The new Sunnei showroom.

MILAN — One of Milan’s trams clanked across the city covered in white and a giant Sunnei logo during Milan Fashion Week.

It was a fitting marketing strategy for a brand always on the move and that this season wanted to reconnect with a more physical dimension after a year of digital experimentations.

The most notable of its activations in this area is the Canvas project introduced last year and aimed at enabling wholesale partners to build their own Sunnei collections through a customization service. Available at a dedicated VR-enhanced platform, Canvas offers select retailers the chance to personalize genderless carryover pieces including ready-to-wear and accessories by intervening on design aspects of each item, changing the length of sleeves, fabrics, colors and stitches, among others.

This time the brand translated the experience IRL, welcoming buyers to the Palazzina Sunnei headquarters, which were recently expanded to accommodate new communal spaces, offices and a showroom that staged a multisensorial installation.

Here, the white samples of the new Canvas collection were displayed next to screens connected to the platform, helping buyers to better envision the styles and touch fabrics while creating their own range.

Sunnei's third Canvas collection.

Sunnei’s third Canvas collection.  Courtesy of Sunnei

In its third iteration, the Sunnei Canvas collection was expanded to also include knitwear as well as new accessories, ranging from footwear to the brand’s Peso bag. New options in terms of prints were added, such as the “Everyday I wear Sunnei” slogan that was a recurrent motif across the showroom.

The hip Milanese brand’s founders Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo also extended the concept to end consumers, stepping into the business-to-consumer customization arena.

Upon pre-registration on the label’s website, from June 20 to 27 customers will be able to visit the space and directly personalize Sunnei pieces, receiving them at home after two to three weeks. The same opportunity will be also offered on sunnei.it.

For the moment, the assortment dedicated to end consumers will include just a T-shirt and shopping bag, which can be customized mostly in terms of prints and graphics and are priced at 130 euros and 150 euros, respectively.

“This is a test for now, but it’s something that we had in mind since the very beginning of the Canvas project,” Messina said on Saturday. “We’ll see how the audience will react, but the idea has always been to give this opportunity to everyone.”

The designer additionally stressed that there won’t be any overlap in the offering dedicated to two categories, as buyers will have different options in terms of designs and additional personalizations to pick from.

“The ultimate goal of Canvas is to not overcrowd the market with the same product everywhere,” he explained.

One of the avatars of Sunnei's third Canvas collection.

One of the avatars of Sunnei’s third Canvas collection.  Courtesy of Sunnei

For Messina, hosting the experience in a showroom answered the need to physically reconnect with the brand’s community and return to social life. As much as the company has a strong digital and social media expertise, physical events remain essential for its strategy.

“We can’t wait to return to stage a fashion show in September. [Runway shows] represent such an important moment for us and for everyone in this business, as we live with the energies we receive from others,” he concluded.