FORWARD THREE: Parisian soccer fans, look away now.
Paris-based label Koché is teaming up with the AC Milan soccer club for an upcycled capsule collection that sees the brand’s creative director, Christelle Kocher, rework unused jerseys into limited-edition pieces splicing the club’s iconic “rossonero” (or “black and red” in Italian) stripe with denim, a lace print and her label’s sports-couture approach.
“That’s how it is with the mercato,” joked the designer, likening this decision to work with Milan’s soccer team after partnering up with the Paris Saint-Germain club in 2018 to the scores of French players who play in other countries.
Now spending more time in Italy after signing in 2019 with OTB’s production arm Staff International, soccer fan Kocher saw a parallel between Paris and Milan, both fashion capitals with a famous soccer club. She described the club as a “reference, with a very tactical, elegant playing style — and [OTB chairmain] Renzo Rosso is a big fan,” she said.
Reimagining these deadstock items, drawn from unsold club merchandise, and pairing it with leftover fabrics from her own label appealed to Kocher as a way to “give back value to pieces that can’t be sold [as is] anymore” and be more responsible, but also finding an outlet for “the joyful creativity that we put in making items more unique and special,” she said.
The Milanese soccer club’s chief revenue officer Casper Stylsvig deemed the collaboration to be “based on shared passions, a common approach and a focus on sustainability” both with sports company Puma, the global technical supplier for the soccer club, and Koché, and a step in showing that AC Milan has “a role to play in the broader world of fashion and culture.”
Praising the combination of the club’s stripes with Koché’s style as a “beautiful and unexpected Re.Koché look,” Puma’s global creative director Heiko Desens said these were “definitely on the list of [his] favorite styling items” for the coming summer. “We are setting a new standard in fashion and sport with this luxurious upcycling project,” he wrote in an email.
The six-piece capsule includes a T-shirt, a button-down shirt, a hoodie, denim pieces and a dress, each in limited runs of 50 to 150 items. They will be available on Koché’s e-commerce and from a selection of retailers such as London’s LN-CC at the kickoff of Paris Fashion Week on Feb. 28. — Lily Templeton
Urquiola insisted the lineup should be displayed outside the Italian brand’s headquarters for the first time and in a space that would represent her. Accordingly, the collection could be viewed at CC-Tapis, an Italian design company that produces contemporary handmade rugs for residential and contract spaces.
Against the backdrop of Urquiola’s rugs, the collection reflected her personality and inspirations, blending the fashion and architecture worlds. “This is my own context,” she said gazing around the rooms, adding that her aim is to “expand different sectors and point of views. The collection’s narrative is about hybrid pieces that welcome you as a home — an emotional habitat.”
The collection was marked by an eye-catching mix of colors — from purple to blue and green — bold textures and graphic patterns. She revisited a selection of coats in cocoon shapes from existing Weekend Max Mara silhouettes, juxtaposing wool and ribbed knits with technical nylon with reflective effects — all in roomy silhouette. “I don’t like anything that is too constricting,” she said.
Urquiola reinterpreted the house’s signature Pasticcino bag with a padded vertical pattern for a 3D effect or with diagonal lines that created an iridescent glow, with supersized boule clasps.