Milan

La Double J Resort 2023

La Double J Resort 2023

The printed universe of La Double J has gradually expanded to cover everything from apparel to tableware since its launch in 2015, but editor-turned-entrepreneur J.J. Martin still found ways to splash her Technicolor patterns on new items with her resort effort.
The energetic founder approached the season with an encyclopedic mind-set, delivering several capsule collections for the occasions this release is to target, ranging from opulent occasionwear for the end-of-year holiday season to swimwear options for the first toe dips into the waters of exotic seaside destinations.

Eveningwear stood out for its rich brocade jacquards, fil-coupé and sparkly embroideries as well as floral appliqués on long frocks, minidresses, cropped tops and full skirts. Matching reversible puffers and parka jackets added to the high-drama moment, offering shelter from the cold weather in style.

“There have been plenty of cheap brands copying us. So we go up, we go higher,” said Martin when questioned about the richer-than-ever occasionwear focus.
While this section embodied the maximalist pinnacle of the lineup, more quotidian pieces were just as compelling. The brand’s first silk and cotton pajama sets looked comfy and chic; a trenchcoat style introduced for urban occasions charmed both in an eye-popping floral pattern as well as a classic camel version with printed silk collar and belt; a plethora of dresses came in many new silhouettes — from flouncy to essential A-line — or cut in shorter proportions to accommodate the needs and body types of a wider audience.

Beach options were versatile, too, with bikinis and one-piece swimsuits that could transition from daytime at the sea to sunset aperitivos, especially when styled with reversible skirts or airy caftans. Footwear developed with shoe manufacturer Roveda 1995 also shone bright, including wedge sandals bedecked in the seasonal prints.
For those still demurely approaching the exuberance of La Double J’s geometric and floral graphics, Martin released a gift capsule collection comprising printed travel pouches in different sizes, reversible silk bags and headbands. Yet these items are given out carefully: once one gets a taste of Martin’s vivid world, everything else might look faded in comparison.

Jil Sander’s Lucie and Luke Meier on Going Coed, Menswear Push and Brand Milestones

Jil Sander’s Lucie and Luke Meier on Going Coed, Menswear Push and Brand Milestones

MILAN — Ask Luke Meier the biggest lesson he has learned so far sitting at the creative helm of Jil Sander with his wife Lucie and a concise yet striking love declaration is offered as the answer. “That my wife and I are indestructible,” he said during a Zoom call, his piercing eyes looking right into the camera emphasizing the conviction in his words.It was the punchline of a 20-minute conversation that touched on different themes, from a reflection on the work the couple has done during their five-year tenure at the OTB-controlled brand to a new menswear push and a newsy change of show format.
While many luxury brands are switching back to present womenswear and menswear separately, the Meiers are embracing the coed formula again, planning to stage a runway show to introduce both lines’ spring 2023 collection in September.

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“We’ve always liked that idea.…We have our minds both in men’s and women’s all the time, anyway. It’s really the same universe,” said Luke Meier about going coed, which is a format they favored in their early days at Jil Sander. As the womenswear offering included pre-collections, the couple then separated the lines to give menswear its fair dose of attention.
“We split them apart to kind of give the menswear its own moment, we felt that was really needed. And now we feel it’s quite strong, it stands right next to the womenswear in the right way. So to bring them back together can really show more the entire universe of Jil Sander the way we wanted to do it,” he continued. “It just took us a little while to establish it in the right way, but we feel now it’s the right time.”

Jil Sander, men’s resort 2023
Courtesy of Jil Sander

The introduction of the first men’s pre-collection for resort 2023, unveiled on Monday, is also timely for the couple and is set to further achieve a balance between the two lines.
“We feel there’s an opportunity to expand what we’re doing a bit more,” said Meier, who believes “the relationship between a pre-collection and a show collection is interesting” as the former “gives you more of a breadth of different kinds of things to work on.”
Even if menswear has been growing at the company, Meier said there haven’t been any major changes in the way the designers creatively approach the category, as they channel their energies mainly on amplifying their work and “giving it more depth.” 
The initial menswear resort effort exemplifies that attitude, reinvigorating the sharp and precise aesthetic of the brand with eccentric accents and crafty details.

