Milan Fashion Week SS 2017

Text by Adam Lehrer

It was hard to feel optimistic about Italian fashion after Milan Men’s Fashion Week SS 2017. That’s not to say that there weren’t some great collections, they just happened to come from the reliably interesting brands: Prada, Marni, and Alessandro Michele’s continued Gucci revolution among them. But there was a palatable lack of electricity coming from the Milan menswear shows. Maybe I’m alone in thinking this way, who knows? But Italian opulence just feels increasingly less relevant. I was in Milan last year, and people weren’t dressed up in Versace gold lapels (for some reason I thought some of the men there might be dressed up like The Sopranos’ Furio Giunta). Instead, I found the fashion and art crowds to be dressed similarly to those in New York, London, and Paris: disheveled jeans, cool sneakers, big trench coats or denim jackets. Antonioli, Milan’s arguable coolest high fashion boutique, does far better business with its stock of Vetements, Alyx Studio, Raf Simons, and Rick Owens than it does with local brands like the uninspired Marcelo Burlon or the sharp but off-schedule Milanese brand Julius. As the world grows more globalized, people are becoming at once more homogenized and individualistic in their senses of style. Italian tailoring, as a result, has grown out of favor with fashionistas, artists, and musicians. But these things come in waves of course, and there were just enough interesting shows to argue that “this city will rise again,”  to paraphrase Tilda Swinton in Only Lovers Left Alive.



Gucci SS 2017: Weird and Whimsical as a Collection, Desirable and Wearable as Products

Hedi Slimane was successful at Saint Laurent because he was able to create an aesthetic that was easily relatable and undeniably marketable while creating absurdly wearable products within each collection. Rappers, rockers, and actors all bought in and bought in hard, and Saint Laurent Paris was worn on everyone from Kanye and his shredded denim to Marilyn Manson and his leather blazers. Now admittedly, Alessandro Michele is a far more experimental designer than Hedi Slimane has been  of late(at least since his days as creative director of Dior Homme). But it’s starting to seem viable that Gucci under Michele could prove to be a financial success on par with Slimane’s Saint Laurent. The fey and whimsical aesthetic might seem jarring to most men, but it reels you in with a barrage of beautiful imagery. Everything from ad campaigns to the Gucci stores have become undeniably vibrant with Michele at the helm. Now that the public interest is at full tilt (Michele and Demna Gvasalia are probably the designers most captivating the industry’s attention at the moment, despite their markedly different aesthetics), he is now introducing key products to his collections that can become mainstays of the Gucci product line.

Michele Gucci SS 2017 menswear show was his last specifically menswear show, as Gucci will be presenting all its menswear and womenswear products via one show in season to come (like every other mega-brand, Gucci too is re-evaluating its business strategy to compensate for the speed of the industry). Its primary theme was travel, which also seemed to be Milan Men’s Fashion Week’s prevailing consistency. But Michele approaches the idea of travel from a different point of view than other designers. He himself has an aversion to physical travel, preferring the travels of the imagination that one experiences while reading a good book or, especially in his case, designing. At the show, he mentioned Marco Polo’s 13th Century travelogue. As a document, the travelogue’s accuracy has been widely disputed. This interested Michele: the travelogue is as much an ode to human imagination as it is to physical movement.

It also makes sense in Gucci’s SS 2017 menswear collection, which (like previous Michele collections) was so rich in ideas that each product could have pages of analysis devoted to it: men wearing womenswear and women wearing menswear, Japanese souvenir jackets decorated by American kitsch, satin suits, ‘70s Kentucky Derby referencing dresses and dresses, leather raincoats, dorky sweater vests, embroiderered tuxedos, and on and on and on.

But to get back to the Slimane comparison, Michele absolutely inundates his shows in product. But like Hedi, Michele is introducing pieces (the souvenir jackets, the loaders, the t-shirts emblazoned with graphic reading “Modern Future”) that could becomes staples of both his collections and fans’ wardrobes. Now that people are buying into his Gucci fantasy, they are going to be looking for pieces that make sense for them. Michele is both ingeniously subversive and inventively business savvy. He is every bit as good as they say he is.



