Since its conception in 1964, Lesy has always very much been a family affair. Founded by Lisetta Cosi from the famous Ricci Italian fashion designer family, its heritage is in the art of Florentine craftmanship. All the beautiful designer dresses for girls are still to this day, lovingly crafted in Italy.
Fast forward over 50 years and Lesy is now run by CEO Ilaria Mugnaini, daughter of Lisetta who was taught the art of design by her mother, having been passed down the generations by her grandmother. With the upcoming wedding season upon us, we spoke to Ilaria about her inspiration behind the beautiful Lesy dresses and her favourite pick of girls occasion dresses for the season.
All images by Lesy
Describe Lesy in Three words
Artistic – it couldn’t be any different! We’re based in Florence, Italy birthplace of the Renaissance. Creative – We turn fairytales into reality thanks to our wise and skilful seamstresses, all made in Italy. Elegant – timeless elegance which we have tried to capture in our images starring a girl, a little princess in the modern world – a girl who, despite living a comfortable and luxurious life, doesn’t shy away from playing, giggling and just having fun with her father and finding a composed complicity with her mother. This story is narrated in our first Mini Lesy Magazine, dedicated to our SS’19 collection.
Where does the name “Lesy” come from?
Our fashion house was founded by my mother Lisetta Cosi who started Lesy in 1964 in Florence, Italy. The name was created by using the first two letters of her name and the last two of her surname - a sort of anagram that has since evolved. It was the early 60s and my mother was just 18 years old when she started this great adventure. My grandmother was a Ricci (Stefano Ricci was a renowned fashion designer specialising in men’s tailoring) therefore she taught my mother the art of Florentine craftsmanship and she, in turn, taught me.
What was your mother’s inspiration for creating the brand?
My mother always told stories through the beautiful Lesy dresses she made. Florence is an extremely important city, historically, but it also offers an incredible amount of creativity, therefore the city has always been a big muse for us. Where we live is a constant inspiration for us, we have the great privilege to be able to observe wonders and incredible works of art everywhere we are. Lesy is a visionary project, modern and innovative which merges fine quality, craftsmanship and creativity. This is our biggest quality which allows us to grow in new markets and forcefully lead an Italian fashion brand with a history going back over 50 years ago.
Lesy designs are beautiful. How do you come up with your idea?
Thank you for the kind words! Lesy is fairy dust and that’s why it’s so special. Our girls occasion dresses often draw inspiration from natural elements such as butterflies, which gives the name to our Butterfly Collection with Virginia Bocelli, daughter of Andrea, Italy’s most famous Opera singer, who has become our ambassador for the SS’19 collection. We are thrilled to announce that the collaboration was so successful that we’ve extended it for another year.
You describe your dresses as “An Italian fairytale”. What makes Lesy unique?
My mother made Lesy and their renowned designer dresses for girls a world-class brand, unique in its genre. Today we still work with an excellent team, some of whom who have been with us for over 50 years. Whoever starts working at Lesy falls in love with the project and that’s why our team has been working together for so long, and it’s thanks to the wonderful work of these incredible people who share my mother’s vision. It’s a timeless vision, Lesy aims to tell the story of an enchanted but modern world.
Lesy celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. What do you think the secrets to your continued success are?
Our family. It is the most important asset for us - it holds us together in good times but especially in more difficult ones and makes us stronger, enabling us to make big decisions. We hope these decisions we’ve made will take us further into our international growth. Lesy is an Italian brand who speaks an international language which has no boundaries - beauty is a universal language.
Outside of the Lesy world, what is your favourite thing to do as a family?
I personally love to travel; discovering new places and new customs is extremely enriching both personally and stylistically. My free time is always spent with my daughter Laura who’s 9 years old and my son David, who’s 12. We play and do sports together but above all in the winter, when the days are dark and cold, we cook – it’s my absolute favourite hobby!
What’s next for Lesy?
In January ‘19 we showcased some previews of our new collection from AW19 at Pitti Bimbo in Florence, the international trade show for children’s fashion. As part of this collection, for the first time, we created shoes to perfectly finish off the girl’s occasion dresses. Our direction is quite ambitious and we work every day with such passion and attention to detail. This attention to detail on our Lesy dresses makes us who we are. Who knows maybe it’s taking us towards a Lesy-total look.
All images by Lesy
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