“I would like to reach out to as many people as possible, hoping that our products will help them feel well, and that to me means being sustainable,” said Incontri ahead of his first runway show for the brand, which will be held on Sunday.
Incontri grew up with Benetton and understands its social relevance, said chief executive officer Massimo Renon. “Andrea is Italian and is well aware of the history of the brand, and these were key elements in our choice to appoint him to the role,” he explained.
He contends that a brand such as Benetton needs to have a creative director, because “the product is fundamental but it also needs a well-rounded, comprehensive communication and aligned social media presence.”
Incontri, he said, “had a clear vision from Day One. His fashion will never be overly fussy, I am sure he will be able to expand our customer base.”
Benetton was a pioneer in embracing inclusion and diversity and Incontri believes that “to simplify is more difficult but more fulfilling.”
The designer was appointed to the top creative role in July, in charge of both the men’s and women’s collections for the brand, and succeeding Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, who was named artistic director in Oct. 2018.
Incontri was the men’s creative director of Tod’s for five years until 2019.
An architecture graduate from the Politecnico di Milano who launched his namesake brand in 2009, he won the men’s edition of the “Who Is on Next?” talent search in 2010 in the accessories category. The designer quickly extended his label to menswear, delivering collections with an attention to detail and use of high-end materials.
In 2012 he added a women’s collection, which made its debut as part of the Camera Nazionale della Moda’s official fashion week schedule in February 2013.
Knitwear, Benetton’s core business, will remain a focus, as will color — another signature aspect of the brand, said Incontri. The designer is thinking about a wardrobe across genders and “easy to wear,” but he will also present “light and printed, feminine dresses — also cropped.”
Leveraging his expertise in accessories, he plans to expand this category at Benetton and will introduce a new handbag, a shoe style and a belt that will be part of the show and immediately available in store.
“We are not using animal leather for these accessories, as we are introducing a new sustainable material instead.”
Incontri will unveil the spring coed collection at one of Benetton’s main Milan stores, on the busy shopping street Corso Buenos Aires. The store spans over 10,800 square feet, and he has had it refitted.