MILAN — Filippo Grazioli always wanted to try his hand at menswear design and he’s eagerly taking this opportunity at Missoni. He’s definitely had good training as the designer reminisced how it was Stone Island chief Carlo Rivetti who was the first to teach him the ins and outs of menswear.
Grazioli, who was named Missoni’s creative director in March, said during a preview interview that he has no intention of overhauling the brand’s pillars and codes, but he’s revisiting them with a youthful flair and is aiming for a sophisticated yet comfortable and easy collection. This will be unveiled on June 19 with a presentation at Missoni’s showroom in Milan’s artsy Brera district.
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“What could be more representative of comfort than knitwear, which is the foundation of Missoni?” he wondered. “Knitwear is always pleasant, caressing and accompanying our body movements.”
That’s not to say that the suit is forgotten. On the other hand, the designer revisits it through deconstructed knit jackets and fluid pants. Missoni’s signature zig-zag pattern is rendered in a new, intriguing version fading away on parts of the suit.
The silhouettes are relaxed and Grazioli simplifies rather than layers the pieces, conceiving the collection as a combination of items that can be easily coordinated.
Sometimes Missoni’s patterns are only shown as details, as on the collar, cuffs and front pocket of a white poplin shirt. The zig-zag pattern is realized with a 3D effect on a monochrome white knit suit. “There must always be a recognizable Missoni detail in every look,” he said.
Looking at founder Ottavio Missoni’s own style, cardigans continue to be key in the lineup but new patchwork techniques that revisit his artistic tapestry patterns add a lightness to the designs. Grazioli admitted he was aiming at drawing in a new cluster of younger customers. “There is a lot of potential for Missoni in the menswear segment,” he observed, but he also insisted on sharing “the same codes” with his womenswear collections for the brand. While he unveiled his first resort collection this week, Grazioli’s first womenswear show will take place in September.
A graduate of Milan’s Istituto Europeo di Design, Grazioli developed his career in Paris. During an internship at Staff International, he met Martin Margiela and went on to work with the designer on the women’s collections until 2013. In 2015, after a stint as senior women’s designer at Hermès, he made another important personal encounter, meeting Riccardo Tisci and becoming director of the collections at Givenchy. Grazioli then followed Tisci to become director of the runway collection at Burberry.
The change in creative direction at Missoni is part of the five-year plan presented by chief executive officer Livio Proli, who joined the company from the Giorgio Armani Group in 2020, after the Italian fund FSI took a 41.2 percent stake in the family-owned fashion house in 2018.
Proli has been expanding the brand’s product offer with a new watch license with Timex Group and with eyewear with Safilo Group. As reported, Missoni closed 2021 with sales of 105 million euros, compared to 110 million euros in 2019, recovering two years earlier than expected and despite the closure of the M Missoni line.