An Italian Fashion Editor Reveals The Next-Gen Designers To Know Now

Could one of them be the next Valentino?

Each season, style-setters flock to Milan Fashion Week for a taste of the craftsmanship, couture and creativity that have defined the nation’s rich fashion history. From Gucci and Pucci to Prada and Versace, luxury houses abound, each serving up their own brand of “more is more”.

Yet today, a new guard of Italian designers are waiting in the wings, ready for their close-up. These up-and-comers are set on shaking up the sartorial codes, giving time-honoured traditions an injection of now.

Here, Ivana Spernicelli, fashion director of marie claire Italy, dishes on the new wave of Italian talent to watch.

(Credit: Brognano)

BROGNANO by Nicola Brognano

This Calabrian, who worked for Giambattista Valli and Dolce & Gabbana before launching his eponymous label in 2015, describes his designs as “hot couture, a kind of fake couture, an unpretentious approach to high fashion”. Juxtaposition underlines his womenswear, says Spernicelli. “I love the way he contrasts men’s silhouettes with hyper femininity.” Think oversized blazers in acid hues, giant tulle Pierrot collars and voluminous party dresses brought back down to earth by leather-look bike shorts peeking out underneath.

Tiziano Guardini
(Credit: Tiziano Guardini)


Last year Guardini won the Franca Sozzani Green Carpet Challenge Award for Best Emerging Designer, an accolade that recognised his thoughtful use of materials: certified organic cotton, regenerated nylon and yarn made from castor oil (in a bid to save water). The designs may be socially conscious, but aesthetically Guardini’s vibe is anything but worthy – tropical prints and snappy colours splash his co-ed collections of polo shirts, parkas and other sporty separates. “I like the research that goes into the fabrics and cuts, they’re very modern,” says Spernicelli.

(Credit: Calcaterra)

CALCATERRA by Daniele Calcaterra

This Milan-native melds old-world elegance with a modern edge. “Volume, clean lines and contemporary design,” says Spernicelli. “I love it!” His collections play on androgyny – the latest cited Marlene Dietrich as muse – but sweeping hemlines, soft pleats and a luxe palette of copper, peach and mint are decidedly ladylike. Notably, the designer insists on working with top Italian garment producers to maintain a “made in Italy” guarantee. Bellissima!

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