bal harbour blog

Monnalisa Debuts at Bal Harbour

Inside Monnalisa.

The Italian childrenswear company Monnalisa opens this week at Bal Harbour Shops, with a festive and feminine celebration of all things youthful. To mark the occasion, we speak with company co-founder and lead designer, Barbara Bertocci, who takes us behind the scenes of the brand she helped to build more than 40 years ago.

The childrenswear market has expanded tremendously since 1968. What have been some of the most significant ways your company has developed over the last 40 years?
When I debuted with my first collection—which was colorful, romantic, hyper-feminine—the childrenswear market was unexciting, monotonous, and a bit repetitive. I wanted to create collections with a soul, imparting emotions. This idea drove me, and it proved to be powerful and triumphant.

We have all had a special dress, immortalized in some faded photo. I wanted to capture that emotion by creating the dream dress, the unforgettable one in our memory chest, the one chosen as the symbolic photo of one’s childhood. My roots are in Italy, where beauty is at home. Along with emotions that have guided me, I combined a search for beauty and craftsmanship. This is the simple recipe with which we continue to excite and amaze generations of little girls all over the world.

There are now 7 lines under the Monnalisa umbrella. Do you oversee each of them?
Along with my daughter Diletta, the company’s Fashion Coordinator, we manage a team of talented staff. Each contribution, observation and element of the team is important in order to create a collection while maintaining and exceeding the high standards we set, season after season. Each line embodies the response to an occasion or developmental age. My job is also to ensure the coherence and intricacy of the collection.

Do you have a favorite line among them? An aesthetic that you particularly love?
I love them all, indiscriminately. However, the one that provides me with the most emotions is the Couture line. Very few pieces, made with sartorial skillfulness for special occasions. To be conveyed in the accompanying box. Timeless dresses.

Are you influenced by Womenswear and Menswear trends when developing these children’s collections?
Naturally both my daughter and I are very passionate about fashion and we are always on the lookout for new trends. The fashion world is permeable and each component influences the other. Women's fashion inevitably influences us but our strength has always been in creating collections specifically designed for girls, with the pre-requisites of safety, comfort and wearability.

When was Monnalisa Living developed? How does it relate to the core fashion collections?
Monnalisa Living transposes the romantic world of Monnalisa into the bedroom of a little girl. A dream bedroom created with skilled craftsmanship along with romantic and sophisticated patterns. Upholstered beds with bows, lamps with pleated lampshades, small baroque consoles, bedside tables with pink silk-screen printing.

Why was Bal Harbour the right place for you to open a new store?
Bal Harbour is the location most in line with our product positioning: luxurious, equipped to provide a unique and exciting shopping experience.

Can you give us a preview of events and activities we can expect in the future at Monnalisa?
We will be inaugurating our boutique with a guest who loves to dress her little girls with our brand, Lola Ponce. There will be many events in store with our entertaining format all inspired by fashion games. We like to provide our customers with not just a stimulating shopping experience, but also playful and entertaining occasions in all of our boutiques around the world.


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