MILAN — Luca Magliano will be the guest designer at the upcoming edition of Pitti Uomo, scheduled to run from Jan. 9 to 12 at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence.
The announcement crowns a golden year for the Bologna-native designer, after his namesake brand has gained increasing heat on the Milan scene in the last few seasons and he received the Karl Lagerfeld Special Jury Prize at the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.
Although details of the Florence event are still under wraps, Pitti Uomo organizers said on Tuesday that Magliano will stage a special show in a still-undisclosed location.
His participation at the men’s trade show will mark a homecoming experience for Magliano, since he made his brand’s runway debut at Florence’s Dogana venue during Pitti Uomo in 2018 with a collection dubbed “Wardrobe for a Man in Love.” He later joined the official Milan Men’s Fashion Week calendar.
“Pitti is the place where our project manifested itself for the first time five years ago, with that enormous mountain of red roses, which — thinking about it now — gives me a great sense of dizziness and tenderness like looking in the mirror after time and rediscovering the important things, even if everything has happened in the meantime,” Magliano recalled. “This return to home, to people you love and respect, fills me with joy. It’s the ideal opportunity to imagine ourselves in the future, more Magliano than ever.”
“There are at least three good reasons why we proposed to Magliano to show in Florence, in agreement with Camera della Moda,” said Lapo Cianchi, communication and events director at the fair’s organizer Pitti Immagine.
“The first is that Luca stands out for his ability to shape in an original way the cultural and social canons usually associated with Italian fashion: a key element in this sense is his inclination toward a truly collective work. The second is that it’s interesting for us, whenever possible, to periodically mark the time — the career and the stylistic evolution — of designers who made their public debut at Pitti Uomo and then established themselves internationally. The third is that we like the person, his generosity and his enthusiasm, his cultured simplicity,” Cianchi explained.
A fashion design graduate of Bologna’s Libera Università delle Arti, Magliano cut his teeth on Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s team in Milan prior to moving back to Bologna in 2013 to work with designer Manuela Arcari on the Ter et Bantine fashion line. In 2015, he decided to go solo and launched the I Was Naked independent women’s brand, which has since been discontinued. The following year, Arcari, who is also the president of Arcari e Co., offered him the chance to produce his own line under license and the Magliano brand was born.
The winner of the ninth edition of Vogue Italia’s talent contest Who Is on Next? Uomo in 2017, he unveiled a fall 2018 collection during Pitti Uomo but his style and approach to fashion has evolved ever since. What started as bold collections filled with references to the ‘80s, different subcultures, “small-town boys” from his hometown of Bologna and occasional tongue-in-cheek and irreverent prints matured into soulful, vintage-looking menswear imbued with charming tailoring and a fine sense of color.
Still his fashion stands out for being permeated with rustic, lived-in familiarity and exalting humble fashion archetypes, such as the worker jacket, army-surplus coats and safety footwear. For example, the press notes of his fall 2023 collection confirmed the hero of Magliano to be the worker and the lineup to be “a tribute to what is most chic: the fatigue, ‘il travaglio,’ as they say in dialect.”
Shining a light on this different dimension of the country, far from the glamorized versions or the usual “La Dolce Vita” postcard-like image, is what further contributed to the increasing interest in the brand. Rather than pointing to aspirational clothes and lifestyles, the designer shows the beauty in realism, in an exercise that sort of winks to the quintessentially Italian neorealism film movement.
In addition to the LVMH Prize contest that brought Magliano international visibility — along with a grant of 200,000 euros and a one-year mentorship program from the LVMH Group — there was another milestone in the brand’s history. At the end of last year, the company sold a minority stake to fashion business accelerator Underscore District to support the next stage of its growth, as reported. Ever since, the company has opened its online store, expanded the team and focused on accessories.
As special guest of Pitti Uomo, Magliano follows in the footsteps of the likes of ERL’s Eli Russell Linnetz, Martine Rose, Grace Wales Bonner and Thebe Magugu. Former guest brands and designers showing in Florence also included Jil Sander’s creative directors Lucie and Luke Meier; Y/Project’s creative director Glenn Martens; Jonathan Anderson of JW Anderson; Roberto Cavalli, and Craig Green.
It is understood this is just the first announcement Pitti Uomo organizers will make to build hype around the 105th edition of the international menswear trade show.