Jil Sander, men’s resort 2023
Courtesy of Jil Sander

“We do definitely work on sort of an ongoing evolution of our ideas, but I think each season we like to pull out something that’s unique for the collection,” said Meier. This time, the couple looked at the West Coast and California to explore what it represents to people and deliver a sense of ease and “freedom of doing.”

Jil Sander, men’s resort 2023
Courtesy of Jil Sander

“It’s this kind of idea of postwar migration to the West, with this [notion] of possibility. There was something very positive…That feeling that you can go somewhere where you can dream of something, and there’s an environment that is embracing that.…It’s like willing culture: if you just want to try something, you could just do it, you don’t have a heavy burden of tradition in front of you,” said Meier.

As a counterpoint, he noted the geographical reference is also the land of Hollywood, therefore a more glamorous spirit was to be taken into consideration during the creative process, too.
The tension between these two facets translated into a charming blend of workwear and elongated, geometric silhouettes with polished fluid fabrics and sparkling effects. Suits were replaced by lean, round neck tank tops, neat shirt-jackets, boxy leather T-shirts and Japanese wool and cotton trenchcoats lined with colorful prints, signaling a fresher take on masculine wardrobe tropes. In the same spirit, high-waisted pleated pants and shorts were flanked by kilts and long skirts, which contributed to defining the new silhouette.

Jil Sander, men’s resort 2023
Courtesy of Jil Sander

Cashmere and cotton knitwear, dyed or with floral fil-coupé jacquards, added a tactile quality to the graphic lineup, while its more eccentric expression was conveyed through palm tree prints in gradient colors, cascades of sequins and brooches punctuating the looks. The color palette ranged from butter and sandy tones to pastel hues, indigo and silver notes.
“Men are embracing design a lot more…there’s a sort of an attention to the details. They pay attention to their jewelry, accessories, their bags or even grooming and hairstyles,” noted Meier. “It’s exciting because I feel that there’s a different consciousness awakening a little bit, and not in a purely fashion sense. I think people are taking care of themselves a bit better, they want to present themselves better. They feel better if they go a little bit deeper than just [having] like one big statement piece.”

Jil Sander, men’s resort 2023
Courtesy of Jil Sander

Consumers’ inclination toward improvement mirrors the designers’ attitude when questioned if they have set a target for their job at Jil Sander. “I guess it’s to always be better. You have short-, medium- and long-term goals…but I think the main one that is always there, every morning, is: how do we get better? And that doesn’t mean bigger, necessarily, it just means: how do we make everything better? Because we have quite a holistic approach, we care a lot about the way we work as well as the end result.…Because it’s our life, too, right? It has to be something that you enjoy doing, you have to be able to live, as well.

“So better collections, of course, better design, better ideas, more beautiful and profound imagery, just better everything. But also better approach to making it,” continued Meier. “In that sense, there’s never a finish line, right? You never find the target. And I think that’s one thing I find interesting about fashion — that you don’t do a project and stop, you have to always be engaged in doing.”
Also in light of this constant push forward, it wasn’t easy for the duo to pinpoint their pivotal moments at Jil Sander since their appointment in 2017. “We’re not very revisionist, actually. I mean, this job sort of forces you to kind of always be thinking forward,” confirmed Meier. Still, he identified the brand’s women’s fall 2020 collection as a favorite one so far, also because it was the last before the pandemic outbreak.

Backstage at Jil Sander, fall 2020.
Delphine AchardWWD

Yet the response to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, which forced the whole industry to reinvent itself — at least temporarily — deserved even more recognition from Meier.
“I’m quite proud of the way that everybody managed to get through all of that because even when I look back at some of the look books, even the films that we made [during the pandemic], they’re really strong. I would never present those and say, ‘Oh, well, that was because there was all this trouble.’ I feel that’s only a testament to our teams and the people, everybody who really made a huge effort. I’m as proud of those collections as I am of the other ones that we’ve done under normal circumstances,” he said.
Despite having joined the fashion house five years ago, Meier said, “it feels like we’re still just really getting started, that it’s still just the beginning.” He additionally credited OTB’s supportive approach, adding that the group is “really hungry for things to go bigger.”

