by Christopher Blomquist

Designer Melissa Battifarano says she launched her brand new unisex luxury streetwear line, Tony 1923, as a love letter to her late father, her Italian heritage and New York City.

Its moniker is derived from her dad’s first name and the year of his birth. “From his love of fast, black cars, large gold chains, anything trimmed in black lambskin, to wearing a bit too much jewelry, a bit too much cologne, fur coats and snake skin shoes – Tony was the opposite of ‘less is more,’” explains the brand’s website.

Using him as her fashion inspiration, Battifarano has created embroidered tees, tracksuits in velour or cashmere and “Italians Do It Better” tanks and hoodies. Prices range from $95 for the ribbed tank to $650 for the cashmere track jacket. For Cyber Monday yesterday she also introduced a Sunday Dinner fur and satin smoking jacket ($550) and a satin lounge boxer short ($125).

Battifarano is a fashion industry veteran who has worked for brands such as Tory Burch, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren and Sean John. Most recently, she was the Design Director of the Fenty Puma by Rihanna brand and VP of Design of Savage x Fenty.

She leads the brand as the head of design and CEO and to help support her fellow female creatives she assembled a group of female industry influencers and leaders to collaborate on Tony 1923’s formal launch, which took place earlier this month at Rao’s, an iconic Italian restaurant in Harlem.

Currently the brand is sold exclusively via its own online shop.