MILAN — Italian designer Dorian Stefano Tarantini is changing the name of his brand Malibu 1992 into M1992. The new moniker will make its debut during the upcoming edition of Pitti Uomo, running Jan. 9 to 12 in Florence.
“It’s not such a radical change,” said Tarantini, addressing his will to “polish, simplify the name and have a more neutral [starting point]” for his creative process.
“Malibu  tied me too much to the city of Malibu and California, which will remain part of my [inspirations], but I preferred to shorten the name also because M is the initial of Malibu but also of Milan, which is my city,” he added. The designer further stressed the importance of having a “code name, which opens to more possibilities” and of “characterizing the brand with my products and collections,” rather than with a name.
Launched almost four years ago as an artistic, 30-minute video project, Malibu 1992 evolved into a fashion brand combining Tarantini’s tornado of inspirations, ranging from music to neoclassicism, from punk to Californian luxury.
After two seasons of runway shows in Milan, the brand will unveil its new name and fashion course in Florence, as it has been selected as a special project at the upcoming edition of Pitti Uomo.
Tarantini said about being included in the fair: “Pitti has always supported young talents and lately it has been promoting international avant-garde brands.”
Although details on the location are not available, M1992’s fall 2018 collection will show an evolution of the designer’s aesthetic.
“When you start working, after a while you perfect, dilute and learn to manage ideas, even though my inspirations will remain the same,” he said, mentioning in particular music and past and current online subcultures.
The introduction in the lineup will be a “change in geo-location.” The designer will depart from his latest, California-centric spring collection and focus on typical elements of Milanese style. “It’s going to be a reinterpretation of the Milanese style from the Eighties’ youth culture to the 2000s, with references to iconic Italian brands of [that time].”
In particular, the collection will feature collaborations with a range of Italian labels, including El Charro for belts and Meltin’ Pot for a denim lineup, “which will be a very strong and consistent part” of the line. The brand will also team with an Italian footwear company for the production of American college-inspired loafers.
Tarantini’s goal is “to take into consideration that energy and vitality which Milan had [in the Eighties]” and show that the country’s fashion scene always had many relevant subcultures, similar to the current Eastern European ones.
According to Tarantini, his creative process has also been impacted by the attendance at Pitti Uomo. “[This] led a little bit to our stylistic choices, as we introduced sartorial elements and other materials [in addition to technical fabrics].”
As a result, the designer thinks the collection will broaden the brand’s target customer due to an international audience of consumers and buyers.
Also set during Pitti Uomo, the International Woolmark Prize will host its global final on Jan. 9 at the former train station Stazione Leopolda.
The final will combine men’s wear and women’s wear categories and reveal two winners, who will receive 200,000 Australian dollars, or $153,400, to invest in the development of their businesses and the opportunity to have their collections distributed by prominent retailers, such as Harvey Nichols in the U.K, L’Eclaireur in Paris and Boon the Shop in South Korea.
“Scouting and internationalism, support of emerging talents and of research in fashion are essential elements in the DNA of Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery,” said the foundation’s president Andrea Cavicchi. The executive underscored that the awarding of men’s wear and women’s wear prizes is “an additional proof of Pitti Uomo’s role not only for men’s wear fashion but for the global fashion scene.”
As reported, this year, Woolmark Co. will introduce an additional prize, the Innovation Award, which the company has launched with Fashion Tech Lab. The goal is to bridge the gap between new technologies, sustainable innovations and luxury fashion and educate and empower finalists through a dedicated mentorship program.
The winner of the award, who will have displayed the most innovative approach toward reducing fashion’s environmental and social impact, will receive 100,000 Australian dollars and worldwide promotional support as a prize.
Fashion Tech Lab founder and chief executive officer Miroslava Duma will be part of the jury that will select the winner of the Innovation Award.