MALO: READING BETWEEN THE LINES
Byline: Eric Wilson
NEW YORK — Its cover is the image of a daffodil. Inside are the stories of Italian sculptors and architects; essays on writing and a detective mystery about a woman named Eleanora. There is even a historical analysis of the sky.
What all this has to do with cashmere is really quite simple — simple being the point.
While several fashion companies have recently experimented with the idea of the “magalog,” the hybrid of catalog and magazine, the Italian cashmere label Malo is attempting to outclass other publishing labels with a high-minded, quarterly journal called “Syntony,” which was launched at its Madison Avenue flagship last week. Rather than simply be invited, guests were wooed with poetry:
“If Malo is the visualization of an idea, this publication, ‘Syntony,’ is form transformed into words, an image for those who choose our world.”
The launch of Syntony reflects Malo’s efforts to increase brand awareness in the U.S. over the next few years, renovating its existing free-standing stores and slowly developing a network of in-store shop concepts, said Giancarlo Di Risio, its president. The company wanted to create a publication that not only illustrated the Malo style, but also went beyond the traditional boundaries of marketing and advertising by conveying a sense of the history and soul of the brand to consumers.
Thus, the daffodil was selected as a cover image because it is a symbol of purity and delicateness, and it is “clean, soft and sweet,” said Di Risio. “That’s Malo.” The features within Syntony also reflect those elements, such as the essay on the sky and the features on the artists, all of whom wear Malo in their personal wardrobes. Even the detective story features a bit of cashmere as a clue.
“This explains the philosophy of the company and what we’re all about,” Di Risio said. “We did not want to express only a sweater, nor only cashmere, but what is the whole reasoning behind the company. One way or another, they are connected to us. These are not like museum pieces, commissioned with no relationship to Malo. They make the magazine authentic to us.”
Even the meaning of Syntony, according to Malo, is a coming together of elements that signify the same values.
“The bottom line is that we need to explain to the consumer that behind this product is a soul,” Di Risio said. “Many people do fashion and product, but very few are able to communicate the thought process behind the designer. A consumer appreciates that because a sweater becomes the best sweater in the world because of that role you have communicated.”