MILAN — Milan Men’s Fashion Week didn’t lose its spark, despite a thinner calendar and the uncertainties caused by the Omicron variant, which forced brands to hold smaller shows and international retailers to view the collections remotely on their screens.
No matter: Buyers gave their seal of approval to the creativity seen for fall.
“Milan was an energetic and vibrant start to the fall 2022 men’s wear shows,” said Louis DiGiacomo, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s at Saks Fifth Avenue. “Overall there was a strong balance of sartorial elegance and functional sportswear that definitely positions us for an exciting season.”
“While the global pandemic continues to add a layer of uncertainty to what the upcoming fall season will look like, one thing is for sure: we’ll all be impeccably dressed,” said Joseph Tang, fashion director at Holt Renfrew. “The Milan collections brought back the desire to get dressed up again, with newfound codes of formal attire emphasizing fluid silhouettes, luxurious fabrications and updated sartorial details. While we continue to review the collections virtually, we are excited by what we’ve seen in Milan and glad to see designers have found a way to blend the comfort of casualwear into sophisticated styles that our customers will want to wear for all aspects of their lives.”
Embracing this need for comfort, knitwear was ubiquitous, as were soft pants and voluminous jackets and outerwear — often technical, perfect for the ongoing outdoors trend. Layering contributed to the sense of ease in the collections, but dressing up was top-of-mind for most designers, who seemed to yearn for a return to partying and events — hence the return of tailored looks and formal uppers and boots, with sneakers less predominant than in the past. Fabric innovation and detailing were key. Textural surfaces such as corduroy and shearling and long belted coats were also strong trends.
Here, retailers’ views of the Milan fall season as the fashion circuit heads to Paris.
Bruce Pask, men’s fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus
Favorite collections: The Prada collection was a real standout for me, a strong statement and return to a dressed-up elegance that we are seeing throughout the market. The tailored topcoats in particular were magnificent, with slightly extended shoulders and sleeves in shapes that skirted the body nicely, some with asymmetric closures and bands of faux fur around sleeves and coat hems that made for some very extravagant, memorable looks, especially when worn by actors Jeff Goldblum, Damson Idris, Kyle MacLachlan, and others. I was also completely charmed by Dean and Dan Caten’s terrific Dsquared2 runway show that featured an assortment of models masterfully styled as outdoorsmen in layers of colorful nylon quilted outerwear, scenic sweaters and plaid flannels worn over denim or leggings and paired with hiking and puffer shorts and trail walking boots, all accessorized to the hilt. It was fantastic and the twins at their best. Brunello Cucinelli also featured a return to elegance and refinement in a virtual presentation of the collection that he narrated, showing terrific soft tailoring, luxurious outerwear and rich marled knitwear styled predominantly with shirts and ties to add to this overall dressed-up mood. Accents of red and orange in corduroy trousers, technical vests, and Fair Isle sweaters added nice, seasonal color.
Best presentation concept: Zegna’s collection, lushly filmed throughout their Oasi Zegna nature preserve, gave great focus to Alessandro Sartori’s collection that blended indoors and outdoors through the layering of garments, usage of technical and natural fabrications, and easy, adaptable silhouettes, all in a color palette that evoked the surroundings. This epic scene juxtaposed with studio footage of dozens of synchronized dancers precisely choreographed by Sadeck Berrabah was absolutely stunning and such an expansive, creative use of the virtual format.
Trendspotting: There is an overarching dressed-up elegance that we saw throughout the collections, from the wonderful topcoats and tailoring at Prada, Brioni, and Kiton to the relaxed refinement at Brunello Cucinelli with shirts and ties making an important reappearance. There was a nice attention to proportion, with slightly fuller shapes and dropped, extended shoulders in jackets and outerwear. Sweaters made a big statement, from Fair Isles to bold graphics at Etro, Dsquared2 and Missoni, which included a great selection of colorful, slightly slouchy cardigans and a special ski-influenced capsule. In addition to these winter knits, there was a sporty, alpine vibe in collections like Dsquared, Zegna and Dolce & Gabbana that included more slope-appropriate technical outerwear, nylon quilting and puffers as well as sherpas and shearlings for the après ski hours. We are continuing to see abbreviated, smaller bags for men trending throughout the designer accessory market and they were featured throughout the Fendi runway show.
Must-have item: A tailored topcoat, with some of the best seen at Prada; a colorful, heavy gauge statement sweater; a smaller, abbreviated crossbody bag; a luxe suede or shearling jacket.
Buying process: We will continue our seasonal buying with teams utilizing a hybrid process of virtual and in-person appointments whenever possible in New York showrooms.
