It’s not just about the clothes: Milan Vukmirovic believes designers should speak up and send a message down the runway. “I am touched by what happens around me and I feel it’s very important to fight for diversity, against violence at such challenging times, with a hopeful and positive spirit, looking for unity and solidarity,” the designer said backstage. True to his word, Vukmirovic for Ports 1961 blended Jean Michel Basquiat influences, the hip-hop scene in New York and the early Eighties with abstract African patterns on embroideries and prints. As for the message in the medium, the designer gave a shoutout to the Black Lives Matter movement with its symbol, the clenched fist, and “Only Love Matters” graphics splayed on knits. In sync with some of the main trends seen for spring, a retro sports influence ran through the collection, as well as pops of color and the reinvented trench. The designer played with stripes, adding a marine touch to the relaxed silhouettes in the lineup.
In February, Ports International Enterprises Ltd. appointed Jenny Tan and Matteo De Rosa chief executive officer and managing director of the group’s Ports 1961 label, respectively, with the goal to further strengthen and expand the business worldwide. Even with the political undertone, the collection shown Saturday had a commercial appeal which should help the company in this strategy.
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