGinnis, 11 renowned designers (Jean-Paul Knott, Casey Vidalenc and Anne Valerie Hash, to name but a few) have created one-of-a-kind works which unify art and fashion. The garments and installations will be auctioned in July, with all proceeds directly benefiting The Sound World.
For Alpert and Oleshov it was clear who they should showcase: “The participating designers are real artists – many of them proved it with the history of what they have been doing apart from commercial activity,” Alpert confirms. “Akira Isogawa, for example, works on costumes for Australian Ballet, while Tim Van Steenbergen has been designing costumes and decorations for La Scala Opera in Milan for the last three years.”
Hosted by trade show Vendôme Luxury, the event takes place from Friday 4th to Monday 7th March in Paris (with a cocktail reception on Saturday 5th March), before touring Moscow, Beijing and Sydney. What’s more, Sydneysiders longing for Cara&Co after the exhibition packs up needn’t head to Moscow – instead they can visit to the second Cara&Co store, slated to open at Westfield in July.
Melisa Gray-Ward | TribaSpace
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