This story first appeared in the January 11, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Federico Curradi, who launched his namesake men’s brand in January at Pitti Uomo, is gearing up to make its runway debut at Milan Fashion Week.
The Tuscan designer, who is also creative director of outerwear specialist Peuterey and was previously in charge of Iceberg’s men’s line, will show his fall collection on Jan. 15 at the Base venue.
“I’m continuing the path I started last year by developing a collection that uses only eco-friendly materials sourced around Florence and Prato,” said Curradi, adding that the collection is also produced in the same Tuscan area where he lives among wolves, cows and horses.
In particular, the designer said he crafted fabrics made of luxury fibers such as silk, cashmere and alpaca, which are dyed to obtain soft textures with a lived-in look.
“I titled the collection ‘In the Middle of the Night’ because it plays on the dualism between the conscious and subconscious,” said Curradi, who added that for references, he looked at Nineties’ fashion with a mix of street, punkish and pop influences which he combined with a “classic elegance from the Twenties and Fifties.”
Curradi focused on deconstructed silhouettes with a relaxed, comfortable fit. “I tried to design timeless pieces that you can continue wearing season after season,” he said, revealing that a countrylike aesthetic also runs through the lineup, which includes a lightweight checked fabric. Painted patterns and embroideries also punctuate some of the pieces.
“The color palette is very dark — nocturnal — with black, dark green and gray, enlightened by touches of burnt brown,” Curradi said.
The lineup will retail from 300 euros, or $316, for pants and shirts, to 1,800 euros, or $1,897, for the most luxurious coats.
The Federico Curradi brand, which is distributed by Parisian showroom Noseason, is sold in 25 stores in Europe, Japan, Korea, the U.S. and Canada.
Lee Wood, the British designer who the Dirk Bikkembergs company appointed in June to be the creative director of its labels, will make his runway debut at Milan Men’s Fashion Week on Jan. 15.
“When I started this project, I asked myself: ‘What’s Dirk Bikkembergs, what can it offer nowadays?'” said Wood, who relocated from England to Milan in 1998 and worked with Donatella Versace for 16 years. “I went back to the roots of the brand, to the Antwerp Six, who really influenced my path, and I tried to find iconic starting points to build something new for the label.”
Through his research, Wood found that “rigor and discipline” could be used to shape a new image for the brand while remaining true to its heritage.
“I tried to create a poetic path by imagining a guy who has to leave his family to join the military: he is homesick, but at the same time he experiences the sense of comradeship,” Wood said. According to the designer, that guy’s search for balance between his contrasting feelings is reflected in each aspect of the collection, from the combination of military and sartorial influences to the adjusted stitching.
Folklorelike influences and superstitions are also found in the references to northern European shamans, which translate into prints with wild graphics.
Classic fabrics, such as wool and cotton, as well as Prince of Wales and chevron cloths, are crafted for tailored blazers, oversize coats and field jackets. Knitwear is worked in different fibers, including merino wool, chenille and mohair, along with a few technical yarns, and are featured in various patterns, including stripes.
The color palette includes black, different tones of white, cognac and grayish-green with accents of orange and yellow.
“Accessories are all very functional and are infused with a military-inspired feel,” said Wood, referring to the leather boots, backpacks, fanny packs and totes that complete some of the outfits.
Wood explained that under his creative direction, the Dirk Bikkembergs brand will have an intellectual, more mature attitude to differentiate it from the younger Bikkembergs label, which will focus on sportswear and ath-leisure.
“The two brands will be completely separate, even if they will have points in common, in particular the color palette, in order to have a coherent offering in our stores,” said Wood, revealing that the company is working on the creation of a new store concept.
Asked about the development of a women’s wear line, Wood said a women’s capsule will be introduced exclusively in the Bikkembergs collection, while the Dirk Bikkembergs brand will remain focused on men’s wear.
In 2015, Chinese retail group Canudilo acquired a 51 percent stake in the Dirk Bikkembergs company for 40.68 million euros, or $45.15 million at average exchange. The label, which ended 2014 with revenues of 100 million euros, or $122 million at average exchange, was previously controlled by Italian companies Zeis Excelsa and SNV, which each retain a 24.5 percent stake in the company. Zeis Excelsa and SNV continue to produce the brand’s footwear and ready-to-wear collections, respectively.
At the time of the acquisition, Canudilo said it was planning to invest 60 million euros, or $66.6 million, to boost the international expansion of Dirk Bikkembergs.
Music and fashion have always been interwoven in the personal and professional path of Dorian Stefano Tarantini, known as Dorian Gray — cool hunter, DJ and art director of Milan’s legendary Plastic Club — who is making his runway debut at Milan Fashion Week with his first full collection for his Malibu 1992 niche luxury brand.
“Malibu 1992 was born in 2013 as a video art project, which through the video mix-tape formula became viral and caught the attention of German designer Bernhard Willhelm, who used the video not only as inspiration for his fall 2013 collection, but also for the soundtrack of his show in Paris,” Gray said. The Milan-based artist was asked to create the music for the shows of several houses, including Versace, Moschino and Rochas.