General comments: There is an inherent optimism in the market, with many of the collections placing a focus on a dressed-up elegance, featuring tailoring worn in soft, relaxed ways that look incredibly polished and aspirational. This more gentlemanly mood also translated beautifully into more tailored outerwear, in both more traditional and also very directional shapes and detailing. There is an overall richness throughout the collections that is sure to resonate strongly with our Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman customers.
Joseph Tang, fashion director of Holt Renfrew
Favorite collections: Prada and Fendi were the standout collections of the week.
Best presentation concept: The all-star cast at Prada with Jeff Goldblum closing the show was a fun way to end to the week. We remain intrigued by what we see as Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons continue to explore their creative synergies.
Trendspotting: Trends we are excited by are the increased emphasis on monochromatic dressing done in rich, textural fabrications like corduroy, suede and shearling seen at Zegna, Brunello Cucinelli and Brioni. There continues to be a fluid and relaxed nature to the collections, with lightweight wools and silks seen at Fendi and Prada. Outerwear is always a big trend for the Canadian customer and elongated puffers and wool coats dominated this season’s runways from Dolce & Gabbana, Dsquared2 and Alyx.
Must-have item: Must-haves on our list this season include a mini crossbody bag from Fendi, Prada’s oversized bomber jackets, the wide-legged wool trouser from Zegna, novelty knit intarsia sweaters from Dsquared2 and an unstructured sports coat from Brunello Cucinelli.
Video format: Alessandro Sartori’s video runway presentation for the Zegna collection offered a beautiful backdrop of virtual and outdoor scenery to showcase the rebranded vision of the house. Sartori offered an array of covetable styles that we believe will anchor the new direction of men’s wear for our sartorial customers. It’s refreshing to see a men’s designer embrace gender fluidity so seamlessly.
Budgets: Budgets remain flat, but we always preserve funds for brands and/or designers that excite us in market.
Buying process: We continue to put our customers at the core of how and what we buy each season. While we were not in person to see the collections this season, we work with brands virtually through in-depth buying appointments with swatch cards and detailed videos and images to make the best decisions that will satisfy our customers. We are optimistic we’ll be able to see product in person next season.
Louis DiGiacomo, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s at Saks Fifth Avenue
Favorite collections: Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana and Zegna.
Best presentation concept: I loved Zegna’s creative infusion of outdoor and indoor settings to demonstrate the functionality and versatility of the collection. I also enjoyed the energy of Dolce & Gabbana’s presentation with Machine Gun Kelly.
Trendspotting: We saw a strong influence of the outdoors in Milan, with ski-gear and skate-culture showing up as key trends. We also saw a ton of relaxed silhouettes on the runways in everything from tailoring to denim. There was also a significant presence of futuristic and meta-fashion with a more youthful vibe which will be an important trend for fall ‘22.
Must have item: A double-breasted jacket or novelty knitwear from Fendi, Zegna or Etro.
Laurent Coulier, men’s wear offer and buying director at Galeries Lafayette
Favorite collections: Prada, for the structured tailoring and gorgeous knitwear, and Jordan Luca, for the genderless styles and effortless silhouette.
Best presentation concept: Prada — the set was covered with a bronze carpet from floor [to] walls to seats, and also for the music.
Trendspotting: Glitter and festive at Dolce & Gabbana, Dsquared2 and JW Anderson. Optimistic colors: orange at Prada, Dsquared2 and Etro, yellow at Jordan Luca, pink at D&G.
Must-have item: A sequined top or trousers and bright-colored knitwear.
Video format: Zegna, with its wonderful landscapes and clothing tones.
Budgets: Up, compared to the last fall-winter season.
Buying process: As for the last seasons, we will do some physical appointments in the Parisian and Milano showrooms as well as some virtual buying sessions.
General comment on the season: Milan was quite short in terms of shows, but it was very optimistic, and we felt a great energy during these shows. The collections were very colored, very festive and quite strong in terms of fashion statement.
Damien Paul, head of men’s wear at Matchesfashion
Favorite collections: Zegna, Prada and Fendi.
Best presentation concept: Rem Koolhaas’ sci-fi vortex for Prada felt like a glimpse into the future and also translated really strongly when viewing digitally.
Trendspotting: We have seen pink and deep burgundy colors everywhere — at Zegna, Prada, JW Anderson, Etro and 1017 Alyx 9SM.
Must-have item: Tonal layered suiting at Zegna and relaxed leather pants at Fendi.
General comment on the season: There was a relaxed, freer feeling in Milan this season. A new take on tailoring foundations but a bit more youthful. The keen Italian eye for cut and fabrications still reigns king though!
Margaux Lataste, men’s wear luxury and designer buyer at Printemps and Printemps.com
Favorite collection: Prada.
