Italian designer Tiziano Guardini, the first ever recipient of the Franca Sozzani Green Carpet Challenge Award for best emerging designer in 2017, has found his aesthetic mandate in an all-around approach to sustainability .

“We’re experiencing an embryonic moment in [sustainable] fashion, but customers’ awareness is rising and eco fashion is no longer deprived of style,” Guardini noted. In developing his fall lineup, the designer took inspiration from the vision of a woman of color strolling around New York’s streets and suddenly finding herself in the Bronx.

The collection was heavy on animal motifs rendered in primary colors – yellow, magenta, blue – on cocoon jacquard coats crafted from mulesing-free and regenerated wools. A leopard pattern in red stood out on the bottom half of a denim pantsuit. A roaring leopard appeared juxtaposed to lotus flowers on a range of loose crewnecks knitted with nylon yarns, which one could easily mistake for wool.

Guardini may no longer need to prove his knowledge of, and confidence with, green fabrics. His next goal should be to focus more on similar well-executed examples of engineered craftsmanship.