Jil Sander, men’s resort 2023
Courtesy of Jil Sander

As reported earlier this year, the brand’s parent company unveiled an ambitious plan for the 2022-24 period, including eyeing an initial public offering to take place in 2024. OTB Group acquired Jil Sander from Onward Holdings Co. Ltd., adding it to its portfolio comprising Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni and Viktor & Rolf, as well as production arms Staff International and Brave Kid, and a minority stake in Amiri.

JordanLuca Men’s Spring 2023

JordanLuca Men’s Spring 2023

London-based Jordan Bowen and Luca Marchetto are relative newcomers to the Milan scene and are trying to get their message to come across, insisting for spring on the punk-tinged tropes that have defined their nascent career.
“It’s really a fusion, a cultural clash of Italy’s heritage and London’s counterculture,” said Bowen backstage preshow.
One must say, the latter reference was predominant. Boxy and padded sculptural shouldered blazers came with zippers crossing the chest; worn over baggy Bermudas, they were the punk-ish version of a suit; oversized trenchcoats and flight jackets were also sliced open with zippering and paired with flared, raw-hemmed, low-rise denim exuding a mischievous bent, while leather pieces such as croc-embossed pants and trenchcoats had an exciting dark tinge.

Backstage, Bowen insisted that the brand’s aesthetic is very much in tune with the designers’ often clashing emotions, and described fashion creativity as cathartic, especially as it helped both go through a period of substance abuse. The collection is “wistful, it has anger and rage, but there’s also joy…we can be everything at once,” he said.
The last model, his cunning gaze and gait intimidating yet somewhat captivating, wore a simple all-black sleeveless top and flared denim combo. It marked a much-needed moment of relief from the show’s extravaganza.

This 400 HP Porsche 928 Restomod Makes Us Wish the Model Was Never Discontinued

This 400 HP Porsche 928 Restomod Makes Us Wish the Model Was Never Discontinued

Improving on a classic can be risky business, but Nardone Automotive may have nailed the assignment with its new Porsche 928 restomod.

On Wednesday, the French tuner revealed its take on the 928 S4 during Milan Design Week. As you might expect, the restomod stays true to the original but upgrades it with retro-modern touches and a significant power boost. While the most powerful original model delivered 350 horses, the new restomod brings 400 hp of grunt (it still uses a naturally aspirated V-8 engine, though). And instead of a five-speed manual transmission, you’ve got a six-speed manual with a limited-slip differential.

Other upgrades include forged 18-inch wheels (instead of the classic 16-inch editions), new axles, upgraded brakes, active dampers and adaptive electric-power steering.

The rear lights have been specially designed and built for the restomod. 

Nardone Automotive

The classic body, now made of carbon-fiber pieces, is nothing short of sleek. Up front, the fascia showcases rectangular driving lights, the tip of the nose contains tiny inlets and the classic pop-up headlights have LED lamps surrounded by exposed carbon fiber.
Inside, meanwhile, the cabin has been reupholstered with a mix of brown Foglizzo leather and Alcantara. Those elements contrast nicely with the dark brown brushed metal center console showcases. The dash tales a retro-futuristic turn with a digital speedometer and pixel display.

A peek inside the grand tourer 

Nardone Automotive

The 928, which Porsche once thought might replace its beloved but aging 911, was around for just 17 years, from 1978 to 1995. The grand tourer was the first of its kind for the German marque, and it even won a Car of the Year title. However, it’s never seen a successor—until now.
Of course, Nardone’s edition will be extremely limited. The company is selling eight “launch edition” cars for 480,000 euros (a little more than $500,000). Preorders are now open, with first delivery expected in 2024. Hey, who says it doesn’t pay to take risks?

EXCLUSIVE: Dior Taps Philippe Starck to Reinterpret Medallion Chair

EXCLUSIVE: Dior Taps Philippe Starck to Reinterpret Medallion Chair

PARIS — Just as a fashion designer might spend a lifetime creating the perfect little black dress, Philippe Starck is obsessed with making the ideal chair.With his new collaboration with Dior, due to be unveiled at the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan, he thinks he’s nailed it. Starck, who is behind iconic designs like the transparent Louis Ghost, was commissioned to put his spin on another medallion chair: the Louis XVI-style model that has been a symbol of Dior since the house was founded in 1947.
The designer, who describes his ethos as a constant striving for minimalist perfection, stripped the classic chair down to its bare bones, and chose to make it in aluminum to emphasize the lightness and purity of its silhouette.

