Maria Cristina Pavarini -
"British singer Robbie Willians has presented his own clothing brand Farrell at Milan's Coin store in Piazza 5 Giornate on the occasion of the department store's 50th anniversary.
Robbie Williams and Farrell's Creative Director Ben Dickens
The apparel collection for fall/winter 2012-13 is based upon the music star's own concept and inspiration. The line shall offer a contemporary British total look that is sophisticated but affordable. It consists of military-inspired trench- and peacoats, jackets, knitted pullovers, t-shirts and shirts.
The collection has debuted at Selfridges in London two months ago and is now sold in the Coin department stores of Milan and Florence and within the UK branches of Selfridges and House of Fraser. The 50 styles of the collection retail between €65 and €495.
As Farrell's Creative Director, Williams has hired Ben Dickens who was working at Burberry for the past five years and occupied a position at John Richmond for the ten years before that.
Farrell garments are presently manufactured in Far East and Turkey but for the future, the brand would like to work with British and Italian manufacturers. As was announced, the attitude of the upcomingr spring/sommer 2013 collection will be similar to the previous one with a higher ratio of jersey items.
The pop singer and new brand owner during his presentation at Coin in Milan
Where does the inspiration of this brand come from?
When I was three my father left my mother, my sister and me behind so my grandfather Jack Farrell took care of me and my education, and especially wanted me not to become an honest, loyal and trustworthy person...such as he was. He was an Irish, catholic, working class coal miner who believed in honesty, integrity, good manners and a sense of honour. In one word he was a great man in every sense - also because he was named as Jack the Giant Killer. He was also a very notably dressed man, who always wore tailormade three-piece suits. It is an honor I owed him.
What do you like most in working at this collection and how do you collaborate with Ben Dickens?
I didn't study fashion nor attended any college. I rather like the idea that I work like a DJ who is mixing clothes together when entering a vintage store and pick the ideas that best suit the collection. I have the ability - or at least I hope since we have just launched the line - to mix materials and colors. Whilst I can bluff, Ben is not bluffing at all. Since he joined this project, he has been collaborating with his own optimism, passion and vision. We work side by side : The story and the philosophy is all done by me: I chose the spirit of the collection, the idea for the advertising campaign and the shop-in-shops and he does all the rest of the work.
Whom are you addressing with this brand?
From Obama to Osama (even if he is not there anymore!). I mean that it is for everyone because it has Savile Row quality at great prices.
If you wanted to describe your own apparel collection and you wanted to use a song which one would you use?If I looked in my mirror and looked bad it could be "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift of David Guetta's "Memories". Though the best one would be my own song "Let me entertain you".
Is there a favourite item in your own personal wardrobe you cannot do without?
My grey jersey pants - I always wear them when I'm at home. They make me feel comfortable and slim even when I'm not because they have an elastic waist band.
You have been modeling for many fashion brands and shoots. is there an anecdote you would like to tell us?
Whatever comes up to my mind cannot be said in public because it would be offending a photographer or a fashion company. Oh, that time with Gisele...No, I can't tell you. Or maybe when I was 18 and with Take That and we went to Gianni Versace's home at Lake Como and he told me: "You are my favourite..." and I asked myself: "What shall I be doing now?"
How much did you invest in Farrell?
I invested a lot of money. So please buy it - if not my little girl won't have anything to eat anymore.
Italian TV presenter Alessandro Cattelan, Robbie Williams and Ben Dickens at the collection launch in Coin, Milan
Coin and Farrell also collaborated for a brand communication special project in collaboration with students of Domus Academy's master in fashion management in collaboration with fashion designer Annagemma Lascari, art director and mentor of the course.
Coin was founded 50 years ago and owns 100 stores (67 direct ones and 33 affiliated) in Italy. It registered a €456.2 million turnover in 2011."