Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Velvet Jacket

Can’t Live Without:
The Velvet Jacket

by Ki Hackney

Don’t you love New York? Things can change in an instant. Walking uptown one day, I couldn’t help noticing an empty store on Madison Avenue between 78th and 79th Streets – the one that used to have those lifestyle windows in it.

Three days later, my colleague at NYSD, Sian Ballen, called to tell me she had just seen the most beautiful velvet jacket in a store on the East side of Madison, near 79th, Street called Michele Negri. Who? Where? My empty store, of course.

So, off we went. The window is a big draw, because it features mannequins wearing stylishly classic clothes for both men and women. Everyone stops to look. Inside, Sian tried on The Jacket. It was a perfect fit, and she snapped it up. The style: mid-thigh, fitted, four buttons, turned-back cuffs, and a pair of flap pockets.

Off the rack, it comes in brown or black velvet for $845.00. A bespoke version can be had in port, navy, pumpkin or persimmon, as well as black or brown velvet for an additional ten per cent. In cashmere, the jacket can be made in beige or black for $1,595.00.

I also liked the shorter, hip-covering velvet jacket with a very long row of buttons, for $665.00, and the best skinny pants I have seen in a long time (tip: they are the store’s standard pant). The ruffled blouse sold out so quickly I don’t think they knew what hit them. I was also drawn to the store’s selective offering of boldly colorful ties for men.

Who is Michele Negri? He’s a former model who was born in Salerno, Italy and raised in the Neapolitan sartorial tradition. His wife, Patrizia Beltrami, was also part of a fashion family. They opened their first store, near the Duomo, in Florence, in 1988, along with Michele’s uncle, Miguel; producing the menswear in Naples and the women’s clothes in Florence.

By 2007, the company had three stores in Florence and a year-old bespoke showroom in New York City. The New York store just opened, and there are future plans for a Michele Negri shops in the UK and Japan.

To get in touch:

Michele Negri
1015 Madison Avenue (between 78th/79th)