“I can tell you that right now, nothing can be ‘less’ than this chair, and that requires a huge amount of work. You have to literally whittle it down. You have to know the technology,” he told WWD in a Zoom interview.

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“I worked to create a totally timeless, definitive design, an icon, so that it will never go out of style,” he added. “We’re right down to the skeleton of the object. That’s why there are very biomorphic shapes in this chair. Semantically, stylistically, we’ve reached the bare minimum.”

Philippe Starck’s sketch for the Miss Dior chair.
Courtesy of Dior

The chair will be the centerpiece of the “Dior by Starck” exhibition, due to run from June 7 to 12 at Palazzo Citterio in Milan, which can be visited by prebooking a time slot online. Starck has commissioned sound artist Stephan Crasneanscki to create a soundtrack for the show, inspired by the imagined life of Miss Dior.
The solo presentation reflects Starck’s stature in the design world. For last year’s Salone del Mobile, Dior commissioned more than a dozen participants, including Pierre Yovanovitch, India Mahdavi and Oki Sato of Japanese design firm Nendo, to revisit the medallion chair.
Working with decorator Victor Grandpierre, founder Christian Dior introduced the streamlined neoclassical style that came to define the Dior universe. The oval-back chair was a feature of his couture salon, as well as his store decor, beginning with the brand’s first boutique on Avenue Montaigne.
Starck said the design had entered collective memory, making the collaboration feel natural.
Dubbed Miss Dior, his take presented a logistical challenge. Only one injector, located in Italy, was capable of creating a mold to produce the chair, which is less than one centimeter thick in places. It comes in three models, featuring one, two or no armrests, priced from 1,500 euros to 5,000 euros.
“I chose a difficult material that’s designed to last. It’s made of recyclable aluminum that is very special, quite expensive and rock solid. There’s no reason for this chair ever to break, and that’s already an extraordinary guarantee when you buy it. You know it’s something that can be handed down,” Starck explained.
The designer, who has always promoted democratic products like his 1989 curved toothbrush for Fluocaril, said the project would have been impossible to achieve without a luxury partner like Dior, willing to invest heavily in the production process.

“I’ve always pushed to keep costs down so that everyone can have access to quality design,” he said. “Given the choice, obviously, I would always prefer that. But there are other people who can afford this. Why deny them?”

Philippe Starck’s Miss Dior chair in polished aluminum.
Courtesy of Dior

The Miss Dior chair telegraphs luxury, with galvanized metallic finishes including pink copper, black chromium and gold, available in satinated or polished versions. By contrast, the polycarbonate Louis Ghost, produced by Kartell, retails for less than 350 euros — though Starck stands by his use of plastic.
“I don’t change with the wind,” he said. “I will always defend my use of plastic, because I did it for environmental reasons, which is to say that when I make a plastic chair, I don’t cut any trees and I don’t kill any animals.”
Starck notes that the polycarbonate used in the Louis Ghost chair is made from renewable raw materials. “I’ve spent a lot of time working with manufacturers, and today, there are bio-sourced plastics. I’ve been waiting for this moment for 20 years,” he noted.
The designer, who is based in Portugal, is also thinking about more significant ways to reduce our environmental footprint. He’s working on a state-of-the-art complex for space training company Orbit that is designed to leave no trace.
“We’re building a city, but reinventing all the parameters. I want it to be the first reversible town, meaning it can disappear in three months and have the smallest possible footprint,” he explained. “In addition to training people for space, which is the future of the world, I’m potentially creating the cities of the future, too.”
Up next is space itself: commercial space station Axiom Space has commissioned Starck to create the crew quarters inside its privately developed modules, which will be attached to the International Space Station. Expect nest-like interiors sprinkled with hundreds of LED lights with changing colors.
As challenging as that sounds, he believes that nothing is harder to design than a chair, and it will be difficult to top the Miss Dior. “Like a lot of couturiers, I have always been on the quest for the little black dress,” he said. “In terms of chairs, now there is this one.”

