MILAN — Streetwear veteran Giorgio Di Salvo is the new creative director of Anti-do-to, the genderless brand that launched in 2020 embedding social and sustainable practices in its operations, including earmarking 50 percent of its net profits to the development of projects with a significant social and environmental impact.
“After meeting the Anti-do-to team we started discussing the go-forward plan, for the brand and my involvement, and I think they needed someone at the creative helm,” Di Salvo said in an interview. “I think the brand’s mission and USP are very interesting and combined with my background I’m sure they will produce interesting clashes,” he said.
A mainstay of the international underground and street scene, the designer has masterminded several hip streetwear brands and projects, from Vngrd to Uppercut, and consulted for marquee names in that space, including Stüssy, Kanye West’s Pastelle brand, Off-White and Marcelo Burlon County of Milan, before launching his own label United Standard.
Di Salvo is joining the group of investors and fashion experts behind the project to spearhead its next phase homing in on the brand’s values and bringing in a disruptive point of view in product and communication. He said that the sustainability conversation, for instance, often centers on technicalities and a scientific approach, resulting in cold communication that he wants to soften by injecting coolness and a community-driven approach.
The first effort under Di Salvo’s creative helm is the Earthbound capsule collection dropping Wednesday and featuring 15 items, each available in different colorways, with workwear inflections and lots of tie-dye.
Developed around the key theme of retracing the connection with Mother Earth and the soil, it uses GOTS-certified and GRS-approved cotton, dyed with mineral, ZDHC-certified pigments, such as metal oxides, Prussian blue powder and carbonates, among others. As part of the lineup, Anti-do-to is introducing the Zetaterra dye which ensures lower energy consumption and operating temperatures, as well as improved management of waste waters.
“It all came naturally, we found the Italian dyeing company and used their natural dyes, which gave aesthetical character to the project but also resonated technically and concept-wise with the brand’s DNA,” said Di Salvo. “Like everything we will do, this is an expression of my way of doing things, which intertwines my network in the underground culture and scene with Anti-do-to’s sustainability and socially charged bent,” he said.
With all its sweats and unfussy clothing exuding a youthful vibe, this collection and the brand could easily be labeled as streetwear, but not in Di Salvo’s view. “I think the word streetwear in its ‘pop’ connotation has been used instead of casualwear, which sounded outdated, more formal, and uncool… but many of the brands being labeled as such are not really streetwear brands,” Di Salvo said.
Streetwear was born out of a certain culture, values and music, he contended, and Anti-do-to can definitely cross-pollinate with that world and other cultural phenomena without necessarily needing to be described as streetwear.