A businessman with plenty of ideas and a desire for action, even and above all, at a moment in time when launching new projects might seem difficult. And yet, after taking part in Pitti and, more recently, in the third edition of Super, the new Milan showcase organised by Pitti Immagine and Fiera Milano, Riccardo Manente and his PRAIO line are enjoying considerable success not just on the Italian market, thanks to the innovative idea of trousers in jersey that looks like denim and an all-round collection that reworks the rules of comfort and daywear. We met Manente to find out more about his brand, PRAIO.
Where did this unusual name come from?
The name Praio comes from my childhood and is linked to Sicily, to Linosa in the deep south, where fishermen friends told me an amazing story when I was a little boy. Praio is a Mediterranean fish that according to legend reproduces in a strange way. The female lays her eggs and the male recognises the ones that can be fertilised by their purple streaks. Praio is born out of this legend, my love and respect for nature and my personal story.
Must haves from the s/s 2014 collection?
The collection must haves are slim-fit gym pants for her and oversize for him and the hoodie with fake leather patches and chains or sequin piping details, depending on whether they are for him or her, accessories recovered from old disused warehouses. For her also the skinny jersey trousers that keep their shape in a gingham print and gingham for him too, on chino pants. For both, jeans in jersey that team the comfort of shape-keeping Praio jersey and the look of jeans even for washes.
Tell us briefly about the f/w 2014-2105 collection.
Whereas the driver for the a/w 2014-15 collection is technology. Black is the predominant colour in waterproofing treatments on jersey for outerwear, for men and women, lined with fake fur similar to chinchilla. Inserts of fabric studied specifically for Praio: gabardine-weave jerseys, not very thick but warm as they contain a fibre that heats on contact with the skin. Innovation in our jeans in jersey, which reproduce the typical “slubbing” of denim. Insertion of accessories on clothing: s&m details like chains for trousers, jewel badge-buttons, asymmetric macramé lace details and lime piping inserted into raw seams.
What are the new entries in the line?
New materials for a collection that grows every season as requested by international buyers. Much more than just jersey. There is constant dialogue with big companies interested in exclusive licences for the production side and the insertion of accessories. One new entry is the presentation of bags in two-tone neoprene “Praio+Leghilà”, designed by us and for which we are exclusive European distributors.
A memory linked to Pitti or Super and what is the importance of these fairs for a brand like yours?
I am inestimably and morally indebted to Pitti Immagine, which I sincerely thank. I still remember when they told me in June 2011 that they had inserted me into the Pitti New Beats section, reserved for new designers from all over the world. That was the start of everything. I debuted on international markets precisely thanks to Pitti and I have always followed their advice, first at Pitti Uomo, then the really successful challenge of Pitti W followed by the innovative new Super Milano, in my opinion the perfect selection of classic and avant-garde, a fresh, young event, a new proposal also for international buyers looking for products and brands. This kind of event is of fundamental importance for us, in terms of visibility and the possibility it gives to acquire national and international clients, important business partners that represent us and still today distribute in various countries on an international level, always present and interested in us, helping us to emerge in an extremely critical moment like this one.