Prada SS 2017: While Most Milanese Designers Looked at Travel, Miuccia Explored Forced Travel


As previously stated, travel was the big theme for Milan Fashion Week SS 2017. Travel is one of the tritest notions in fashion, but like Alessandro Michele at Gucci, Miuccia Prada draped her exploration of travel in conceptual ideas. While Michele’s were poetically personal, Prada’s were conceptually political.

In Prada’s SS 2017 menswear show, the models walked uphill while carrying far too much weight on their shoulders. It immediately brings to mind the forced migrations of Syrians fleeing their ISIL-ravaged country towards safety in Europe. There is of course a ton of baggage that comes with high fashion labels incorporating these sorts of humanitarian political messages in clothing, but that baggage never feels overly apparent within the work of Miuccia Prada. She is, after all, a noted communist. Despite her clothing fetching astronomical sums of money, she seems to hold the belief that quality products limit over-consumption. She has ideas and she cares. There are two Prada costumers. One just loves the idea of Prada as the pinnacle of all things “chic” and modern, and one really understands the messages set forth by Ms. Prada.

The nylon backpack seemed to be the centerpiece of this collection; blown out to gargantuan proportions, it seemed to emphasize the collection’s exaggerated sense of utilitarianism. While the garments looked rooted in active wear, they were also capital “F” fashion. There were plays on silhouettes and a wide range of color and graphic arrangement. There was something here for every type of discerning Prada buyer.



Damir Doma SS 2017: A Diversified Color Palette Lightens the Usual Shapes

Damir Doma is a lot more influential in that “ninja goth” thing that went on a few years ago than he ever gets credit for. His garments, usually all in black and draped baggy over bodies, are less conceptual than those of, say, Rick Owens, but also in some ways more commercial. But Doma has remained committed to his aesthetic even as that trend has died down, and maybe that’s why he’s still here when so many of those designers died fast and hard (anyone remember En Noir?). Those baggy and frayed clothes came in a diversified palette for SS 2017: black, white, hunter green, mustard yellow, and navy. There wasn’t much anything going overly conceptual here, but jut about any of the pieces would ne nice to wear. I’m as sick of writing about MA-1 jackets as the next person, but Doma’s were quite nice: baggy sleeves, loose hem, and kimono flaps that could be attached in lieu of using the zippers. I also love the t-shirts that came with an extra piece of fabric tye-dyed to look like red flames. The womenswear pieces were nice but all looked a bit too ‘90s Yohji to really make an impact. When Doma was still in Paris, he was massively overshadowed by the glut of revolutionary designers living in the city. Italy was a good choice for him; his slightly oft-kilter clothes allow him to provide welcome respite from the glut of corporate luxury houses.


Marni SS 2017: Consuelo Identifies the Male Counterpart to Her Waify Nerd Intellectual Lady

Consuelo Castiglioni has defined a whole genre of women with the Marni label. You know the type of woman that I’m talking about here: she works in a gallery or perhaps runs an antique design bookshop, she has big classes, a waif-y build, an a charmingly odd personality. Muses include Margot Tenenbaum, Patti Mayonaise, and the flashback younger version of Orange is the New Black’s most endearing paranoid schizophrenic, Lolly Whitehill. The label’s menswear offering have always felt less essential. Most likely this is due to the assumption that any guy who looks stylishly normcore doesn’t have much interest in fashion. The problem is that isn’t really true, and Castiglioni has finally defined the man who buys Marni with SS 2017.

Adorned in an inexplicable amount of Velcro, Marni SS 2017 was fashionably dorky, proving that a confident can be as magnetic as a confident whatever else. The first look was a doozy: a light blue leather trench coat over a sloppily cut suit and a checked shirt. Followed by an even stranger ensemble: leather shorts (!) checked crewneck, and flip-flops. Nothing quites makes sense with Marni, but when put together it looks quite well-defined.


