U/R Italian Boutique Fashion - a touch of Italian flair in South Africa.
Italian fashion is easily linked to the most generalized concept of "Made in Italy", a merchandise expression that exudes the excellence of creativity and craftsmanship. Many French, British and American luxury brands (such as Chanel, Dior, Balmain and the main line of Ralph Lauren) rely on Italian craft factories to produce parts of their apparel and accessories, making Italy a fashion-focused country.
Fashion has always been an important part of the country's cultural life and society, and Italians are well known for their attention of dressing-up well, which is why Milan was dubbed the fashion capital of the world.
Now South Africans can get their hands on their very own piece of “Made in Italy” merchandise, with a brand that has passed all tests of quality, style and fashion-standards… U/R Italian.
U/R Italian offers unique & exclusive collections of accessories, handbags, shoes, and belt designs which come directly from their factory in Italy, straight to South Africa for South Africans. The brand U/R Italian was founded in 2018 but has a much longer history – with the owners, Ulrike and Romano, who have been working together successfully in the fashion business for more than 10 years. Romano has been in the fashion industry for more than 30 years.
Ulrike Bollmann is a fashion designer and entrepreneur and together with her partner Romano, they decided to bring this lively and bold brand to South African shores.
She describes her job as being “lucky to have one of the most beautiful jobs in the world: I create my own products, manufacture them and sell them to individuals who love and appreciate fashion. Nothing is more beautiful and satisfying than seeing a happy, well-dressed customer in my creations.”
Together, Ulrike and Romano have extensive experience in designing & manufacturing Italian goods, allowing them to offer the South African market unique & exclusive collections. They produce only a handful of each item which means their clothing is exclusive to the buyer.
So what exactly does their unique name stand for? A clever play on words which holds more than one meaning.
“It stands for the first names of the founders and the most important pillars of the label: Ulrike & Romano. We like that these letters mean U = you, R = Are, in English, because combined with Italian that's exactly what we want to express. We want our customers to feel and become a little "Italian" when wearing our fashion - that means that every piece from our collections is really Italian and so stands for quality, creativity, elegance. It stands for THE WORLD’S MOST IMPORTANT COUNTRY of fashion. We love the idea of creating this community of “Italians” all over the world and feel like ambassadors of this idea.” Ulrike tells us.
The U/R Italian Boutique brand currently has two stores in South Africa - situated in Port Elizabeth (Walmer Park Shopping Centre and Summerstrand Village Shopping Centre) and they are looking to expand the brand reach to JHB, Cape Town and Pretoria within the next 2 years.
"For me, fashion is not just ‘business with clothing’ - for me, fashion is everything around me: the way we live, what ideas we have, what we see, how we see others, it is the most intense lived form of art. It is the interpretation of the world around us expressed in clothing. It is also the only true direct way for all people to express themselves." says Ulrike Bollmann.
When it comes to their designs and collections, they describe them as their own personal interpretation of global trends in fashion, technology, science, art, and society. Specifically, they explain that with each new collection it will allow customers to make a fashion statement from its individual and creative point of view! They believe that through their designs, that their customers will always be “interesting, elegant and true trendsetters.”
But what’s even more exciting is that this brand not only allows them to showcase their own designs, but furthermore, allows them to be introduced to other European designers through their fun and strategic collaborations. A good example was a recent collaboration with Hervê Guyel Collaboration – where French and Italian meet! Presenting a collection of innovative and lively bags, suitable for a younger audience or for those who want a touch of style that could be called “rock" in their look. Their collection includes a "rock look" with studs, latex and metal details.
At U/R Italian, they believe that there is no such thing as the perfect consumer and that all customers who love Italian fashion and quality clothing are very important.
“One of our highly esteemed colleagues, Miuccia Prada, once said: “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” Individuals that take pride in what they wear and what they look like should try our products and surround themselves with a touch of specialty, exclusivity, and innovation.” Ulrike adds.
Follow their journey: