Runway News

Designer to Watch: Norisol Ferrari

It’s not easy to stand out from the pack when you’re working as a fashion designer in New York City, but at the urging of a friend, I stopped by Norisol Ferrari’s showroom. I was promised that I would be awed — and to my delight, I was. Designed with comfort and fit front of mind, every piece in Ferrari’s collection is soft as butter and incredibly lightweight, a feat when working with fur and leather. More impressively, everything is made in New York and all of the designer's samples are made in-house.

Ferrari’s showroom reflects her rugged, but impeccably chic, aesthetic to a T. Taxidermy, which she gets mostly from a reservation in South Dakota, adorns the walls while bone-shaped candles and faux golden skulls are displayed on beautiful, oversized wooden furniture. The designer is a 25-year veteran of the design industry, but Fall 2012 marked her first foray into a structured presentation. She showed at Lincoln Center, an experience she told me was daunting beyond belief, especially because she was running on no more than one hour of sleep and the presentation format meant she was constantly engaged in conversation. Needless to say, the designer will be staging a runway show come September.

Ferrari’s lineup of couture pieces (almost everything is made by hand) is truly stunning and the designer, clad in sky-high Louboutin leopard booties, told me she finds herself often inspired by vintage which she called “a visual education.” Decked out in a leather-accented Fall 2012 blouse – and possibly the only sheer blouse I have ever coveted – she underscored the painstaking love and care that goes into each one of her pieces noting, “I make everything in Manhattan because I don't think you can mass produce luxury.” Little surprise that bespoke pieces (Janet Jackson is a fan), account for the majority of her business, and to that end, every one of her bespoke pieces comes with a label featuring the signatures of all the craftsmen and craftswomen who worked on that specific garment.

Stepping foot inside Ferrari’s showroom was truly a unique experience and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her sable lined alligator jackets, alpaca motorcycle jackets, and fox collared cashmere coats on racks at Bergdorf Goodman in the coming months.

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