Luca Magliano is taking his eponymous label, Magliano, to Pitti Uomo 105 as the platform’s Guest Designer. That’s quite the honour for Magliano – a brand born in Bologna, Italy, in 2017 – as it follows on from a string of incredibly high-profile it-brands, such as Eli Russell Linnetz’s ERL last season, Martine Rose the time before that, and Wales Bonner (alongside Guest of Honour Ann Demeulemeester) in June 2022. But how did Magliano, a still-emerging label known in the very inner-circle of fashion, reach a point where it could be rightly awarded the opportunity to present as this coming year’s Guest Designer?
Unlike Martine Rose, Magliano hasn’t had a meteoric rise or a Nike collaboration. Unlike Wales Bonner, Magliano isn’t a brand that’s found international fame with help from an adidas collaboration. Unlike ERL, Magliano hasn’t collaborated with Dior.
Instead, what Magliano has done is stand by a handful of core motifs that have enabled it to stand out in this saturated fashion market. As the brand puts it, Magliano is “Heavily inspired by quintessentially Italian subcultures and movements, Magliano imbues menswear fundamentals such as the suit or gilet and shirt with a dark, off-beat and dishevelled attitude.”
And don’t mistake the above statements as us knocking Magliano. If anything, Pitti Uomo 105 will be Magliano’s moment, casting a spotlight on its raunchy, naughty, subverted, dishevelled twist that it applies to traditional menswear. And for that, it’s as deserving for the role of Guest Designer as the brands that came before.
Magliano has found its niche – something that was beautifully and erotically explored in its U-Power collaboration campaign. It served us a heavy dose of horny workwear nuances, tapping that homoerotic dreamscape of topless men working alongside construction site machinery. Such salacious softcore is Magliano’s cult appeal; it knows its audience.
Outside of collaborations is the Magliano runway show. It’s often an ethereal and moody depiction of rawness, and somewhat disconcerting. Spring/Summer 2024 was Magliano’s take on a “traditional” runway show, displayed on an elevated catwalk that maintained the brand’s mystique. SS23 felt more in line with what we expect from the brand – models moved solemnly through a warehouse in the outskirts of Milan, giving us a dark sense of romance.
This combination is felt through Magliano’s ready-to-wear offering. Whereas Queerness subconsciously influences much of Luca Magliano’s work, it’s not always as overtly displayed à la the U-Power collaboration. Taking a look at its current offering, Magliano offers very serious subverted tailoring – the “Nomad Doppiopetto Ballerina Beige,” otherwise known as a double-breasted overdyed wool gabardine jacket with utilitarian nylon adjustable pockets, takes a tailored blazer and blows it up with technical treatment. But beyond the addition of nylon pockets for the sake of functionality is that inimitable Magliano nuance – you’re wearing this because you’ve got the office at five, and a Hampstead Heath excursion at six. If you catch our drift.
For more obvious nods, Magliano offers the “Sexy Camion Knit Melangione,” which is essentially a sweater with easy access. A classic white tank top is twisted, looking like it’s been thrown on the floor in a rush of hedonistic pleasure. The “Mrs. Dalloway” drop earring makes a case for men wearing pearls, and is accented with hanging fruit – make of that what you will – and if you’re not convinced that the brand is serving camp, have a load of its gold-plated recycled brass cockring.
Kink is the backbone of Magliano. Belts are whipped with horsehair trimmings, gym bags are giving a luxuriously worn-in effect, and a pair of white boxers are often seen in its campaigns, implying they’re all a man needs.
When looking at Magliano, look deeper. It’s here that you’ll find the obvious staring right back at you. And when you find such meanings in its complex work, you’ll understand why Magliano is the perfect Guest Designer for Pitti Uomo 105.
Pitti Uomo is a renowned trade fair that’s just as much about the sophisticated gentleman’s wardrobe as it is about peacocking. Magliano, then, makes perfect sense – it’s a brand that offers you, me, just about anyone a stunning suit, vest, shirt, and pair of trousers. But if you’re in the know, if this brand speaks to you on a deeper level, then you’re in for a treat.
Luca Magliano’s oeuvre speaks for itself, and we cannot wait to see how he scales his intimate runways onto the internationally-attended Pitti Uomo platform in Florence. His brand is intrinsically connected to Italy; we’ve seen how Magliano ushers in Italian grandeur with an unconventional take on what’s camp. Martine Rose did it with sexy Mediterranean DJs and club promoters, and we suspect that Magliano will dive even deeper into the relaxed and seductive stereotypes of Italy come January 2024, flipping them on their head in ways only Luca Magliano can.
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