This just in, Y2K is officially over. In other words, Blumarine and Creative Director Nicola Brognano are splitting ways, after having been appointed in late 2019 and holding the position for four years.
The news came through this morning following a statement from the brand. To this, Brognano has commented “Working as Blumarine’s Creative Director, a brand I have always followed with keen interest, has been profoundly enriching on a professional, creative and personal level,” leaving much to think about the reasoning behind this split.
Back when Brognano joined four years ago, Blumarine was hardly the brand we now associate with blinged-out butterflies and Hello Kitty collabs. Founded in 1977 by Anna Molinari and Gianpaolo Tarabini, Blumarine was originally inspired by the small Italian town of Carpi and the founding couple’s love of the sea, known for its romantic-leaning feminine creations.
Over the years, Blumarine has had quite a few shake ups in designers, all trying to stay true to the brand while also appealing to a younger generation of customers. And then came Brognano.
Having received the Blumarine job at 29 years of age, Brognano was born and raised in Italy and went to the Instituto Marangoni to study fashion design. He then went on to work for Giambattista Valli, both in its ready-to-wear and couture departments, and also started his own eponymous brand in 2016.
By the time news came that Blumarine would be receiving a new Creative Director, most of us kept an eye out, with the Italian brand in need of a strong vision and a creative leader to make that vision come true. His first collection definitely set the tone: a sombre, all-black backdrop, crop tops and low waisted trousers, mini skirts, sheer fabrics and exposed midriffs all pointed to a younger, edgier, sexier and more daring Blumarine woman.
Brognano’s success at reviving the brand was probably felt at its peak for his SS22 and SS23 shows where the designer served us a Y2K-inspired fever dream with the butterfly motifs and early 00s aesthetics. This coincided perfectly with the rise of Marc Jacobs’ Heaven and Glenn Martens recent appointment to Diesel, which all tapped into the Gen Z nostalgic crazy for our earlier years.
As the old fashion saying goes, one moment you’re in and then the next you’re out and eventually the full-on Y2K fits became yesterday’s news, although some silhouettes and other influences can still be felt. We saw Brognano explore a Blumarine disconnected from the nostalgic style for FW23 and SS24, and while there were strong pieces and ideas, a lack of cohesion and clear-cut vision was missing.
As of yet, Blumarine has not announced who will be taking over as Creative Director.
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