Fendi SS 2017: Working Man’s Fabrics, Rich Man’s Garments

Silvia Fendi used the terry cloth favored by Pablo Picasso as the jumping off point for the Fendi SS 2017 menswear collection. Though not used in every look, the fabric was used in most and influenced the overall direction of the collection. That direction was laid back and luxurious. But that’s kind of what Fendi always is. So this was a pretty good Fendi menswear collection.

ANNND that’s really about it. It felt like Gucci was about to lead a revolution in Milan, but it seems more accurate that Michele simply had a revolution at Gucci. Most of the other good collections (Calvin Klein, No. 21, MP) didn’t use a runway show, opting to show off their garments to buyers. Milan Men’s Fashion Week was extremely lackluster.

"Small Tits Big Dreams" By Tea Hacic and Milan Based Art Duo No Text Azienda

text by Tea Hacic

When I was just a little kid I learned a song in music class called “Big Big Dreams.”  The chorus was, “big big dreams, lots of big dreams, things I wanna do some day, big big dreams, lots of big dreams, big dreams are OK.” I went home that day and sang the song to my mother and told her that I had written it. I knew that she knew that I didn’t, but I lied about it anyway. I saw shame in her eyes as I sang the phrases. I think of that moment often, about how embarrassing that must have been for her, to think she gave birth to a shithead. When I look back on that moment I wish it hadn’t happened, because since that moment I’ve tried not to lie. If that moment hadn’t happened, I may have become a talented liar by now. Maybe I’d be an entrepreneur or at least run a shabby-chic (yet efficient) Airbnb in LES that always has beer in the fridge and beautiful neighbors who are DTF. But I fucked that up.

SMALL TITS BIG DREAMS is a story about impostor syndrome. It’s about finding yourself in a new country, situation, job or curse you can’t find your way out of. You don’t know who you need to be so you violently push yourself to the limits in order to find out. It’s about dating an illiterate drug dealer only so he’ll invite you to parties and then hating all of your clothes so much that you take them off once you get there. It’s about having a goal and doing whatever you must to reach it, even if “whatever you must” means stealing your best friend’s wallet. It’s about Milan, a city that was sleeping until noon, spending all its money on shoes and falling into k-holes by midnight. But the city is changing … !

There is a new collective in Milan messing stuff up, flipping all the pizzas upside-down, cheese side on the ground, turning the aesthetic around! They are bored of fashion parties, fancy aperitivos and bars that exist only to show football games. They are inventing a new reality in the city that never weeps!

NO TEXT AZIENDA are a dude duo with a rebellious artistic agenda. Part of the GrossoMondo movement, a creative agency and magazine (with Yosephine Melfi and Carolina Amoretti), NO TEXT are video makers and “culture-jammers.”  I first met them years ago on the streets of Pta. Ticinese by accident and immediately felt compelled to stalk interview them. A lot has changed since then (mostly, my hair) but they’re still best friends (and according to half the city, a gay couple). Alvin Sonic and Ignoro Disoncelli are the types of swoon-worthy boys who seem like they get twelve hours of beauty sleep, then skateboard from bed to a swimming pool and back to bed. In reality, they work so hard they show up to your SMALL TITS BIG DREAMS shooting straight from a party—they haven’t eaten for days but they let you steal their first meal (a Big Mac) right out of their hands, for the sake of a scene. There’s a reason these kids have worked for Sterven Jonger and Nike! You’ll see!

If you’ve ever found yourself roaming the streets like a lunatic, searching for meaning (or at least a Zara sale), this film is for you. If you’ve caught yourself wondering when everyone will be as obsessed with you as you are, this film is for you. If you’re an exhibitionist, this film is for you (and so is WOVO a concept sex shop in Milan run by the film’s stylist)! If you want to hear an original track by RIVA this film is lasagna for your ears! If you love pigeons, hate taxes, feel hungry all the time, miss your parents, fantasize about your professors, think coconut water tastes like cum…this film was made for you! So what are you waiting for?