Best presentation concept: No big surprise: Prada. I think it’s brilliant that Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons put cinema and entertainment back into the heart of fashion and culture, after the years we have just lived.
Trendspotting: Dressed-up, sophisticated but ready to face life outside and go back to work. Dark colors, but strong and elegant items.
Must-have item: Shouldered jacket or coat and strong outerwear.
Buying process: Both physical and digital.
General comment on the season: Back to “real life” and fashion for everyone!
Federica Montelli, head of fashion at Rinascente
Favorite collections: Fendi, JW Anderson, Zegna and Etro were my favorites. A strong showing by Dolce & Gabbana, MSGM, 1017 Alyx 9SM, Federico Cina and Magliano among the younger names.
Best presentation concept: Milan Fashion Week was all about the return to a physical runway, therefore the general feeling is that there was less focus and creativity in curating digital assets. Show-wise, Dolce & Gabbana was one of the highlights with a live performance by Machine Gun Kelly.
Trendspotting: The new way of dressing is a sort of “business casual,” where a general casual look is paired with more formal or tailored items, be it a statement coat or tailored pants. Volumes have an early 2000s Sk8r boy feel. Pants and denim are generally loose and early 2000s-inspired, while some more directional brands experimented with tight tailored pants. Knitwear is still a focus, with long intarsia sweaters in strong colors, layered on top of flowy blouses and oversized shirts. Tactile materials and accessories still speak an outdoor inspiration, with sneakers gradually fading from the runway in favor of booties and formal uppers with sturdy rounded soles. Bright colors are favored, with a special mention for purple, green and pink.
Must-have item: Fendi’s baguette, Prada’s roll-neck base layers and jewelry, Etro’s intarsia sweaters. The balaclava is a must, seen in several brands.
General comment on the season: There was a positive build-up preceding Milan Fashion Week, which was supposed to be stronger than ever. Unfortunately the pandemic situation forced a few designers to take on last-minute changes on their presentation plans. This took a toll on the general mood of the weekend, even though there were many interesting proposals from designers.
Jian DeLeon, men’s fashion and editorial director at Nordstrom
Favorite collections: I quite liked the way that JW Anderson and Matthew Williams’ 1017 Alyx 9SM both reimagined clubwear and rave culture in their own specific ways. Anderson’s micro-sequin trousers and metallic polos were purportedly inspired by a TikTok spiral, but they complement the high-shine PVC outerwear and high-vis pops at 1017 Alyx 9SM perfectly. 4S Designs continues to get better each season. Fall 2022 is designer Angelo Urrutia’s most personal collection to date, melding his enthusiasm for “militaria” and patterns with meaningful symbols from along the Mexico/American border. Zegna’s latest collection was a strong showing as the label continues to reinvent itself as a true luxury lifestyle brand. Along with Fendi and Prada, it represents how men’s wear’s tailored past and dressed-down present are trying to meet in the middle in brand new ways — whether it’s reimagined men’s wear checks at Fendi or Raf Simons dipping into his codes of subversive uniforms at Prada.
Best presentation concept: Prada’s stunt casting, opening with Kyle MacLachlan and closing with Jeff Goldblum, feels so on brand and at the same time something so perfectly meant for how fashion is consumed — on the social media timeline.
Trendspotting: Big, voluminous topcoats aren’t going anywhere. A newer silhouette arrives in the form of the belted military coat. The luxurious fleece blouson, whether from Zegna, 1017 Alyx 9SM or 4S Designs toes the line between cozy outdoor-inspired style and a streetwear staple.
Must-have item: A pair of the EVA Mono Boots from Matthew Williams’ 1017 Alyx 9SM.
Simon Longland, head of men’s wear at Harrods
Favorite collections: As always, Prada was a standout this season and presented a strong and brilliantly executed collection, from their luxurious outerwear and considered layering to an infusion of interesting bags and accessories it was exciting to see and will set the tone for the season to come. Zegna’s presentation was exceptionally crafted; full of beautiful outerwear, fabric innovation, exquisite detailing and the continued development of Alessandro Sartori’s modernization of the traditional wardrobe. A collection that is as versatile as it is beautiful.
Best presentation: Prada was an exciting show to see this season, a winning combination of a visually interesting setting, unexpected faces, and an impressive and elevated collection. Brioni’s static presentation was magnificent, set in an abandoned palazzo, adorned with faded frescoes and an impressive installation of mirrors and spotlights. The dark and moody surrounding allowed the product to really shine and take focus under the spotlights, a visually pleasing experience, and a memorable way to celebrate the return to Milan.
Best video format: Zegna produced a visually stunning film, transporting us through different times and scenes all while beautifully presenting a wearable and luxurious collection.
