When it comes to up and coming voices in Milan’s menswear, Sunnei is certainly the talk of the town. Established by Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo in 2015, it offers a boyish look in combination with a more refined and product-oriented approach typical for Milan. The show took place at The Nilufar Depot, a stunning space which belongs to Nina Yashar, one of the city’s top design dealers. The exquisitely designed 1,500sqm warehouse was perhaps the best place to showcase the brand which belongs to the new wave of Milan’s interdisciplinary creativity. Sunnei seems to have found a good balance of edgy and polished. Milan, after all, has its own special kind of 'edgy' - even cracks in the cement floor looked absolutely perfect.
'Our show notes this season are full of sketches because it’s very hard for us to explain with words what is it we are doing. It’s all keywords, like a code', Simone Rizzo explained backstage. Among notes and arrows, a line about childhood obsession stood out: 'I can remember myself as a child, playing Cool Boarders on the Play Station. It took me hours to create the look of my character!' The origin of some of the outfits on the runway could definitely be traced back to this pass-time: floor-length sleeveless puffer jackets, wide-leg trousers, large sporty striped tops. Big fluffy hats looked a bit like mushrooms from Super Mario, but in fact, channeled the designers’ summertime obsession with Jamiroquai. The looks were laid-back and relaxed, with an abundance of colour - seemingly effortless in the use of brown, green and blue hues with bright red accents, but no doubt carefully curated. It was a collection ready to be taken apart into separate design objects, consumer and product-oriented - an approach which will definitely do well for an emerging business.
Much like Marni’s Francesco Risso, Sunnei designers were all about fun this season. 'We wanted to communicate that you don’t have to be taking everything so seriously. Chill, enjoy! You don’t need to always put a message inside everything', Simone Rizzo added. The designers threw in a couple of low-key jokes: the word 'internet' enclosed in a cheesy red heart, and 'We should all be Sunnei' sweater clearly mocking Dior’s 'We should all be feminist' T-shirts - which controversially retailed for over 700 dollars. The latter perhaps was not the best idea - jokes are jokes, but coming from two male designers, and in the times we live in, it could be easily interpreted as ignorant and dismissive.
Today, we’re witnessing the all-encompassing process of rejuvenation in fashion design, even among the heavyweights like Burberry and Prada. In Milan, where a lot of fashion business is built on convention and tradition, it opens new ways for the emerging talent to grow. The city’s getting younger and Sunnei are among the ones to watch.