SEE ALSO:
Dior Medallion Chair Exhibition to Make U.S. Debut
Dior Supports Venice Biennale as Women Artists Move to the Fore
Dior Lady Art Handbag Show Heads to China

Sunnei RTW Fall 2022

Sunnei RTW Fall 2022

Where are we all running?
Be it an existential question or just a pragmatic one in between fashion week events, this was the query guests left the Sunnei show with.
Once again, founders Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo came up with an entertaining concept to present their latest collection, having their models sprinting down a street in Milan’s southern area instead of simply walking.
Messina’s and Rizzo’s coed lineup demanded instant attention, as it marked another evolutionary step of the brand’s signature ‘90s lexicon via introduction of tailoring, knitwear experimentations and new bold accessories that will further beef up its successful business in the category.

Silhouettes swung from stiff tailored suits in boxy proportions to the full-on volumes of roomy pants and relaxed long dresses. Chenille knitwear was developed in different graphics ranging from wavy motifs to popping 3D effects, while sweaters covered in rubberized fringes bouncing at every stride made for the Instagram post of the show.
While colorful second-skin jersey pieces added to Sunnei’s recurrent activewear influence — even more fitting in this context — for the first time, silicon studs (thus far relegated to its 1000Chiodi sneakers) took over apparel and bags, too.

About those accessories, who could expect glittery platforms as running shoe option? The design complemented handbags made of scented rubber strips and a minaudière shaped after Milan’s Torre Velasca skyscraper.
There were lots of fun elements, but a serious undertone could be traced in Messina’s and Rizzo’s lesson on mindfulness, too. After two years of pandemic, the fashion industry’s promises of slowing down mainly vanished and a new conflict unfolding under our eyes: where are we running, indeed?

How Five Independent Magazines Are Exploring More Than Fashion

How Five Independent Magazines Are Exploring More Than Fashion

MILAN — Do you remember what it was like to flip through a printed magazine?Even the predominantly digital era we are now experiencing — especially during the pandemic — young journalists and creatives are establishing print publications.
These five independent magazines explore themes of feminism, art, music, culture and sex and the sophisticated and carefully curated pages of each issue contribute to an aesthetically pleasing effect.
WWD has compiled a selection of five Italian zines for you to discover.
1. Dàme magazine
Sara Augugliaro is the 22-year-old creator behind feminist independent magazine Dàme, exploring the theme of the female body and aiming to stimulate a debate on self-awareness, normalization and self-acceptance.

Dàme magazine
Courtesy of Dàme Magazine

The first issue of Dàme is named “Pancia” (belly in Italian) and each page navigates the various meanings of this body part. Augugliaro states, “Over the years, there have been studies that reconstructed the social and cultural meanings linked to parts of the female body, but so far, no one has focused on the belly because it has never been present in the collective imagination, except as the uterus. Therefore, we wanted to explore this part of the body, which is equally full of references.”

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Dàme magazine’s first issue
Courtesy of Dàme Magazine

The magazine is available to buy on the Frabs Magazines website. It is shipping in Italy and will soon be available in the U.K.
2. Virtus Magazine
This independent magazine was founded by Accademia del Lusso, the fashion school based on Milan’s Via Montenapoleone training professional figures within the industry. It is the first Italian publication edited by a fashion school.

Virtus Magazine’s third issue
Courtesy of Virtus Magazine

Virtus promotes the work of fashion students studying areas including journalism, styling and photography. Nicola Ievola, professor of fashion journalism at the institute, and Noemi Vanda Bruni, who teaches fashion styling, are the minds behind Virtus.

Inside Virtus Magazine
Courtesy of Virtus Magazine

Within the pages of the third issue, the magazine explores how the Renaissance movement is coming back with a more modern look. It explores on the historical period, with insights into how its coming back in the fashion industry.
3. Sali e Tabacchi
Sali e Tabacchi is a small, traditional shop in Italy where you buy candies, cigars, spices, cigarettes and chocolate. It is this mix of senses that this independent magazine, born in 2019, is trying to replicate. With a focus on Italian culture, it offers a variety of experimental content, including interviews with internationally acclaimed Italian cultural leaders, visual poetry, academic essays and recipes.

Sali e Tabacchi magazine
Courtesy of Sali e Tabacchi Magazine

Like many independent magazines, photography is one of the main elements that characterizes Sali e Tabacchi. Readers will be able to find secret corners, unexplored landscapes, stories from the past and from the present — the true image of a hidden Italy.

