The Menswear mecca hit a bumpy road in January as the looming Omicron variant put a damper on the fashionable festivities forcing many brands, editors, and buyers to cancel their travel plans. Thankfully, with another outbreak of the vexing virus nowhere in sight (knock on wood), it looks like Milano Moda Uomo is set for a triumphant return with a whopping 61 physical presentations. Starting things off are Canadian duo Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared2, who has been a Milanese mainstay since they started the brand in '95. Nearly three decades on and the city's global appeal is enticing as ever with several international brands on the docket. Representing the Big Smoke is Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY with a digital debut, a second outing by Jordan Bowen and Luca Marchetto of JORDANLUCA, along with the highly anticipated runway show from JW Anderson whose initial plans were curtailed due to COVID-related technical difficulties last season. Joining them are expats like American designer Matthew Williams of 1017 ALYX 9SM, Berlin DJ Max Kobosil of 44-Label Group, and the eponymous label by Indian designer Dhruv Kapoor who have all chosen Milan as the home for their respective brands this season.
Of course, there's no shortage of homegrown heroes that are sure to mark their territory this season. The usual suspects like Fendi and Versace will be joined by Alessandro Michele, marking the return of Gucci menswear following his interstellar Cosmogonie collection that touched down in Rome last month. Jeremy Scott also returns to the schedule with Moschino menswear for the first time since 2018 and no matter what the pop-culture aficionado has up his sleeves it’s bound to be entertaining. Closing out the physical shows is Zegna - one that's been hyped up in recent years thanks to creative director Alessandro Satori’s innovative phygital presentations (that's physical and digital, to you), and relaxed contemporary tailoring. And while Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada’s continued dialogue is sure to dominate the global fashion press and social feeds worldwide, the nation’s emerging talents like Magliano and Simon Cracker should still be on your radar. Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s a breakdown of the shows you won’t want to miss.
Co-creative directors Jodan Bowen and Luca Marchetto are following up their acclaimed Milan debut in what's sure to be an equally eclectic and energetic outing. Their avian-inspired A/W 22 collection - where exaggerated silhouettes and punk references reigned supreme - was the duo’s way of celebrating British identity on a global stage with Bowen being a London-native and Marchetto calling the city home for nearly a decade. Don’t be surprised if the powerhouse partners expand their quintessentially British universe with their experimental menswear.
Speaking of British talent, JW Anderson is set to finally make his Milan mark this season after an unfortunate series of events put a kibosh on his A/W 22 plans. Forced to show his menswear digitally from London instead, the hometown hero showcased a collection of silhouettes that challenged notions of hyper-masculinity including midriff-baring crop tops, ruffled short-shorts, and shining disco tights. This androgynous approach has been nothing short of a mainstay signature from the designer with this selection harkening back to his show-stopping A/W 13 collection that solidified his status as a disruptive force in menswear.
Among the heavyweights, Bologna-based designer Luca Magliano has been quietly building a cult following since he started his label in 2016, thanks to his romantic approach to Italian tailoring. Inspired by the queer countercultures of the 80s and the underground communities of his hometown, he’s carved a name for himself by subverting sartorial staples with transformative languid cuts that evoke brash sex appeal. At a pivotal point in his career, all eyes should be set on what the emerging talent has to offer.
Always a highlight of the Milan collections, Silvia Venturini Fendi’s menswear offerings have been defined by her ability to transform classic wardrobe staples with sleek hyper-contemporary cuts and irreverent use of furs. For her A/W 22 collection, this meant boxy streetwear-inspired button-ups crafted from super-soft cashmere, billowy silk shirts, and a fur coat sheared with the house’s signature Zucca print. We can only imagine how the menswear maven is going to transform her family logo this time around.
As the undisputed crown jewel of Milan Fashion Week, the schedule wouldn’t be complete without co-creative directors Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada who will be presenting their fourth menswear collection as collaborators. This follows the cinematic A/W 22 collection that brought Hollywood to Milan with a star-studded cast of actors including Pradaddies Kyle McLaughlin and Jeff Goldblum which ended with an unforgettable runway walk that went viral. While Prada has always been enigmatic, eclectic and for many, a bit difficult to digest at times, there is no denying that no matter what the design titans produce, the world will be talking about it.