After creating a second video, he decided to translate images from that video into a collection of “extreme jewels,” as Gray defined them, then handmade men’s wear pieces.
“The creation of a real brand was the natural evolution of a philosophy that uses the codes of branding, marketing and finance to define the aesthetic of a new-new-new economy dedicated to art collecting,” said Gray, who revealed that he reunited a team of friends specialized in different fields to develop his latest collection.
Asked about the theme of his fall lineup, Gray said it puts the focus on the fact that “Italy has always been a source of cultural and artistic input, not only in ancient times, but also in the recent past and in the present, which is an aspect that people tend to underestimate.”
To highlight this position, Gray looked at the country’s Nineties’ club scene, in particular Riccione’s Cocoricò, one of the most important clubs on the international nightlife scene.
“His opening in 1989 marked the kickoff of an era which deeply influenced the contemporary culture and style and which [symbolized] both the night and the everyday life of an entire generation,” Gray said. “Malibu 1992 becomes a tool to bring back to light what was submerged, to cure the injuries which for too long darkened the beauty of Italy — a country so rich of references and young energies.”
This translates into a collection that offers versatile pieces with comfortable fits created using traditional sartorial techniques.
Among the key pieces are the “unisex oversized hunting jacket,” which Gray rendered in variations and materials, including British coated cotton, vegan crocodile skin and chinchilla fur, mohair, ecological python skin, nylon and mesh.
“The sartorial tuxedo also got the Malibu 1992 treatment, which makes it no-frill and oversize with three-button jackets showing zippers and drawstrings,” said Gray, adding that he also developed a denim capsule collection in collaboration with Melting Pot. “The capsule includes extremely rare vintage jean styles, made by Melting Pot between 1994 and 1998 — there are ultra baggy five pockets, as well as oversize workers’ styles.”
The color palette is focused on black, white and “ultraviolet.”
The Malibu 1992 collection retails from 100 euros, or $106 at current exchange, to 3,000 euros, or $3,173, and is sold in luxury concept and department stores. “Our goal is to enlarge our business in the United States, which is our target market,” Gray said.
Palm Angels, the men’s wear label founded by Francesco Ragazzi, is making a comeback at Milan Fashion Week with a show scheduled for Jan. 16.
“I really wanted to do something at home after two seasons in Paris, where there is always so much going on. We will try to do something different from what Milan is used to seeing and we hope to bring some energy to the city’s fashion week,” said Ragazzi, who is also Moncler’s art director. “I’m curious to see the reaction of people in Milan who are not really used to this kind of project. We really want to do something completely new, something that Milan has never seen before.”
While he’s keeping the format under wraps for now, Ragazzi said for the fall lineup, he looked at American culture — a constant inspiration for the brand — and in particular, imagined a guy who graduates from an Ivy League college and enters the working world. “There are strong college references combined with a Wall Streetlike sartorial mood,” said the designer. “Of course, there is always the influence of Los Angeles’ skate culture, which is in the roots of Palm Angels.”
Ragazzi worked a “preppy” palette inspired by “college uniforms and logos,” he said, citing yellow, green and blue as among the tones used in the lineup.
At Milan Fashion Week, Palm Angels will unveil a new logo featuring a palm inside a triangle and will also show its first capsule collection dedicated to women’s wear. “It will be like a teaser of a full women’s collection which will debut in September,” said Ragazzi.
Palm Angels is sold in 165 doors across Europe, the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.
“We really hope to open our first flagship in 2017 and it will be located in Asia,” Ragazzi revealed.
Danish contemporary brand Wood Wood is making its debut at Milan Fashion Week with a runway show to be held at the Base venue in the Tortona Fashion District on Jan. 16. Wood Wood is the guest brand of the White trade show that will be held in the city from Jan. 14 to 16.
“For this collection, we got inspired by New York’s hip-hop scene in the Nineties,” said Karl-Oskar Olsen, who founded Wood Wood with his business partner Brian SS Jensen in 2002. “There is a lot of sportswear, but we also created a clash between this street-inspired theme and more formal looks.”
The lineup, which will include 18 men’s outfits and eight women’s looks, will be focused on a loose, relaxed fit with jackets, high-waisted pants with drop crotches and oversize shirts — all worked in different types of wool, as well as technical twill. Some pieces will be splashed with a print, “which is an arty take on the Nineties’ hip-hop logo-mania,” he said, as well as more classic checks. The color palette will be centered on navy and brown with red accents.
On the catwalk, Wood Wood will also show the fruits of its collaboration with three established brands: Barbour for outerwear, Champion for fleece pieces and jackets, and Asics for two running-shoe styles.
The collection will wholesale from $110 for a T-shirt to $725 for a leather jacket.
Wood Wood, which is based in Copenhagen, operates boutiques in Berlin, Copenhagen and Aarhus, as well as an online store.