"Consistency" could mean different things to different people. For some, it's akin to playing it safe with no actual point-of-view to speak of; others take it to mean being true to one's spirit and key aesthetics. Berluti falls in the latter—a shoemaking brand that has expanded over the decades to offer a more holistic luxury experience.
That's not to say that Berluti is only skilled at shoemaking (it is, of course). But throughout its course of creative directorship changes—Haider Ackermann as artistic director was a personal favourite—it has proven that there's a lot to work with as extensions of its sharp footwear. Berluti is decidedly rudderless but the design team is crafting innovative pieces that works for a lifestyle worthy of the quality of its craftsmanship and pieces.
It's evident from the presentation space for the Berluti Autumn/Winter 2024 collection. Located in a historical house with all the typical flourishes of a luxurious Parisian apartment, it was easy to imagine that the collection could very well belong to the owner of the lavish four-room suite.
The space opened up with an installation of Berluti's new Venezia leather patina colours for the season, displayed on the classics the likes of the Alessandro and the Andy. To the left was a room of the season's ready-to-wear offerings worn by a cluster of mannequins, each completely styled from head-to-toe. And facing that was the return of the Rapiecé Reprisé collection—first created in 2005—as the first instalment of the Berluti Editions line of a limited edition proposal of savoir-faire pieces.
The fit: Workwear was enhanced for Berluti Autumn/Winter 2024. A denim-like coordinate looked and felt somewhat like denim but was expertly crafted from a combination of cotton and silk, making it lighter than traditional denim with the strength of its weave intact. Leather and suede jackets take on lightweight constructions too. Opting to enhance the detailing of the pieces, a suede jacket in a gorgeous shade of burnt orange was decorated with pleats near the placket with pockets left slim and close to the body. Textural accents were also key as topstitched elements were employed quite tastefully and the use of smooth leather on the collar, the underside of which featured the Scritto—a hidden detail that Berluti loves to add almost in every iteration.
Functionality is always key and Berluti offered up some. A shearling jacket for example, was designed with a removable shearling collar—attached by snap buttons—for a second option on how it can be worn. And also, effectively switching up the vibe of the complete outfit. It's not exactly new perhaps, but smart nonetheless.
Suiting too was made with a function-first approach in mind. While Berluti's bespoke service is the brand's heightened form of tailoring on offer, the Autumn/Winter 2024 collection approached tailoring in a more lifestyle-driven manner. They're made for travel and thus are crafted from incredibly soft and lightweight Loro Piana cashmere. The idea is that these travel suiting pieces need little to no steaming—pop one on right out of the luggage and you can be on your way without looking worse for wear.
The details: A new sneaker was introduced. Fitted with a Vibram sole, the Sky Running sneaker echoes familiar silhouettes of trail-running sneakers. But also, it also felt to me like an amalgamation of some of the elements of Berluti sneakers past. The Sky Running sneakers will be offered in three different colourways with each consisting of a patchwork of mixed materials, including a heel counter that's crafted out of a patinated material meant to resemble Berluti's renowned Venezia leather patina.
There were also a duo of square-toed footwear called the Grand Chemin that's crafted from nubuck. In its deck shoe version, it resembled a cross between a formal dress shoe with that of a deck shoe collar. The trekking boots iteration featured a knit ribbed upper rendered in the same colour as the rest of its parts.
Three exceptional looks: The aforementioned "denim"-on-"denim" look 10; look 13's combination of a more rugged (yet rather minimal) suede jacket with key menswear staples (peep also that massive cabas); and look 18's simple proposal that highlights the Sky Running in all its glory.
The takeaway: Clothes that you'd actually wear with shoes crafted with centuries of craftsmanship expertise—consistency isn't necessarily a bad thing, folks.
View the full Berluti Autumn/Winter 2024 collection in the gallery below.