Named after Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s birthday (Dec. 21), No. 21 marks a shift from the designer’s signature glam aesthetic. A true sportswear label that merges menswear influences with feminine accents, No. 21 clothing is designed with real women in mind. We spoke with Dell’Acqua to learn more about this covetable brand.
Shopbop: No. 21 is a sportswear collection with menswear influences and feminine accents, a departure from the evening looks of your original label. Can you tell us a little about this shift in focus?
Alessandro Dell’Acqua: Yes, I wanted a strong change. I wanted to get closer to more casual, masculine themes—far more so than in the past—and I wanted to give a more precise idea of a refined style unique to No. 21.
SB: What was the inspiration behind the spring 2012 collection?
ADA: I found inspiration in the 1960s Milanese bourgeoisie, a very sophisticated woman. The collection has touches of eccentricity and, at times, details that are deliberately and apparently wrong.
Looks from the No. 21 spring 2012 collection.
SB: Tell us a little about the inspiration behind the prints in the spring collection.
ADA: The prints take inspiration from Polynesia—the jungle redesigned in a metropolitan way.
SB: Who is the No. 21 woman? Who are you designing the collection for?
ADA: Surely a woman who is very attentive to contemporary fashion without being overwhelmed, with a sensual and feminine approach to dressing that is slightly unconventional. I think of women like Alexa Chung, Kate Moss, Carine Roitfield.