MILAN — Valentino has identified Act N.1 as the emerging brand it will support in the second iteration of the project the fashion house developed last year with Camera della Moda, which officially kicked off in February.
As reported, the Roman brand and Italy’s fashion chamber have partnered in an initiative that each season will allow a young guest designer to present their fashion collection on Valentino’s Instagram platform, which currently has 17 million followers.
Founded by design duo Galib Gassanoff and Luca Lin, Act N.1 will succeed Marco Rambaldi in getting the social media spotlight during Milan Fashion Week in September.
When introducing the project last year, Maison Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli said the goal was to offer designers the opportunity to use the brand’s social platform “as a stage to broaden their work and message” and that talents “whose sensitivity resonates with our core identity values” would be approached.
Established in 2016, Act N.1 stands for inclusivity and a personal, multicultural take on fashion, with its collections mixing a flair for deconstructed tailoring, theatricality and stylistic influences hailing from the founders’ own origins, as Lin is half Chinese and Gassanoff was born in Azerbaijan but grew up in Georgia.
“The work of Galib Gassanoff and Luca Lin is light and profound as the gaze of every young designer should be and perhaps as the one of all of us should be. Multiculturalism, respect for diversity and celebration of the human coexist without dogmatism, without presumption in a free and courageous creativity,” said Piccioli, adding that “supporting talents able of combining beauty with a proposal of reflection is a duty, as well as interesting, because fashion can do a lot and has a lot to offer, always.”
In a joint statement, Lin and Gassanoff said they were honored to have been selected by Piccioli and defined the opportunity as a way to further spread the messages behind their brand.
Since the beginning of their fashion journey the design duo has promoted inclusivity through their clothes as well as casting choices, sending down the runway different body types and models spanning from mature women to newborns.
Fashion-wise, their experimental approach results in hybrid styles patching different pieces in one, a juxtaposition of masculine and feminine elements and a play of deconstructed silhouettes. Yet the brand is perhaps best known for its dramatic, maximalist tulle pieces and their cross-pollination with tailoring, which have garnered the attention of press and buyers alike in the last few seasons.
Debuting at Milan Fashion Week in 2018 with the spring 2019 collection, the brand has been part of the city’s schedule ever since, presenting collections both via physical runway shows and conceptual digital formats during the pandemic.
Camera della Moda’s president Carlo Capasa expressed his satisfaction with the choice and the continuation of the endorsement project, thanking the Roman fashion house “for the generosity of this concrete and systematic action.”
“Recognizing young talents, supporting them and offering them the opportunity to express themselves and experiment is more essential than ever today. It is important, especially in an increasingly competitive and global market, that a brand with the prestige of Maison Valentino promotes and supports an emerging brand,” Capasa said.
From its end, Camera della Moda has been supporting Act N.1 as well for some time. The brand was among the three recipients of the 2022 grant by Camera Moda Fashion Trust, the nonprofit organization established in 2017 to support young Italian talents in developing their businesses with financial aid, as well as business mentoring programs and tutoring. In particular, Act N.1 secured the grant for the second time in a row, having successfully channeled previous funds toward growing the brand’s scope by introducing a menswear line, setting up its own e-commerce and expanding distribution.
As reported, earlier this year Act N.1 introduced a men’s capsule of printed silk shirts, whose patterns were inspired by Chinese watercolor paintings of landscapes, divinities and mythological creatures, as well as vintage ads and posters.
The brand is available via international stockists including Selfridges in London, Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong, as well as Sita 1910, Ant/Dote and Forty Five Ten in the U.S. Asia represents a strong market with more than 20 retailers in mainland China.