No matter who you are or what you’re into, remember Big Dreams Are OK…as long as you’re honest about them. 


Text by Tea Hacic. Follow Tea on Instagram here. Follow Autre Magazine: @AUTREMAGAZINE


[FASHION REVIEW] Autre's Favorites from Milan Fashion Week

Oh, Italy. The land of luxury behemoths. Young fashion people scoff at Milan, but Milan is planting itself once more at the forefront of conceptual fashion. Versace and Prada will always be doing their thing. Damir Doma decided to leave the herd of Paris and create his architectural garments in Italy. Arthur Arbesser is injecting youth and idea-driven fashion into the city revitalizing Iceberg and launching his own brand. And, less we forget, Alessandro Michele is the hottest designer in fashion at Gucci. It feels like people are ready for Italian fashion again, and they certainly want Gucci to be relevant again. We’ve had so many years of “cool” and “arty” brands out of Paris and London that maybe the coolest thing to do right now is to pay heed to the luxury giants of Italy. It’s hip to be square, motherfuckers. – Adam Lehrer


Adam Lehrer's Picks

Gucci

And just like that, people give a shit about Gucci again. Italy has a new king, and his name is Alessandro Michele. It was only nine months ago that this guy was on the tip of no editor’s tongue and then three months and a women’s and a men’s collection later his influence has been felt radically at the house of Gucci and has reverberated throughout the fashion kingdom. The gender bending, fey dudes, and tomboy girls has been going on in fashion for a long time, but now as the standard at a house like Gucci it can be said to be the norm. Michele’s FW 2015 collection had a lot going on. It was as if Michele had bottled all these ideas up for years and was just waiting to be able to unleash them upon the world. The SS 2016 collection felt more singular. These clothes felt influenced by the ‘70s but at the same time they were insanely beautiful. There were fucking 66 looks in this collection and every piece has a different print! That is unbelievable in and of its self. I also like that Michele, while he does “bend” gender norms, still seems aware that a man’s body looks best in man’s clothes and ditto a women. The women’s looks were dresses and the men’s clothes were suits. I’m not going to say much about Michele other than that it speaks to the speed of the fashion system that a man can go from an accessories designer at a fading luxury house to one of the most important designers in the world at a hot luxury house in two seasons. Tom Ford’s takeover of Gucci was legendary. Michele’s will be radical.

Versace

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 Fuck it, I’m going for it: VERSACE VERSACE VERSACE VERSACE! Versace is eternal. Even at its most irrelevant, Versace reigns supreme. Case in point: the Versace SS 2016 show saw Donatella reaching out to the women of the world. The message was clear: be yourself and conquer, ladies!

I think people have this bias against Italian brands that they are stuffy, overly traditional, and classist. In some cases, this might be true. But Donatella Versace is a woman of the world. The soundtrack, entitled “Transition” by Violet and friends, called on for women to stop listening to the shit people say about them. Women can really run the world, and Donatella wants to help you.

Versace is also intimately connected to American hip-hop culture, dating back to Biggie Smalls up to today with Nicki Minaj and the previously quoted Migos. Donatella embraces this connection, and her runway was the most multi-cultural of Milan Fashion Week. There is something so beautifully unpretentious about Donatella Versace, whether it’s the unabashed sexiness of her shows, her embracing of celebrity culture, or her support of younger designers like JW Anderson and Anthony Vacarello. That lack of class warfare has allowed Versace to remain relevant in the modern fashion sphere.

Speaking of the unabashed sexiness of her clothes, it has to be said: the girls in the Versace SS 2016 show looked HOT. Sorry to let my more base boring straight male instincts take over, but it has to be said. All the garments, smashingly luxurious, were slitted everywhere: legs, torsos, hips, necklines, and breasts are all well displayed. Street influences met couture and it all looked great. May Donatella reign.

