Black Sheep



milan / italy

When a latent childhood passion, an innate vocation, emerges over time and is then followed by the fearless pursuit of a dream and a life-path, what materialises is the secret behind the success of the Italian CO|TE brand. Tomaso Anfossi and Francesco Ferrari are the brand’s founders; two young designers and kindred spirits who knew how to embrace the creative fire burning within them and give it a concrete form.

To fully understand the spirit of the brand and its two designers, we must step back in time to the period in which Francesco took refuge in the workshop of an expert leather artisan and family friend, and Tomaso raided the tailor shop where his mother worked. For both of them, the workplaces of these women represented a haven, where they discovered the pleasure of handling fabrics and materials and learnt how to discern the various textures through touch, sight and smell.

Subsequently, despite having pursued studies totally unrelated to the fashion world, fate led them to discover their true calling by way of a sort of an "instinctive treasure hunt". Fashion, however, has always played a leading, albeit secret, role in their personal and professional development; a lure, a dream just waiting to be discovered and pursued.

After their adolescent years, when the time came to make the decision that would forever change the course of their lives, Milan embodied the destination and the new haven where their creativity could flourish: a veritable "home of the soul" .

CO|TE which means shelter and protection, refers to instinctively accessible themes. This stylistic and existential signature is reinterpreted in a contemporary vein by the two designers, whose collections stand out for their refined and cutting-edge designs, entirely produced in Italy according to the best “Made in Italy” traditions.

The designers' creations stem from a continuous exchange of ideas, inspired by inquisitive, spirited and naturally elegant women. Previous studies and adolescent experiences have had a significant influence on the designers’ creative process and the style of the collections: Francesco’s optician training fostered a particular sensitivity towards the study of colour, geometry and attention to detail, allowing him to develop an attentive, dual understanding and perspective of the world. Whereas Tomaso refined an exquisite inclination towards the world of nature (a recurring theme in the creations CO|TE) and its spontaneous architecture, colours and shapes, and towards the architectonic order that human intervention is able to give it.

Geometric shapes represent the point of departure for the creation of each garment, and for this reason the choice of fabrics is of primary importance; not only do they help maintain the desired volumes during the process of designing the silhouettes, but also once the garments are ready to be worn. The quality of the garments, the meticulous attention to detail and the unique but wearable shapes that easily adapt to each woman’s well-defined esprit, make up the unmistakable style of the brand.

The CO|TE brand is now distributed by Riccardo Grassi Showroom and Tanaka Group for the Japanese market, and is sold in the best boutiques and the most cutting-edge concept stores.