Tod’s new collab with Palm Angels is Best in Class linkup says Francesco Ragazzi
Entitled Tod’s x 8 Moncler Palm Angels, the collab is the latest in the long-term project known as Tod’s-FACTORY. Developed as a creative laboratory where established and emerging designers are invited to interpret Tod’s DNA, the partnerships so far have included tie-ups with the likes of Alber Elbaz and Alessandro Dell’Acqua.
“This is about putting together brands that are best in class - Moncler and Tod’s. Working with the best of Made in Italy. To my mind, when it comes to footwear Tod’s is the best in class. Palm Angels is a young, small brand, so I still have plenty to learn from giants like Moncler and Tod’s,” explained Palm Angels founder and designer Francesco Ragazzi, in a phone call on his way to work.
For Tod’s, Ragazzi dreamed up novel interpretations of the Italian footwear giant's key elements, the Gommino, studded moccasins, the W.G., and a laced-up ankle boot version of the Winter Gommino. Ragazzi’s two Gomminos comes in either black or beige and are finished with red and yellow flames, with the tongue engraved with Palm Angels, placed beside Tod’s stamped T logo.
“The Gommino was part of my childhood. They were my shoes for big occasions. That’s something that stays in your mind and heart. This collection is inspired by American sports uniforms. So, I wanted a mix of team shoes with Tod’s high quality. You never find a graphic like these flames on a Gommino, so I think I brought a certain tension and something new,” explains Ragazzi, who launched Palm Angels in 2015, and lives between Milan and the shores of Lake Como.
Francesco also dreamed up two versions of the W.G. – one in creamy ecru the other in contrasting tobacco and chocolate leather. Each of them finished at the ankle with Moncler’s playful palm tree logo.
“The W.G. is an iconic piece of footwear, a winter version worn by a legend like Gianni Agnelli. This was my reinterpretation,” added Ragazzi, who chose Campbell to “add a third icon to the conversation.”
Shot around Miami by Philadelphia-born photography star Quil Lemons, the campaign captures the hedonistic spirit of Florida in the 90s. Campbell dresses in combinations of Tod’s x 8 Moncler Palm Angels footwear with golden Moncler Palm Angels puffers or green velour logo pajama pants, often shot underneath palm trees. This new collab, links back to Moncler Genius, where over a score of designers, including Ragazzi, have created wildly varying versions of Moncler’s puffer jackets.
Last summer, e-commerce platform Farfetch – via its New Guards Group - acquired a 60% stake in Palm Angels, leaving Ragazzi and partner Davide de Giglio each with 20% stakes. July 2021 also saw the opening of Palm Angels’ first store in Miami. Ragazzi, who spent 10 years at Moncler before launching his luxury indie brand, has always focused on collaborations – including with Missoni, Vilebrequin and electric bike maker Mate.
He insists his business practices have not altered since the Farfetch deal.
“Things have not really changed, except it’s more of a partnership than ever. Where we can leverage the platform and they leverage on our ideas,” insisted Francesco, who has finally begun visiting his great source of inspiration, American subcultures, again post-Covid.
“I am back to travelling the normal way. That gives me energy, testing the thermometer of the state. Last month, we were in LA, to launch a pop up in Maxfield’s for one month. And also to prep this collab,” he explained, referring to the famed LA luxury boutique.
While this month, he was in Abu Dhabi for its November 20 Formula 1 Grand Prix, to launch yet another link-up with Haas, the one American team in the motor sport. His brand will become the official ‘EntArtainment' curator of the Haas F1 Team, with visibility on the VF-23, driver overalls and garage and hospitality branding, as well as across owned channels.
So, his latest linkup with Tod’s seems destined to attract plenty of attention. Due to start retailing on Tuesday, November 30, the Palm Angels’ Gommino is priced at €590 and the Winter Gommino at €980.
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