Discover more about this renowned design house, creator of couture wedding gowns, and what they can offer today’s brides
ATELIER AIMÉE has been producing exquisite bridal wear for over forty years, in which time it has established itself as one of the world’s leading design houses of couture wedding dresses.
Established in 1961 to produce flowers and headpieces for the bride, in 1983 the company came under the management of the Kissing family and began to create wedding gowns, and by the 1990s, under the creative direction of Lucia Zanotti, wife of managing director Rolf Kissing, the production of wedding dresses had become Atelier Aimée’s core business.
Over the years, Atelier Aimée has collaborated with some of fashion’s biggest names, including Antonio Pascali who worked with Christian Dior, Valentino and Gattinoni, Enzo Fusci of Lancetti and the much missed Gianni Versace who was struck by Aimée’s evening couture line. Working together, they created an exclusive wedding gown collection for Versace’s boutiques, an experience that the atelier still considers one of the most valuable and stimulating adventures of their history, and one they have no doubt helped them mature as a company and become a sector leader with a boutique and a wonderful showroom in Milan’s Via Montenapoleone as well as countless other outlets in Italy and worldwide.
THE SECRET OF SUCCESS
So what exactly has led to the company enjoying such a success story? In all probability, it is a combination of factors. Firstly, there is the conviction that the creation of couture wedding gowns is an art, but also that work itself can be an art. Designer Lucia Zanotti (left) and her team see themselves as ‘painter-tailors’, drawing on the vast reserves of their country’s architecture, history and art to create unique, innovative pieces for the 300 plus designs they produce each year for their various collections.
Says Zanotti: ‘Each gown is like a painting and a sculpture together. First it is designed and then it is sculpted...’
All gowns are created exclusively at Atelier Aimée’s own workshops in Italy, as this is the only way, says Zanotti, to guarantee maximum quality. And it is here that Aimée designers combine the distinctive artisan skills of their trade with the modern requirements of an effective streamlined 21st-century business.
As Zanotti points out, ‘All our gowns are made in the traditional way, with the utmost care being given to the hand finished details, especially embroidery. Pins and needles, measuring tapes, sewing-machines, steam irons and crochet hooks for embroidery are, and have always been, the tools of our trade. The quality of our gowns is our absolute priority and we aim to continually improve our performance as best we can. And when we’re unable to do so on our own, we will always turn to the very best consultants for help, as we owe this to our customers.’
our fabrics are chosen exclusively for their beauty and their quality
BUILDING ON EXPERIENCE
Zanotti continues: ‘Over the years we have created tens of thousands of different models and two hundred and fifty thousand gowns, and the experience we have gained from this has enabled us to become increasingly specialised in our production techniques; and the combined experience of all our different designers is much superior to anything a single individual could boast. Our fabrics are chosen exclusively for their beauty and their quality. The silk comes from the best silk weaving mills, the lace is bought in France. The very fine embroidery is carried out with the very highest level of artistic know-how. Each single pearl is sewn on by hand.’
However, the company realises that while these ties to traditional tailoring skills are vital, much relies on their ability to implement the latest technology in other sectors and ensure management, marketing and customer service are supremely effective.
... it is paramount that a bride’s dress reflects her inner character ...
WHAT A WOMAN WANTS
But perhaps it Atelier Aimée’s passion and drive that more than anything else ensures their success. Lucia Zanotti takes the responsibility of designing and producing wedding gowns for a woman’s most important day very seriously, and is aware of the accountability that accompanies this privilege. She comments: ‘We are called to be present at what I consider a very dramatic and emotional moment. On her big day, the bride must be very beautiful, the out-and-out protagonist of the ceremony, but she must also find favour with the critical judgement of the women present. Consequently, I strive to work within the bounds of high fashion and bring a touch of style that ensures the bride is not only the most important person present, but also perfectly up to date. I would say that the wedding gown is the gown of a lifetime as it has normally been desired and dreamed of for such a long time and it is worn at a magic moment which will be immortalised by hundreds of photos. For this reason, it is paramount that a bride’s dress reflects her inner character and makes her as beautiful as possible for the beginning of the couple’s life together. Also, for me it is a way to relive the emotions of my wedding day.’
CHOOSING THE RIGHT DRESS
‘Ideally our women feel they have found a gown ‘specially made for her’, and with our different collections, Atelier Aimée Montenapoleone with its touch of glamour and colour, Emé di Aimée for the younger romantic bride, Prêt A Porter with its sophisticated minimal design and Le Coccole for the little ones, we feel there is truly something for everyone. Yes, we even have a beautiful line for bridesmaids and children that are accompanying the bride.’ And with Atelier Aimée’s highly trained specialised staff presiding at each of their outlets, choosing between the different collections and models to find something that reflects your personality and dreams couldn’t be easier.