Saks Fifth Avenue Toasts Veronica Etro & The Brand's New In-Store Boutique

Solange Knowles & Veronica Etro
Photo: Benjamin Lozovsky/
Veronica Etro and Solange Knowles toast the Italian brand at Saks

Beige? You won't see it in an Etro collection.

The ultra-patterned, neutral-shy, ornately-printed Italian brand is maintained by the Etro family, with Veronica at the helm of womenswear. She rarely travels to the States for business, so her presence at the Saks Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan to toast Etro's newly revamped boutique inside the department store was certain cause for celebration.

In-demand DJ, Solange Knowles (no stranger to wild patterns herself) manned the music, while waiters in Etro-designed aprons and models wearing current looks milled about. Veronica, wearing her own designs of course, took a break from glad-handing well-wishers and chatted about alternate life plans, baby clothes, and what she wears besides her own designs.

Welcome back! We hear you don't make it to the States very often. What do you like to do when you are here?
I always come and do research in vintage stores, and I like to come and eat Vietnamese. I like to come and see what's going on at the museums, the MoMA and then maybe the Meatpacking District.

Your brand is not for the subdued woman. How would you describe your customer?
Obviously she loves color, she loves the paisley and prints. I think she loves contemporary clothes, something that lasts long...she loves to play with fashion, but not to take fashion too seriously. And she's quite eclectic, exotic—she loves to mix. She has her own personal style. I love when they, the customers, mix prints…I don't like to see when they do the total outfit. I like to see how they personalize.

You clearly enjoy wearing your own prints. What other designers do you wear?
I love the prints of Dries Van Noten, of Ralph Lauren, their casual wear. [I'm] very practical at the end.

Did you ever consider any other career besides following in the family business?
I love to work with color and to be creative. I would have done something creative.

So medical school or anything like that wasn't for you?
A doctor, no. I love photography, I love to do jewelry or something like interior design. Always something creative.

How does working with your family influence how you design?
I know the clothes already because I have been in front of them since I was a kid. I remember my father coming home and asking me "Do you like this print better than this one?" or I was playing with prints and doing collages with fabric swatches so I was always in front of it as a kid. and to me, the colors, the prints, it's not something that is difficult to work with. It's to play, to experiment.

Do you have any plans for high-low collaboration a la Missoni for Target or Marni for H&M?
[Laughs] No.

Would you rule it out?
I don't know. I would love to do a kids' line, I would prefer to design for babies.

Saks Fifth Avenue Etro

Photo: Benjamin Lozovsky/

The Etro set-up at Saks Fifth Avenue