After years working as a stylist for leading men’s fashion magazines and brands, Barcelona-born and Italy-based Miguel Arnau wanted to challenge himself, so he launched his own brand, called Marnau Project.
Unveiled this summer with a temporary outdoor market, hosted in the garden of the Apulian farmhouse that Arnau is renovating with his longtime partner, fashion photographer Giampaolo Sgura, Marnau Project was introduced as a genderless loungewear label, entirely manufactured by local artisans in Apulia.
“It’s been a while since I started thinking about launching my own brand. After so many years working in the industry, I think it was the right time to launch my own thing as part of my professional and personal growing path,” Arnau said. “I believe this brand represents a new generation of fashion clothes, which are sustainable and represent the taste of a community of people sharing the same values and the same love for things that are made with love and care.”
Positioning himself as a sort of ambassador for his beloved Apulia region, Arnau combined his sophisticated Mediterranean fashion style — which resulted in the striking images he created with well-known photographers during his career as a stylist and fashion editor for GQ España, Hercules, Vogue Japan and Man About Town, as well as for brands such as Giorgio Armani and MSGM — with an iconography deeply rooted in the Apulian tradition.
For his first collection of pajama-like shirts cut in different lengths and silhouettes, trousers, short pants and swimwear, as well as handmade straw hats, Arnau created exclusive prints, spanning from the “Acquasanta” motif, featuring stylized images of stone founts which usually hang on the walls of Apulian houses, to the “Apulia” pattern, showing a mix of tomatoes, sea urchins and Apulia’s traditional Trulli houses, and the more surreal print “Cazzo di Re.”
All crafted from cotton, the pieces “are relaxed, super comfortable, they convey a holiday mood,” explained Arnau, who also put the focus on their upscale artisanal quality.
“I really want to preserve this high-end quality and attention to details,” said the stylist-turned-designer, revealing that from September the clothes, which sold out during his Apulian temporary market, will be available on a dedicated web site. “For the moment, I don’t plan to develop any traditional wholesale strategies. My dream is to sell the brand in my own store, which I would love to open here in our Apulian farmhouse.”
The brand, which will offer one collection a year, retails from 150 euros to 250 euros.