Trendspotting: The one trend that was utterly unmissable was the statement shoulder across all of the outerwear shown; from Prada’s leather trenchcoats and boxy blazers to oversized overcoats from Alyx — this is definitely a trend I expect to see throughout the rest of the season both in the shows, and in stores. Mini bags were everywhere this week spanning a myriad range of silhouettes, materials, functions and end uses. There was a noticeable shift in footwear in Milan, stepping away from classic sneaker styles and moving toward boots in all forms, including Prada’s iconic chunky soles to a more traditional and sartorial boot from Fendi. When sneakers were present, they took form in a more seamless and sculpted shape — seen from Alyx, Dolce & Gabbana and Zegna.
Must-have item: Long belted overcoats were everywhere this season and rightfully so, a versatile and timeless piece that fit seamlessly in any wardrobe. Prada took this to the next level with a plethora of different fabrics and strong, statement shoulders.
General comment on the season: It’s exciting to be back at the shows in person once again. There’s nothing like seeing and experiencing the clothes in person!
Justin Berkowitz, men’s fashion director at Bloomingdale’s
Favorite collections: Zegna, Prada and Brioni.
Best presentation concept: Prada’s unexpected casting and subversive manipulation of masculine tropes received quite a bit of attention. Jeff Goldblum’s turn on the runway was the special moment the social media world was waiting for from Milan Fashion Week.
Trendspotting: Celebratory and occasion-oriented fashion, whether executed in finely tailored formalwear or club-ready sportswear, is a popular trend as the runways were full of clothes ready for the party. Military, uniform and utility inspirations were also well represented and often iterated through trench coats and cargo pocket details on pants or outerwear. Ski and active outdoor inspirations were also prevalent. This was embodied by color-blocked puffers and shells and Fair Isle sweaters that all looked right for the slope and the sidewalk.
Must-have Item: The boiler suits at Prada were super covetable, especially the deep purple version.
Video format, if applicable: Zegna’s video production work continues to be incredibly strong. The combination of multiple locations and complex choreography augmented a stellar fashion collection this season.
Riccardo Tortato, head of buying departments and men’s fashion director, Tsum, Moscow and DLT, St. Petersburg
Favorite collections: Zegna, Brunello Cucinelli, Kiton and Dsquared2.
Best presentation concept: I liked a lot the mix of digital and physical in Zegna. Personally I am a big supporter of the traditional fashion show so I reward all the brands that put the best effort to present their collection live.
Trendspotting: Formalwear is back and is back strong.
Must-have item: Santoni shoes.
Budgets: We had an amazing 2021 and we approach fall 2022 full of optimism. We are increasing the number of new customers and we see that they appreciate a lot the selection of product and the exclusivity of our services. The clients that used to shop internationally are now happy to shop with us and they cannot find the services that we provide to them anywhere else. We are the leader in e-commerce in the region and we try to provide the same high level of service even on our e-commerce.
Buying process: 99 percent physical.
General comment on the season: I hope to be back on a “normal” fashion week ASAP because the creativity offered by the brands is great and deserves an equal great stage.
Bosse Myhr, director of women’s wear and men’s wear at Selfridges
Favorite collections: Prada was, without doubt, the standout of Milan, and the coats will be on our wish list for fall 2022. Another favorite was OAMC, which we saw in the showroom — amazing outerwear, reworked pieces based on vintage army blankets and a modern sharpness that is perfectly on point for the way our customers wants to dress now.
Best presentation concept: The Alyx presentation was fantastic. Set in an old church with only 75 guests, it felt like a real moment.
Trendspotting: It seems that everything is sharpening up a little. Long jackets and trousers are key items, with the statement coat (as seen at Prada) being the must-have item for the next season, for sure.
Buying process: Where restrictions allow, we are trying to attend buying appointments in person as the interaction with samples, fabrics and colors in real life cannot be replicated.
General comment on the season: Both Milan and Florence, with Pitti, felt quieter overall as a lot of shows were moved and some canceled. The reliance and effort to create a safe, successful fashion week, despite all the obstacles, was noticeable and executed by the Camera della Moda flawlessly as well as by the team organizing PItti Uomo in Florence.
Mytheresa men’s wear buying team
Favorite collections: Zegna and Prada
Best presentation concept: Digital presentation from Zegna.
Trendspotting: Outerwear, natural and earthy colors, oversized bags and prominent accessories and jewelry.
Must-have item: Oversized bomber jacket from Zegna and Weekender bag from Fendi.
Buying process: Half physical, half digital due to the fact that some shows have been canceled.
General comment on the season: Milan was a great start of the season and already presented strong collections for the upcoming fall 2022 season.