Sunnei pulls off an accomplished balancing act in the sky above Milan
It's fair to say that Sunnei hosted one of the most beautiful shows at this season's Milan Fashion Week Men's, taking its guests to the top of Pirellone, the locals' affectionate name for the Pirelli Tower. It's the first fashion house to do so (Fendi held a presentation there in 2012, but not a show), and it was the perfect setting for the young menswear brand, launched in 2015 by France's Loris Messina and Italy's Simone Rizzo, to unveil its first womenswear collection in a breathtaking show above the city.
Designed by Gio Ponti in the 1950s, the Pirelli Tower, which is located across from Milan's central station, is one of the most emblematic architectural icons of the Lombard capital. Its belvedere, which is made entirely of glass on both sides, was reworked and given a futuristic design in the 2000s by De8 Architetti, creating a spectacular space suspended between the earth and the heavens.
"We've been thinking about this place for a while. It's the first time that a runway show has been organised here. It's a fantastic occasion to launch our new womenswear line", said Loris Messina, who has a marketing degree and began her career working in visual merchandising at Gucci.
As the sunblinds were raised, revealing the tentacular city below, the first models stepped onto the catwalk, accompanied by floaty house music from the 90s, a period which is particularly inspiring for the duo. Accessorising with wide-brimmed hats and large bags carried over their shoulders with straps, the boys wore baggy trousers or overalls, coupled with striped pullovers or windbreakers made out of almost transparent hyper-lightweight polyester.
The girls were perched on two-tone maxi-platforms and wore tight knitted dresses with large stripes, or flowing terry cloth versions, military trousers with large side pockets paired with micro knitwear tops, or oversized flared jeans with buttons running the length of their legs. Both genders wore maxi-trenches featuring bold striped collars and cuffs.
The masterful collection, which was 100% made in Italy, was very graphic, made up of reimagined basics, each featuring some kind of twist and beautiful detailing. Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo are constantly developing their aesthetic, evolving from season to season, and with this collection full of desirable pieces, the duo seems to have found the magic formula: not too sportswear, not too streetwear, not too couture.
Indeed, Sunnei's expansion is steaming ahead and the brand now has between 80 and 90 multi-brand distribution partners in Asia, the United States and the principal European capitals. In Paris, for example, the label is sold at Printemps and Tom Greyhound. The brand's direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform was also launched a year and a half ago and has been seeing strong growth in the past six months.
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