Sali e Tabacchi magazine
Courtesy of Sali e Tabacchi Magazine

4. Archivio magazine
The goal of this fashion magazine is to highlight innovation, aiming to bring to life different fashion and cultural eras. Archivio’s sixth issue explores the ’80s with a fine selection from runways that have made history; it also features writers, poets and politicians.

Archivio magazine
Courtesy of Archivio Magazine

Inside this issue, readers will find exclusive material from Giorgio Armani Atelier; an interview with Gao Xingjian, the first Chinese writer to win a Nobel prize; Vivienne Westwood, and many others who share insights into the decade.

Archivio magazine
Courtesy of Archivio Magazine

The magazine is also characterized by 80 pages of images, ranging from posters, documents, sketches, scripts, artistic projects, agendas, diaries and materials that come from 23 different archives.
5. Carnale magazine
Taste, sight, touch, hearing and smell. Erotic and unconventional, this independent magazine will trigger each of the five senses. Focused on fashion, it celebrates attraction through a cross-media attitude where paper is interactive.

Carnale Calendar 2022
Courtesy of Carnale Magazine

For this reason, Carnale offers augmented reality through the use of an app: by pointing at the print pages, it will show moving images on your screen. This independent publication founded by Augusto Arduini (art director) and Simone Cossettini (photographer), is definitely moving toward a new version of fashion media.

Tod’s Pre-Fall 2022

Tod’s Pre-Fall 2022

For pre-fall, Tod’s creative director Walter Chiapponi wanted to infuse more spontaneity into the brand’s luxe offering, revealing the more casual side of the high-end lifestyle the label evokes.
In taking Tod’s craftsmanship to the streets, the designer put a strong focus on outerwear, functionality and layering, mixing influences, silhouettes and textures to dress his modern “tribe,” as he described the range of characters portrayed in this concise yet solid collection. “They are part of the same community but have individual looks,” explained Chiapponi during a preview in Milan.

Hence the array of different styles showcased, ranging from oversize trenchcoats and quilted parkas to a knitted wrap coat nodding to kilim carpets and shown with matching bags. Chiapponi’s penchant for knitwear also was displayed in an elongated striped cardigan with chunky fringe that had a grungy feel, while the house’s signature leather and Gommino pebble motif were used on a classic, ’50s-inspired denim jacket via eccentric patches on the sleeves. “I like how our Gommino [pebble-sole] leaves a distinctive trace when you walk, so I wanted it to leave a mark in the ready to wear, too,” Chiapponi said.

In keeping with his tactile approach, the designer also played with textures in the accessories, ranging from patchwork bags to options shaping soft leather in origami-like, geometric designs.
A ‘60s vibe ran throughout the strong footwear offering: the bold, square-toed proportions and chunky heels of moccasins and ankle boots exalted the everyday appeal of this urban wardrobe, which was filled with covetable essentials.

Salvatore Ferragamo Pre-Fall 2022

Salvatore Ferragamo Pre-Fall 2022

In such a transitional time for the company, with Marco Gobbetti’s takeover as chief executive officer around the corner, the Salvatore Ferragamo design team sought stability in the pillars defining the brand.
Leather, color and the Gancini logo are part of the vocabulary the label uses to communicate its identity and all were present in the pre-fall 2022 collection. Yet the seasonal message was diluted by the coexistence of different themes.
Stretching from resort attire to winter looks, and from activewear to sharp tailoring, it’s an approach that will surely enable the brand to embrace a wider spectrum of tastes, ages and needs, but somewhat to the detriment of an overall cohesiveness.

Overall, the scale tipped in favor of the more urban proposals: the precise construction of monochrome suits and wool coats as well as the graphic lines of a black, textured wrap skirt juxtaposed with the fluidity of a silk shirt with dropped shoulders.
A genderless look matching a colorful mohair knit with leather pants stood out for its refreshing, subtle edginess: Although leather bomber jackets and pants appeared elsewhere in the lineup, too, this stylistic storyline definitely deserved to be further explored.

