Magliano, the brand founded in 2016 by rising star Luca Magliano, uses grit, irony, realism, and satire to captivate an audience and promote its name. And this Spring/Summer 2020 men’s collection was no exception.
Luca Magliano at his Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Milan. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.
Case in point: its muse is salt and pepper-haired model Toni Pandolfi whose chiseled face is etched with scars, and his main wardrobe essentials are a gold cross and a wife beater tee. Exactly… he would have been great in Brian De Palma’s “Scarface.” In reality, he was cast in a very similar Italian film “Vallanzasca” the story of Renato Vallanzasca, the notorious Milanese mobster who ruled these here fashionable streets in the 1970s. And even though the designer may not agree with this generalisation, his fashions, season after season, are perfect for films just like these.
There are the clothes and then there is the marketing... For the Spring/Summer 2020 campaign, Magliano filmed Pandolfi humming in his boxer shorts, gyrating his hips, styling his hair with fresh spit, and finishing his look off with a spritz of cologne inside his crotch. “Magliano is for everyone,” he tells the camera with a saucy stare.
Toni Pandolfi at the Magliano Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Milan. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.
That’s Toni, but the designer Luca, in reality, is actually more of a poet than a fighter. A creative with a passion for film, literature, and the beauty of everyday Italian culture and real Italians, Magliano made his debut at Pitti Uomo and as a Vogue Talent. We chatted with the designer about the good, the bad, and the ugly that is woven into the soul of his brand.
NOW FASHION: Toni Pandolfi is one of the most interesting models we have seen on the runway who transcends the barriers of age and conventional beauty. Who are the other models and how do you choose them?
Luca Magliano: Some of them are professional, very often at their first steps in fashion. Some of them are friends that we loooove immensely and who want to play with us. I think it’s also always about the character that we ask them to interpret.
NF: It seems like you embrace 70s style, Italian mafia culture from the days Renato Vallanzasca ruled the streets of Milano, underground. Why is that?
LM: It’s a pity that, for foreigners, Italian folk elegance is considered Mafia. We talk about the suburbs that we call provincia. And yes, we refer to the 80’s underground camp culture, because we are orphans of those heroes that we read in literature and comics.
NF: You say you are inspired by realism and… Frankenstein?
LM: [Frankenstein] Because it’s a symbol of both aesthetics and ethics: a monster that calls to mind the work of God and love and talks about how conflicting universes can be beautifully stitched together.
Magliano Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Milan. Photos by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.
NF: Tell us a little more about why you decided to pursue fashion?
LM: Every man is a designer. But I have always had a strong sense for fabric I think. I used to make mermaid tails with towels.
NF: What media influences have shaped some of your collections?
LM: Cinema, comics, and literature most of all.
NF: Do you believe streetwear is a thing? How do you fit or not fit into this category?
LM: Of course it is, and what it has always been is the sense of what people feel and choose to represent themselves in everyday life. Magliano perfectly fits into this. We point the attention to street glamour and cool involuntary elegance.
Magliano Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show in Milan. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.
NF: What are some of the challenges in captivating a younger audience with luxury wear such as yours?
LM: It seems like a paradox, I know, but young people are much more interested in our clothes than older people. I think is because we share the same language; there are no off-limits topics. It’s about how you deliver the content.