Caftanii and Forte’s Heritage

Our earliest memories depict infinite seashores. We’re in Versilia, with our babysitter, it’s 1989. We’re very young, about three years old. Being identical twins, people stop and stare, though it’s normal to us to be just like two drops of water. Delicate scents still remain in our olfactory memory, such as the boxwood in the parking area of the beach resort we still attend, and an unmistakable smell of hedges that extended undisturbed along all the promenade. Then the sound of birdies and turtledoves singing. Then Forte’s rides where they would take us to play. Our mother used to amble with mismatched ballerinas and her iconic white shirts. She was always dressed in white, often wearing a cotton oversized sweater above her Capri pants. We wore vichy dresses, or cherry printed outfits. Glittered ballerinas were a ritual: our mother would buy them in Riccione, in silver and gold. Ginevra, the rebel one, would wear them until Autumn without socks. When summer was over, we’d take jeans back out from the closet. It was weird to have our legs covered again. But September’s first chills announced the arrival of the Autumn

We started to design Caftanii infusing each piece with what we cherish the most. We always try to start from our own memories - from what we’ve seen, from the emotions emanated by feeling certain dresses on our skin like a daily ritual. These are integral parts of Caftanii’s style and inspirations. From the summers in Forte dei Marmi, the fresh and youthful atmosphere in which our eyes were ready to record subtle details that soon became indelible. Today we try to design that style, without nostalgia but with a deep respect for how we dress.

Among the clearest memories lies our mother in her classic white cotton shirts, sometimes even reaching knee-length, occasionally so long as to reach her ankles, just like true caftans. We used to see them hung in the beach cabin or in her wardrobe, smelling like fresh summer mornings and delicate sunscreen. She walked around the house candid and tanned – just like she rode her bicycle, went to the beach or to buy local produce – always dressed in white. There’s a historical artisan shop in Forte, called Le Cestaie, where they still call her The Woman in White.

Us twins, always in tandem, used to play tennis at the iconic Tennis Club Italia, the oldest in the whole Versilia region. We still have our weekly round booked from 18.40 to 19.20 with the trainer who raised us athletically. As kids we used to get there on our bicycles, and it was one of the best parts about it: it had the taste of the first share of liberty, the first taste of independence! We were dressed in our white skirts, with the vesper’s sun warming our necks, in a long gone Italian magic that maybe doesn’t even exist anymore. We believe that that’s where Caftanii inherited its primary atmosphere.

Our passion for white originates from our childhood at the beach, on Forte dei Marmi’s beaches where we spent all our summers – and where we still flee as soon as the sun comes out. Since we were kids we’ve always loves to wear light dresses with hemstitches or details like the smock stitch. This sense of purity and candor has given us a very clear vision. Summer, in Caftanii terms, is white. It’s bright, luminous, fresh and breezy.

An identifying outfit that is at the heart of our heritage: an oversized white shirt, either in cotton or in linen. What Italians referred to as Camicione back in the 80s. A relaxed yet elegant fit, manifest of essential simplicity. Paired with colonial style Bermuda pants they create our prime paradigm, rooted in the culture of Italian summers. They’re still to date two highlights of Caftanii’s style.

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