Interview & Report

Thomas Sassatelli

Thomas Sassatelli

“Antonioli” buyer

Antonioli is one of the leaders in high fashion retail, offering a complete service to all consumers from anywhere in the world.
The brand Antonioli brings with its name a guarantee and a trust that all the luxury brands selected are to cater an informed and fashion conscious client who love the possibility to have choices in innovative and fashionable new trends, be it in clothing, accessories and footwear.
Antonioli is also a guarantee to designers that there image and reputation are always highly respected.
Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Balmain, Dries Van Noten, Lanvin, Gareth Pugh, Maison Martin Margiela, Haider Ackermann, Damir Doma, Rad Hourani, Neil Barrett, Alexander Wang, Thom Browne, Givenchy, Kris Van Assche, are some of the names that strength Claudio Antonioli's boutique collection.

[ Antonioli ]

Thomas Sassatelli (photo left) and Emanuele Purita (photo right), buyers of a leading Milan boutique Antonioli, visited Japan through invitation from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in time with the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week TOKYO 2012-13 A/W. Antonioli has gained immense trust from fashion people all over the world with their diverse range of products from world-leading top brands to up-and-coming fresh designers, as well as for being one of the first to offer e-commerce services. How do shrewd buyers of such top boutique see Japanese fashion? We put the question to Chief Buyer Thomas Sassatelli amidst his busy schedule during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week TOKYO 2012-13 A/W.

You and your colleague buyer Emanuele Purita are here through invitation from JETRO. What did you think when you first received this offer?

Sassatelli:I was very excited when they first contacted me. I was happy to participate in the Fashion Week in Tokyo and was honored that they selected us as the shop representing Milan. We have a lot of other work to do during this time of the year, but I wanted to come even if we had to push that aside.

How many times have you visited Japan?

Sassatelli:This is my first time, but the Japanese lady who works at our shop is taking me around Tokyo, so I think we’re covering different areas like Ginza, Harajuku and Shibuya, efficiently. The area around Parco in Shibuya was especially interesting. I like Tokyo so much that I wouldn’t mind living here.

Do you have any thoughts on fashion in Tokyo?

Sassatelli:We have worked with brands of Japanese designers at our shop, such as MIHARAYASUHIRO and kolor, but having walked around Tokyo, I was able to see really edgy street fashion as well. There are people all around the world who wear edgy fashion, but I think the fashionable people of Tokyo are the best in the world.

Can you tell us what shop was the most impressive, if any?

Sassatelli:I enjoyed THE CONTEMPORARY FIX in Aoyama. It’s fun to look at department stores and fashion complexes, but its large number of shops can make us a little confusing. Compared to that, THE CONTEMPORARY FIX was to my linkings because it was just the right size and had a great mix of brands. Having a restaurant on the 1st floor was also new idea. As for other shops, I also liked Yasuyuki Ishii’s boutique, and CHICAGO near La Foret Harajuku was very interesting, selling vintage kimonos. There are so many shops that we haven’t been able to go to all of them.

VERSUS TOKYO, a presentation of top Japanese brands directed by Yuichi Yoshii, owner of THE CONTEMPORARY FIX, was held at the Pitti Immagine Uomo the other day. Did you see it?

Sassatelli:I was unable to go to Pitti, but I did see their exhibition in Milan they held afterwards. It was very interesting overall. I especially liked one of the brands, and I tried to buy it, but it was already purchased by another boutique in Milan. It was really unfortunate.

How is Japanese fashion recognized in Italy?

Sassatelli:Japanese fashion is very much the center of attention and has a potential similar to Milan and Paris. You can’t obtain much information unless you actually go to the location where the fashion week is held, so it was an excellent idea to have exhibitions at Pitti and in Milan to increase awareness in Italy.

Which show that you’ve seen in Japan was interesting for you, if any?

Sassatelli:I have seen only two shows so far, but the first one I saw, IN-PROCESS BY HALL OHARA, had an interesting presentation, and DRESSEDUNDRESSED that I just saw now had an excellent presentation of showing its images in a movie at the end of the show. Established European brands are well-known and popular, but I think they are using similar things repeatedly for their creation. In that sense, Japanese designers’ are always full of creativity and are always looking for something new.

What expectations do you have for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week TOKYO in the future?

Sassatelli:For example, in the UK, the British Council brought together all selected brands in one place and organized a venue for buying activities, during London Fashion Week. It may be beneficial if Tokyo could also have a similar activity in the future. It’s really helpful for international buyers to be able to see everything in one place without having to go here and there.

「Maison BO-M」

Antonioli in Milan

Could you introduce your shop Antonioli, in Milan, for our Japanese readers?

Sassatelli:Antonioli is a boutique shop with a total floor area of about 500m2, offering men’s and women’s fashion. The clothes we feature are wide-ranging from well-known brands, such as Dries Van Noten, Martin Margiela, and Ann Demeulemeester, to relatively unknown, new brands. Our target is people who like fashion that is not typical but that is unique or niche. Our line is mainly collections that are minimal and essential. We have shops in Torino (Italy) and Lugano (Switzerland) as well, and we also started e-commerce services four years ago.


Antonioli’s online shop is very easy to use and even accepts different currencies.

Sassatelli:Thank you. The total amount is shown in different currencies so you can shop with ease without having to worry about shipping costs. There are many users from Japan, mainly from Tokyo. Rick Owens and Givenchy are especially popular brands.

Antonioli’s website

With the advancement of the Internet, it’s possible to buy clothing from brands all over the world from anywhere. Is there something that you place importance on to develop your originality as a boutique?

Sassatelli:I try to constantly look for new designers and brands that are not well known yet. By providing information on our websites that cannot be obtained from the street or on other sites, we hope to attract attention from people around the world. We hope that leads to more people stopping by at our shop, and it would be great if we could liven up the energy around fashion as well.

INTERVIEW by Yuki Harada

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