On the opposite end of the range, a palm print by French artist Julien Colombier was splashed on caftans and tracksuits while solid-colored swimwear was offered in a rusty shade. The highlight of this summery section was a chic, cream silk shirt embellished with a graphic motif interweaving the Gancini logo that was styled with matching shorts in broderie anglaise.
Accessories additionally restated iconic symbols of the brand, including the Vara bow, but offered also ground for sustainable experimentation, as seen in an interwoven handbag style and a fully sustainable eyewear style that will be available in eight colors.

Philipp Plein Unveils New Showroom, To Open Hotel in Milan

Philipp Plein Unveils New Showroom, To Open Hotel in Milan

MILAN — Black Friday, chez Philipp Plein came with plenty to offer.The brand unveiled its new, expansive headquarters in Milan on Friday, and to mark the occasion revealed bullish plans encompassing the launch of an ambitious Plein hospitality project in the city; the relaunch of the Plein Sport line; new licensing deals and global store openings; significant distribution plans in China, and an overall enhancement of the women’s wear business to rebalance the label’s offering, among other initiatives.
It was a lot to digest in a strategy aimed at further scaling the business, which expects to close the year with 200 million euros in revenues.
Many of the plans revealed still felt like a work-in-progress, starting from the showroom that was undergoing some final touches, including work on the expansive terrace and separate 1,076-square-foot structure that will showcase the Plein Sport range.

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“This space will definitely be ready by Dec. 15,” assured Plein, founder and chief executive officer of the Switzerland-based luxury group that also owns the Billionaire label. Plein explained that on that date the activewear collection will be presented to buyers before it will be officially unveiled with a press presentation in January.
Introduced in 2016, Plein Sport was suspended since, as reported, the designer claimed its success cannibalized and interfered with the perception of the brand’s main line. As a result, the company shut down half of the 30 stand-alone Plein Sport stores while the others were converted into Philipp Plein locations.
“But we’ve received a big request from the market, also with offers for licensing deals to take over the Sport label. After internal discussions we decided to do it ourselves, so we’re bringing the line back,” said the designer.
If the new Plein Sport collection was still under wraps, accessories from the main line’s fall 2022 line were on full display at the showroom, as the company started its sales campaign this week, welcoming back most of its buyers for physical appointments.
“Accessories in particular are a very important business for us, they account for 25 percent to 27 percent of our total revenues, and they keep growing,” said Plein, underscoring that footwear is driving the sales.
Footwear, handbags and baseball caps were showcased next to the inaugural efforts of the licensing agreements the brand has inked over the past months with De Rigo for eyewear and with WorldTime Watches & Jewelry for watches at the three-story showroom, which is located in Via Burlamacchi, in the southern part of Milan.
Designed by the JSC Studio founded by architect Jolanda Sbrana, the 16,146-square-foot space was dominated by marble, mirrors and glass surfaces while here and there walls and floors were spray-painted with graffiti. All these elements ran through different areas, including the rooms showcasing the flamboyant women’s and men’s ready-to-wear; a corner dedicated to denim, and a small bistro restaurant with walls covered with greenery punctuated by a massive logo. A hall with wood flooring and a separate entrance displayed the Billionaire offering.

Philipp Plein’s new showroom in Milan.
Courtesy of Philipp Plein

Previously the showroom for the Dirk Bikkembergs brand, the Philipp Plein Group acquired the real estate at the end of July, replacing its former outpost in central Milan’s Via dei Giardini that shut down last year.
Moving to the city’s southern part, the company is mirroring the migration of other fashion groups. As reported, earlier this year LVMH Italia signed a pre-letting agreement with real estate company Covivio for a 10-year lease on offices in the Symbiosis business district, which is located next to Fondazione Prada and a 20-minute walk from Plein’s new outpost.
But the German designer is not ready to leave central Milan just yet. He has signed a deal to open a Plein hotel in Via Manin, in the historic Palazzo Melzi d’Eril building that formerly housed Krizia’s legendary headquarters. Plein has inked a deal with a new entertainment company that has rented the space and will operate the brand’s hospitality project under license. The location is slated to include a hotel with about 18 rooms, the Philipp’s restaurant and club, La Jungle de Plein bistro restaurant, The Skull bar and a private cinema for small screenings and accessible by members only.
To mark the start of the renovation, Plein threw a party themed “Noir Christmas” on Friday at the venue, which is slated to officially open its doors to guests next year.

