At Milan Fashion Week, the designer’s revolving door ushers in a new dawn


For much of the past decade, the movement of designers between different fashion houses has been as much a talking point as the trends their work dictates. ‘Did you hear that so-and-so is heading here?’; ‘I heard he was going there’; “This designer is definitely ready to take over in this house” is the kind of conversation you can expect to hear at industry events and front row during fashion week.

If contemporary times are any indication, the days of designers remaining creative at the helm of a single fashion house for decades are long gone – consider Karl Lagerfeld and his 36 years at Chanel as an example. of how it happened. In comparison to his peers, even Nicolas Ghesquière’s nearly decade-long tenure at Louis Vuitton seems positively long. But, so far, and apart from Raf Simons joining Miuccia at Prada, Kim Jones adding Fendi to his CV and Daniel Lee revitalizing and then replaced by Matthieu Blazy at Bottega Veneta, Milan has largely stayed away from the next generation. . keeps the narrative that has dominated other capitals. But in this Milan Fashion Week, four new names arrive in the Italian capital to shake things up and breathe new energy into the program.

Maximilian Davis

The most anticipated is the London upstart Maximillian Davis who lands at the heritage brand Salvatore Ferragamo. After three stellar seasons infusing the runways of talent incubator Fashion East with a particular polish, he arrives in Milan with the not insignificant task of bringing new energy to the 95-year-old brand. But, if anyone showed promise of that, then Davis certainly did.

Eponymous brand of Maximillian Davis, AW21

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From its first season, it exemplified a strong sense of identity in its clothing that felt distinctly mature for a brand just starting out. Bringing together his Trinidadian heritage with a ’60s space-age approach to sharp tailoring and tiny hemlines, Maximilian (as his label is known) has quickly become a favorite of those in the spotlight. Rihanna, Dua Lipa and Kylie Jenner have each worn pieces, which follow a similar starting point as Mr. Ferragamo himself.

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Dua Lipa in Maximillian at the Fashion Awards 2021

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Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland were among young Salvatore’s clients when he launched his shoe brand in California, quickly winning over Hollywood starlets. Now Davis – who was cast for the role by Marco Gobbetti, the CEO of Ferragamo who brought Phoebe Philo to Celine, and we all know how it went – is set to reinvigorate the house of Italian heritage with its distinct aesthetic and, perhaps most crucially, a more contemporary and inclusive point of view.

Mark of Vincenzo

Elsewhere on the schedule, Marco de Vincenzo is preparing to get his mark by taking on the management role at Etro. A household name in Milan – who will remain in his role as chief leather goods designer at Fendi – de Vincenzo joins the house after a change of investors. If his work for his own label, which shut down in 2020, is anything to behold, then de Vincenzo should be the perfect fit.

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Mark of Vincenzo

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Founded in 1968, it has been designed by the Etro family to the present day, sticking to the bohemian aesthetic that defined that era for much of the following decades. De Vincenzo’s work has always played with color and pattern in his eponymous brand, which is sure to catch on here. Yet, we can also foresee him being asked to bring his prop expertise to the role of Etro. Could this brand mark the next must-have It bag? That’s probably what they hope for.

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Marco de Vincenzo’s own brand, AW20

Daniele OberrauchImaxtree

Philippe Grazioli

De Vincenzo is not the only one to take over a Milanese house long run by its founding family. Former Burberry, Givenchy, Margiela and Hermès designer Filippo Grazioli finds himself in the same position, but at 69-year-old knitwear brand Missoni.

As Angela Missoni takes on a new role as president, it will be up to Grazioli, 40, to imagine a new creative vision for the recognizable zig-zag knits that have made the Italian brand famous. “I am grateful for the opportunity given to me and the possibility to further shape my experience in a new vision that maintains the joy, freshness, sense of color and positivity which are the fundamental qualities of Missoni. “, he said in a statement released at the time of his appointment. Now, with those debuts drawing closer, thoughts turn to how Grazioli will find liberation in the zigzags, instead of being weighed down by Missoni’s established and familiar fashion identity.

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Missoni SS22

Philippe FortisImaxtree

Rhuidi Villasenor

With solid resumes and roles already under their belts, De Vincenzo and Grazioli’s appointments look like measured decisions that hint at a desire to keep the brand’s identity somewhat intact. However, at Bally, a new story will unfold during Milan Fashion Week. The Swiss giant has named Rhuidi Villaseñor, the Los Angeles-based streetwear chief, as its new creative director. The founder of Rhude, the much-loved label of Bella Hadid, Cynthia Erivo and Justin Bieber, will aim to usher the 171-year-old brand into a new style era by following the path of other luxury giants who have turned to creative directors. with streetwear debut to great commercial and critical success.

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Rough SS21

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Villaseñor, 30, is more than up to the challenge, having long been familiar with the Swiss heritage label which he describes as “very dear to him”. “Bally has been carried in my family from generation to generation, from my grandfather to myself,” the designer said in the announcement release. ‘I have always admired the Swiss approach to luxury, its understated portrayal of excellence, its symbiotic openness and concern for the environment.’

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Bally SS22

Courtesy of the press officeImaxtree

With these new appointments finding slots among Milan’s long-established houses, all eyes are on Italy’s fashion capital to conjure up a week of style balance that predicts an exciting season ahead. Good luck !


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