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Legendary fashion capital, Milan, is currently home to a new generation of fashion designers who are redefining Italian fashion. The Culture Trip brings you the big names and emerging talents to know in Italy.
Massimo Giorgetti of MSGM worked in creative consultancy for years before founding his own label in 2008 with the assistance of the Paolini Group, a prestigious Italian designer label. Giorgetti draws inspiration from both classic labels such as Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel and modern indie bands such as MGMT (hence the brand’s name) to create a truly timeless label which is gaining the attention of international press and buyers alike. His pieces are at once youthful and classic, featuring tweed and floral prints galore in sophisticated cuts. The brand has handled fast expansion to maintain a uniquely Italian vibe, while still being sold in over 300 stores worldwide.
Mauro Gasperi trained in Florence at the prestigious Polimoda Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing and worked for brands such as D&G after graduation. He then presented and sold collections in burgeoning fashion capitals such as Moscow and Tokyo before settling back home in Milan to run his business and exhibit his work. His pieces exude high-end elegance but still remain incredibly affordable, which has made Gasperi’s brand popular with young demographics. He also takes great inspiration from his background in architectural studies and produces work that has a clean, polished finish. His work has become a favorite in magazine editorials, and has been featured in magazines such as Elle, Vogue and Glamour.
A more established name in the Italian fashion scene, Alessandra Facchinetti is proof of the success of young Italian designers in prestigious positions at major labels. Facchinetti first made a name for herself as creative director of Valentino in 2007. Since then, her design talents have been picked up by Tod’s, where she now serves as creative director of women’s collections. While the brand has previously been more famous for shoes and accessories than clothing, Facchinetti has steadily built the brand’s reputation for ready-to-wear by employing her stripped-back aesthetic to create classic, wearable pieces.
Originally hailing from Athens, Angelos Bratis graduated from the renowned Netherlands Fashion Institute Arnhem before moving to Milan to establish his fashion empire. Another winner of the Italian Vogue’s Who Is On Next competition, Bratis has been successful from the off because of his eye-catching, architectural designs, which he says is partly inspired by the ancient Grecian history of mathematics and architecture. He is a designer who manages to make great basic pieces as well as show-stopping outfits which seem to have come straight of mythology. As fantastical as some of his pieces may seem, his design philosophy has also translated seamlessly into different trends, such as color blocking and sportswear.
Stella Jean is an Italian-Haitian designer who mixes eye-catching color spectrums and diverse influences to create looks which escape categorisation. She utilises digital printing techniques to produce high-octane trophy pieces, while taking inspiration from fairy tales and children’s literature. She won the Who Is On Next prize in 2011 and was chosen by Armani to show at his premises. For her spring/summer 2014 collection, she travelled to Burkina Faso with the Ethical Fashion Initiative, a project of the United Nations which provides a platform for artisans from developing countries. Jean has also shown her work at The Beat of Africa, an initiative for promoting African style in fashion.
Fausto Puglisi first found success when his designs were picked up by Dolce and Gabbana for their retail project Spiga 2, a boutique that the established design duo open every fashion week in Milan in order to support new and emerging designers. Since then, his career has gone from strength to strength, and his designs were even worn by performers at Madonna’s halftime show at the 2012 Super Bowl. Puglisi combines sophisticated prints with inspiration from Roman architecture and the Baroque period to create a truly unique and timeless look that looks just good in the street as it does on stage.
Au Jour Le Jour brings the fun to Milan with pieces that are infused with youth and pop culture references. Design duo Mirko Fontana and Diego Marquez founded their brand in 2010 and have since filled Milan Fashion Week with pattern, colour and kitsch without cutting back on genuine Italian quality. Expect animal print, gingham and pastel hues aplenty for both womenswear and menswear collections. Their show decor also reflects the brand’s tongue-in-cheek attitude: their most recent Spring/Summer menswear show featured school desks scribbled with adolescent love notes. Unsurprisingly, their designs have built a loyal online following after being spotted on style icons such as Vogue Nippon editor-at-large Anna Dello Russo, Rita Ora and Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medine.
Marco de Vincenzo has a hectic schedule – not only does he fulfil a demanding day job as head accessories designer for Fendi, but he has also produced two collections a year for his own label since 2010. This grounding in craftsmanship has led to cohesive, interesting collections with immense attention to detail. Rather than turning to transient trends for inspiration, he instead looks to different fabrics as the starting point for his collections, so you can expect a technicolor palette in a range of fabrics from lurex to wool. His brand has received recognition in the form of investment from LVMH, and his designs have been worn by everyone from European royals to Taylor Swift.
Andrea Pompilio created an impressive resume by working for high-profile brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein and Prada before founding his own brand in 2010. He has established a reputation for directional, modern pieces with an androgynous vibe. While Pompilio takes inspiration from a range of eras, his work is also heavily inspired by uniforms: both his most recent womenswear and menswear collections take inspiration from military garb. Despite this austere aesthetic, he still creates wearable pieces with serious longevity that bridge the gap between menswear and womenswear.
Andrea Incontri began his career as a product and interior designer for brands such as Samsung before translating his polished aesthetic to fashion design by starting his own eponymous label. It’s no surprise that he’s been selected as the new creative director at Tod’s menswear as his durable leather and ready-to-wear pieces capture the spirit of the brand effortlessly. While this is no doubt a demanding role, he has continued to develop his namesake brand by producing seasonal collections. His pieces are strong and architectural while capturing a feminine aesthetic which is sure to continue to draw in a wide fanbase.