Caterina Negra, Creative Director at Pinko, is the second- generation designer shaping the future of the brand.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Caterina Negra, Pinko’s Creative Director
Caterina Negra, Pinko’s Creative Director
Animal skin and checks make
a compelling proposition at Pinko.
Animal skin and checks make a compelling proposition at Pinko.

It's  a full-family affair at Pinko, a contemporary Italian label founded in the ’80s by Pietro Negra and Cristina Rubini, a husband-wife duo who wanted to dress women in clothes that reflected their multi-faceted lifestyles. So it’s no surprise to discover that their two daughters, Caterina and Cecilia, have joined them at the helm. Cecilia does communications for the company while Caterina oversees design matters as its Creative Director, having worked her way up from the marketing and merchandising departments. “Pinko is my second home and it’s where I grew up as a child. It’s in my DNA,” says Caterina.

The contemporary fashion brand is quintessentially Italian in style, with collections of smart suits, flirty dresses and pretty accessories that allow women to express individuality. “She is modern, busy, informed, and curious,” says Cateria, describing the woman she designs for. “She is free of stereotypes. Independent and confident, she is not afraid to show her intelligence and irony or her more feminine and sensual side.”

Constantly inspired by the women around her, Caterina has become known for her drive and dedication. She believes in pushing Pinko ahead of the times. After all, it is this same philosophy of always staying one step ahead that has allowed the brand to quickly adapt to the ever-changing tastes of women. “We are very attentive to what’s happening and the changes around us, especially socio-cultural ones,” she explains. “I keep myself constantly informed and I’m very sensitive to the desires and the needs of the new generation and those close to me.”

Can you tell us more about the newest collection?

For spring/summer 2019, we wanted to celebrate the brave and independent women of today. The result is a real tribute to their eclectic and dynamic spirit, a characteristic that also inspired the versatility of the collection. The silhouettes are designed to enhance the feminine form with elegance. We have included several prints that immediately capture the attention. The colour palette plays on sophisticated neutral tones with touches of flurorescence to establish strong and exuberant accents. 

What is your design philosophy? 

My number one style rule is always to enhance femininity and to conceive of clothes and collections that make a woman feel sensual and free to express herself and all the facets of her personality. I always try to work with contrasts, but I don’t like exaggerating or forcing things—I prefer to focus instead on the balance between elements. I’m really convinced of a garment when it strikes a balance between sexy and feminine, with a touch of irony, bestowed by a contemporary and unexpected detail.

Where does Pinko fit in fashion’s current mood?

Fashion is at an interesting crossover of references to different styles and cultures, a clear reflection of the moment we are in, where personal expression is encouraged, and perhaps, the only rule is to have no rules! Pinko is perfectly at ease here, as it has always been. We are not afraid to break the rules, and we believe in the importance of the personality of the women who choose to wear us. I also think that there is great interest in strong design ideas supported by quality.

Has social media affected the way you design?

The speed of social media is a great source of inspiration for me. Everything evolves very fast, even trends, and social media is an immense showcase of the continual change. As a brand, we believe that being up-to-date and reactive is the key to staying relevant in these challenging times. We are always working on development and introducing new, appealing products, even outside the “canonical” fashion seasons, which are now obsolete. We strongly believe in capsule collections and collaborations with other designers to offer products that are fresh and innovative.