Bottega Veneta

On the menswear end of things, I love Bottega Veneta. Its suede Chelsea boots are literally my favorites boots in the world (made popular by Kanye’s grungy dressed down wearing of the $1200 statement boots, I’m rather poor so I have wear the Top Man suedette versions). Creative director Tomas Maier has been a little more on the nose when it comes to womenswear, however. Bottega Veneta’s whole thing, super luxurious versions of everyday staple pieces, doesn’t always translate to great womenswear shows. The SS 2016 show felt particularly realized then. Maier was inspired by the open country, and presented some dazzling outerwear pieces. The tracksuits with cropped pants didn’t look anything close to sporty, but certainly could be worn for sport. It was almost a rebellious look. Coming back to the city though, a beautiful pantsuit emblazoned with a camo print was eye grabbing and kept to the theme despite it certainly not being outerwear. Maier is really coming owning his role at Bottega Veneta.

Marni

Of all the Italian brands, Marni perhaps feels the most like one of the Paris-based brands in its embracing of contemporary art and harsher aesthetics. Despite that though, the collections offer tons of colors and print. Marni can be abstract and accessible in equal measures. The Sonic Youth of fashion labels? Sure, why not.

Consuelo Castiglioni’s SS 2016 saw an apron-like shape emerge in various forms on the runway: in tunics, in dresses, and wool structures.  This collection had mystery to it. With all the shapes and layers draped upon the women, I couldn’t help but wonder what was underneath. It’s like when I was in middle school and girls started looking so painfully beautiful but also so utterly alien. I didn’t know what I wanted, but I knew that I wanted it.

The color palette of Marni SS 2016 is all over the place but cohesive. Hunter greens meld into browns and bright reds meld into blues. Marni still feels smaller than it should be, but maybe that is why it works. It’s a big Italian brand that holds its aura of the austere.
 

Damir Doma

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Damir Doma, in his second Italian outing since moving his brand from Paris to Milan, was smart to leave the City of Lights. In Paris, he is just one of dozens of young designers taking on brutal, conceptual, abstract, and “arty” fashion. In Milan, however, he is practically the only one. He stands out in Italy.

Doma works closely with his manufacturers, and perhaps that is why he decided to move to Italy. In any case, his unique relationship to fabric stands out in the SS 2016 collection. In strictly monochromatic colors, Doma plays around with the proportions of pantsuits, cloaks, dresses and jackets. I particularly enjoyed the elegant dresses that were then slashed to shreds at the bottom. It reminded me of old Rei Kawakubo. Also, in the vein of Rick Owens, there was a kind of sexy unsexiness to this collection, with wide and loose garments falling upon the models in such a way that only hinted at eroticism.
 

Arthur Arbesser


If there has been a moment of, “This designer has arrived!” this season, ala with Alessandro Michele at Gucci last season, it has been Arthur Arbesser. Arbesser released his debut collection as creative director for knit brand Iceberg as well as his first line for his namesake brand. Both collections were different and great in their own ways.

Arbesser brought bohemian sensibilities to Iceberg, with pin stripe satin bomber jackets worn over cropped pants. The clothes were very casual but cool and effortless. No one has thought of Iceberg for some time, but with Arbesser designing the ready-to-wear and Olivier Zahm heading the campaigns, it could be the new heritage thing. Wait to see what Arbesser does with the knits for a winter collection.

Balthus inspired everything. Arthur Arbesser paid attention to that notion with his SS 2016 collection under his namesake brand, installing a giant Balthus cat in the middle of his floor. The girls walking in the show looked painfully young; both in their facial features and in their little school girl mini skirts and also the Nikes and pajamas. I so often hate this sort of pubescent fashion that I am even more impressed with Arbesser that I like this. He’s searching for a romance in youth and I have to say he’s found it. And those blue leather pieces, hot damn.


