Stars must have aligned on Gemini last Friday. A few hours after Gucci made a poignant statement by sending 68 pairs of identical twins down its runway, Sunnei unveiled its spring collection with the same casting choice.
Yet the shared gimmick came with different executions and messages. Gucci revealed the trick by lifting a center divider at its show venue; Sunnei opted for a revolving door. The former hit an emotional chord exploring the relationship between identity and otherness; the latter opted for an ironic commentary on the deception of appearances.
Sunnei’s founders Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina certainly proved that budget is secondary when ideas are effective.
They squeezed their guests into a narrow room of their Palazzina Sunnei headquarters, which served as a minimalist runway. As the show started, one after the other, one of the twins in the crowd wearing ordinary clothes stepped up, walked the runway and disappeared behind the revolving door at the end of the catwalk. In a swish, their twin came out fully dressed in the brand’s spring collection.
It was a Clark Kent dynamic for a super Sunnei collection. The designers’ 1990s lexicon matured to include more sartorial pieces — from blazers and coats cinched by a rubber belt pouch to boxy vests — while their signature stripes got bolder and more textured, as seen in furry details as well as in the ruched effects and tubular construction on minidresses.
In a new turn, activewear shared the stage with eveningwear designs, including a charming halter-neck dress with sequins peeking from a slit, and sparkly and roomy overalls.
In a season where many brands added a democratic layer to their shows by opening them to the public, Sunnei delivered the same message with its small venue, suggesting that everyone can be transformed by Sunnei, whether or not you have a twin.