MILAN — Marni is bringing men’s wear back to the runway this season as guest brand at the 87th edition of the Pitti Uomo international trade show.
This story first appeared in the January 13, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Pitti is extremely important for men’s fashion. It’s always cutting-edge, so we are very happy to be part of it this season,” said Marni creative director Consuelo Castiglioni. “This marks a new starting point toward a further evolution of our men’s line.”
The men’s line was first launched in January 2006.
Castiglioni’s signature style — which favors geometric shapes, asymmetric cuts, bold color combinations and mixes and matches of rich fabrics — shows in the men’s lineup. Even if certain eccentricities are confined to the women’s world, Castiglioni plays with the unexpected and quirky when it comes to injecting a spin into classic men’s styles as well.
“The starting point of the collection was the classic wardrobe of the men’s fashion tradition, which we revisited through our own point of view. We focused on rich materials, impactful silhouettes and combinations of elements giving an unexpected twist,” the designer revealed, pointing out that research on materials was pivotal in the development of the collection. In particular, Castiglioni said she worked on special wools and fur — the latter of which is a Marni trademark.
“This collection is a little more formal than usual. Maybe it’s for a man who is a bit more mature,” said Castiglioni, who put the accent on the sartorial details of traditional men’s wear staples she revamped, including suits and coats. These were worked in classic tones with pops of bright color.
In keeping with the brand’s tradition, the lineup also includes some printed patterns decorating shirts, as well as the lining of fur pieces.
Exalting the artsy attitude of the brand, Castiglioni chose to unveil her collection at Florence’s Museo Marino Marini, which houses the spectacular sculptures of the late Italian artist. “As soon as we stepped in, we immediately fell in love with the location,” said Castiglioni, revealing that the sculptures of the museum will create a dialogue with the clothes on the catwalk.
The designer said that, starting from this season, there will be a bigger focus on accessories, which include shoes, bags, gloves and scarves.
The show at Pitti represents a comeback on the runway for Marni’s men’s wear. “The goal is to return to show in Milan,” said Castiglioni, who, although excited for the event in Florence, admitted she was a fan of presentations. “They enable people to actually see the collection, touch the clothes and discover all the details,” she said.
The decision to show at Pitti Uomo is in line with the brand’s strategy to expand its men’s business.
“The men’s line is becoming more and more important for us, and we are giving more and more visibility and space to it in our stores,” said Castiglioni, adding that the new flagships the company will inaugurate this year, including units in San Francisco and in Milan, will have ample space dedicated to men’s.
“We invested a lot on the development of Marni men’s collections to give a complete offering of ready-to-wear and accessories,” said Marni chief executive officer Gianni Castiglioni. “The first results are promising, both in the retail and wholesale business.”
Marni closed 2013, the most recent figures available, with revenues of 117 million euros, or $160.3 million at average exchange rate.