Julianna Vezzetti's Picks

Prada

Prada didn’t leave any angle un-textured or un-embellished; metaphysical in the truest sense of the word. The collection created layers of content that could make you hiccup. The SS 2016 collection is seemingly a working girl on acid. The elongated silhouettes allow dimensions to be layered with additional accessories and patterns. Muted metallic and electric lace bibs offer the idea that we are just visiting this planet. The tailored samurai skirt with matching blazer eludes a strict rhetoric lifestyle. The wispy hair and drop waist dresses spark ‘40 and ‘50s-era inspirations; like Tim Burton doing Casablanca. Color accents were strategically placed with socks, gloves and earrings proving leverage to draw the eye out to see it as a whole identity.

Fendi

Fendi SS 2016 opened with a fiery red to ambre shade of dusty salmon and cool white. All of the trimmings manifest a vision of a Swiss girl with a militant edge. The braiding of leather and fabric accent the large well pockets in the dresses giving a sense of utility. The garments also relish a fashion functionality with the “skort” like design and culotte wide legged pants. Belief in this theory allows you two ideas within one singular collection. Flowing printed prairie dresses and billowing sleeves give the feminine tone to the masculine tailored structures. If all is fair in love and war then what are we fighting for.

Jil Sander

Will you drink the Kool-Aid of the country cult leader draped in silks and sanctity? The Jil Sander SS 2016 collection offered tweed hats acting as a protection barrier to shield unwanted followers in your direction. The ominous sounds and designs paint a very surreal vision of religion. It has a fine tuned reference point that can almost be read as boring, but with ample contingency to the presentation. The repetition off the shoulder design highlighted a consistent design. The cable cord belts create a restrictive and controlled energy much like a cult counterpart. The layering aspect has been all over the runway but Rodolfo Paglialunga embodies a comfort and effortless perspective at Jil Sander. He recognizes the DNA Jil created to carry on the legacy of the brand, but has played down some of the brutality and harshness that Sander was beloved by many for using.

MSGM

The opening sounds of dance punk band Le Tigre at the MSGM SS 2016 were electric. The models matched the intensity of the boisterous music by charging full speed down the runway. The energy created by the caustic music and fast-moving models was emblematic of the color palette of MSGM’s SS 2016 collection’s shocking ultraviolet hues. The layering in this collection offered a femininity to what was a slightly Tomboy-ish presentation. I was struck with a sense of nostalgia for my coveted JNCOs and chain wallet I would rock in the late ‘90s. The pastel ruffles paired with wide-legged short trousers exuded hues of that bygone era. The bondage of punk was presented in a very pop art manner with flowing chain dresses and chest pieces. This grunge girl is a skater who also happens to play with textural design. Using billowing fabrics at the hips, she communicates the source of her power.


Text by Autre Fashion Editor Adam Lehrer and contributor Julianna Vezzetti


Falling In and Out of Love With Fashion: Here Are Ten Things You Need To Know About Elio Fiorucci

This Monday, the fashion world was saddened to hear of the death of Italian designer Elio Fiorucci. Known as “The King of Jeans,” the Milanese designer’s raunchy, colorful fashions “sold America back to America.” His kitschy, recycled style broke the harsh, conservative boundaries of haute-couture, gaining international popularity with his low-cost materials and everyday fashions. The Fiorucci name was a staple in the jet-set world of youth and alternative culture in the New Wave era. However, despite fame and acclaim, poor management and legal issues separated Fiorucci from his brand into the 21st century. Interior design guru Rossana Orlandi said Fiorucci was “the point of reference for an entire generation.” Giorgio Armani called him “revolutionary.” Fiorucci recently celebrated his 80th birthday. Here are ten things you need to know about the fashion icon:

1. Elio Fiorucci was the son of a Milanese shoe-and-sandal shop owner

In 1963, a 22-year-old Fiorucci, while experimenting with new designs in his father’s shoe shop, created three pairs of rubber galoshes in bright, primary colors. After being featured in local Milan fashion magazine Amica, the galoshes sparked a sensation. 

