However, reaction to Capasa’s sensual, minimalist vision was muted in Milan (where the fashion federation had refused requests by Japanese designers to show in the early ’80s), so in 1991 they decided to follow Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo to Paris. It was in France that they found the respect of critics and peers alike and in 1993 they added a men’s footwear range and a ready-to-wear menswear collection (partly because Ennio, a self-confessed “vintage addict”, was unable to find pieces to wear himself).
In 2000, Costume National bags, lingerie and leather accessories were added, together with Costume National Luxe, featuring a limited series of garments made from particularly precious and unusual materials. Footwear now comprises around a third of the business, and the company owns its own shoe factory in Padua, an apparel plant near Vicenza and a leather treatment company near Lecce – not to mention flagship stores in Milan, Rome, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Osaka and Hong Kong. In 2002, a fragrance line (the typically minimalist ‘Scent’) was launched, followed by eyewear a year later.