The historic Milanese building set to house the Plein hotel next year.
Courtesy of Philipp Plein

The designer said he will use the space to host his namesake brand’s runway show next February. Given Plein’s knack for staging over-the-top bashes during Milan Fashion Week, the hospitality project will be designed to be flexible to accommodate these events and change its look seasonally, according to shows’ themes.
There will be a continual element, however, thanks to the brand’s new home line. The group inked another license with luxury furniture company Eichholtz for the development of a home collection under the Philipp Plein banner. As part of the deal, which marks a return to the beginnings of Plein’s career in the design world, the first furniture range will be unveiled during Milan Design Week in April 2022.
“I partnered with Eichholtz because it works with stock — in an industry in which you usually have to wait three months to receive a sofa you ordered — and it’s very aggressive with its distribution’s expansion,” said Plein, who is also aiming to open two stores dedicated to home collections next year, one in Miami and one in Russia.

Overall, the company is set to accelerate the expansion of its distribution network with more than 25 store openings planned for 2022. Among the most prominent operations, the brand is in exclusive talks to take over the former Michael Kors flagship in London’s Old Bond Street to replace its New Bond Street unit that shut down.
After moving its Chinese offices from Hong Kong to Shanghai, the group also intends to accelerate in that market, where it foresees significant growth potential. Philipp Plein currently counts seven units between flagships and outlets in Mainland China, but plans to have 16 directly operated doors in 2022.
This will boost local sales, which at the moment account for 5.4 percent out of the brand’s total revenues, putting China after the U.S. — which accounts for 20 percent of total revenues — Russia, Italy, Germany and Spain. But Plein said he expects China to rank third by the end of 2022.
Overall, the brand is available at 730 doors worldwide, including 40 directly operated stores, 30 outlets, 40 franchisees and a presence in 620 multibrand retailers.
Thanks to the partnership with Italian manufacturer De Rigo, the label’s eyewear offering is slated to reach 1,000 doors next year, with the U.S. projected to account for 24 percent of eyewear sales.
As for the watches, which WorldTime Watches & Jewelry develops and crafts in collaboration with specialist Timex Group, the pieces will be available in 1,500 doors worldwide in 2022. Additionally, Plein said that he will launch a jewelry collection in the foreseeable future.
Other licenses include the five-year deal inked with Altana Group for children’s wear collections earlier this year. In 2019, the brand also entered the beauty arena with two scents developed under Philipp Plein Parfums, a separate company established in Geneva under the umbrella of the Brands Beyond Beauty holding, which sold 1,000 pieces in one week on the brand’s online store.

A style of the Philipp Plein spring 2022 eyewear collection by De Rigo.
Courtesy of De Rigo

The e-commerce platform continues to be a key driver for the company, which was among the first fashion players to accept cryptocurrency as a method of payment. Sales originated online for the Philipp Plein brand increased 16 percent compared to last year, with the average basket standing at around 800 euros. This month alone, the brand registered 11 million euros in online sales, with orders mainly hailing from the U.S., Russia, Germany and Italy and, in terms of categories, men’s sneakers and down jackets listed as most sought-after items.

“Today men’s wear accounts for 65 percent out of our total sales, while when we started it was 10 percent. We’re now looking to relaunch women’s wear to rebalance the offering and improve its performance, with the goal to have this part accounting for 40 percent of our revenues next year,” said Plein.
To this end, the brand is working on the communications front, tapping key personalities as faces of the brand. Already fronting the video that introduced the Philipp Plein spring 2022 collection earlier this year, Megan Fox will appear in the eyewear campaign photographed by Steven Klein that will begin to roll out Dec. 1.
Also next week, the company will shoot the campaign for its pre-fall 2022 collection and has tapped supermodel Eva Herzigová.

Philipp Plein’s new showroom in Milan.
Courtesy of Philipp Plein

Brick-and-mortar stores will mirror this commitment in enhancing the women’s wear assortment with a new interior concept that will debut next month. Philipp Plein has relocated its flagship in Barcelona, Spain, now standing next to the city’s Mandarin Oriental hotel. The unit will open next month with a new design in sync with the Milan showroom blueprint and with a different color palette set against the men’s and women’s offerings.
The new concept will be replicated in the Milan store, too, which will temporarily close for renovation next summer and relaunch just in time for fashion week in September 2022.

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