2. Fiorucci was an integral player in fashion’s globalization

A Model In A Chiffon Dress With Roses And Red Satin Accents, 1976 Photo: Associated/REX Shutterstock/Rex USA

Fiorucci was deeply inspired by the bright miniskirts and kitschy baubles trendy in London’s Carnaby Street. When his first shop opened in Milan in 1967, he was determined to bring modern British and American fashion to Italy. The then-conservative Milan had barely seen t-shirts, jeans, and glitter. The store was instantly popular for modern Italian shoppers. Later, the Fiorucci brand would turn underground fashions such as the Brazilian thong and New Mexican glass beads into international trends.

3. The Fiorucci label popularized many staples of modern fashion

Fiorucci introduced the monokini and thong from Brazil, albeit while sparking controversy with the topless photos used to advertise them. The label was the first to popularize leopard-skin prints, Afghan coats, and fishnet stockings. In 1976, Fiorucci introduced the first “fashion” jean for women, selling over one million pairs of jeans in the first year on the market. The company created the first pair of stretch jeans in 1982.

4. Fiorucci was more interested in the everyday than “haute couture”

Fiorucci was known for favoring cheap materials—$10 t-shirts from India, plastic see-through jeans, aluminum lunch pails sold as purses. “I am a merchant, not a man of fashion,” he told WWD in 1976 at the opening of his Manhattan department store. He told People in 1980 he found the label haute couture “pathetic.”

5. Fiorucci’s department stores did not just sell clothes

Fiorucci’s first big store in Milan expanded from fashion to offer books, music, furniture, and makeup. It also boasted a performance space, vintage clothing area, and restaurant. The Milan shop became a focal point for youth and alternative culture. Fiorucci’s Manhattan location was known as the “daytime Studio 54.” New York’s New-Wave creatives would come to the store to sip espresso and trade party plans in the pre-soirée hours. The Fiorucci store was frequented by art exhibitions, book signings, and parties.  

6. Fiorucci advertisements were iconic for their innovation and controversy

The famous two-angels logo was plastered on bags, t-shirts, and billboards internationally. It was paired alongside models in skin-tight jeans wearing fluffy pink handcuffs, Brazilian thongs, camouflage and leopard-skin prints. Others show women in provocatively tight jeans and latex pants. An exhibition at SACI featuring the ads in 2012 claimed, “Such ads, and others with fluorescent colors and breakthrough graphics, ensured the Fiorucci brand a place in design and retail history.”  

7. His designs were extremely popular with celebrities of the 70s and 80s

The glitzy innovation exhibition in Fiorucci’s designs attracted the trendy, jet-set celebrities of the New Wave era. Notable Fiorucci-lovers included Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, and Jackie O. Fiorucci is credited with creating Madonna’s look, launching her career. Debbie Harry was known to scour Fiorucci collections for anything black. Truman Capote signed books in the window of the New York department store. Fiorucci sent an extra-large sweatshirt with a crown embroidered in gold thread to Princess Diana as a wedding present.

8. Fiorucci launched the careers of notable fashion designers

Fiorucci’s New York department store was the first to feature designers Betsey Johnson, Anna Sui, and Jill Stuart. Marc Jacobs told the New York Times in a 2001 interview, “'When I was 15, instead of going to sleep-away camp I spent the whole summer hanging out in the store. I had this wide-eyed glamour about these beautiful young people that globe-trotted from club to club dressing in these fabulous clothes. It was like a living, breathing fashion show that I wanted so much to be part of.” Jacobs credits Fiorucci with inspiring the low-cost designs

9. By the late 1980s, Elio lost the right to use his own name

Despite thriving sales, poor management forced Fiorucci to close its New York City location in 1986. By 1988, franchise disputes lead to the closing of all U.S. branches. The company was subsequently split into shares that were bought by various multinational corporations, and Elio Fiorucci was legally barred from designing under his own name.

10. Elio Fiorucci fell out of love with fashion

In 2003, after 36 years, Fiorucci closed down his historic shop in Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, Milan. He said he had “fallen out of love with fashion.” However, he continued to design. He launched his own brand, Love Therapy, and designed for Agent Provocateur. 


Text by Keely Shinners

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