«Today, women dress men and vice versa, streetwear influences the classic. If everything is subject to rules, breaking them is the norm. Is this not the prerogative of art?». In conversation with Spinnaker owner and manager Claudio Betti
Steven Spielberg has a passion for Cucinelli’s clothes, Michael Jordan does not fail to buy bags for his partner — he chooses between Prada, Gucci and Valentino. «In Portofino, although their yachts with helicopters on the roof and basketball courts do not go unnoticed, everything takes place in a natural way, with the bodyguards who blend in amongst the tourists» says Claudio Betti, the founder of Spinnaker Boutique.
Creating stories of luxury, and fashion, since 1976, when the first Spinnaker boutique opened in the Ligurian city of Alassio, the family’s hometown. Today, the group has fifteen of them, the biggest being in San Remo: one thousand two hundred square meters of surface on two levels, with adjoining tailoring, but «it happens to close entire portions of the store, for customers who demand privacy. When the Prince of Qatar or the Princess of Malaysia visited us, one of the two floors was closed».
What can be found in the shop, can be purchased on the web — Spinnaker Boutique is also an online store. «We make online and offline coexist — explains Claudio — and we provide a service even when, after the holidays, the customer goes back home’. Entering the physical boutique, after a walk on the seafront, is an experience.
«There is a fast tailoring service — the customer does the shopping in the morning and picks up the tailored garment in the afternoon, you can count on priority booking in the most exclusive restaurants in the city, champagne while you shop and entertainment and games for the children».
All the shops overlook the Ligurian Sea, but every city has a different type of customer. While the majority of those in Alassio and Santa Margherita Ligure are Italians, ninety percent in Sanremo and Portofino are foreigners, in particular, Russians and Middle Eastern in the first and Americans in the second.
While Italians make well-thought purchases — from Gucci to Moncler up to emerging brands such as Off-White or traditional brands like Tagliatore, «foreigners find reassurance only in the big names, regardless of whether the products incorporate fashion or traditional elements — they buy Brunello Cucinelli, Ermanno Scervino, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Valentino and Verscace. It should also be considered that prices are often cheaper here than in the country of origin».
Women’s accessories lead the ranks in the best-selling items, although, Claudio notes that in recent years, with the inclusion of strong elements of recognition and a widespread use of the logo, clothing is in a strong sales recovery. The Off-White belt is nowhere to be found, but it is not the only must-have of the moment.
Each brand has its own, «for Valentino, Spike and Candystud are the best-selling bags, for Gucci it is the Marmount — but the most sought after is the Re (belle). Prada’s Black Nylon collection is getting a lot of interest among the most attentive customers and as for Burberry, we are waiting to discover what the must-have will be: the new monogram seems to be an announced success».
Speaking of trends, it seems that the creativity of the designers aims to overcome every boundary at Spinnaker Boutique. Claudio Betti is convinced about this point, observing how today «women dress men and vice versa, streetwear influences the classic, the indiscriminate use of the logo is no longer a taboo, and at the same time, the no-logo is an expression of luxury. If everything is subject to rules, breaking them is the norm. Is this not the prerogative of art?».