September 28, 2022


Dress like a Boss

How Sustainable Ideas are Shaking Up Milan Menswear


Eyeing international stockists, Jordanluca decamped from London to Milan for its Autumn/Winter 2022 show. The brand has consistently experimented with recycled ocean plastics to create some of its textured fabrics. Material innovation is a priority alongside a countercultural creative message based on a fusion of Italian tailoring with London edge.

For AW22, the brand used faux fur made from corn starch in jackets and cactus leather on jackets and trousers. For Spring/Summer 2023, the duo are experimenting further with cactus leather. Next up on the designers’ material agenda — leather made from fish scales, sourced from the sushi industry and from the scales of fish eaten by Amazonian communities.

Sourcing and selling: Not always easy

Simon Cracker sources fabrics from factory deadstock and discarded garments picked up from laundrettes in his native town of Cesena, close to Bologna. The SS23 collection, showing on Sunday, is titled Reality Bites, featuring pieces made from parachutes, embroidered upcycled bed sheets and secondhand garments.

Cracker was invited to show by Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana this season, although the brand had to organise its own venue and live stream. Favours were asked from venues and videographers, while brand customers — aka “The Cracker Crew” — have been invited to walk the show.

The brand struggled with sales during Covid, like so many small fashion businesses. “Selling one of a kind and upcycled fashion is difficult anyway, but it’s almost impossible to do virtually,” Biraghi says. “After 30 years in the fashion business, I’ve realised that when you come up with something different or a new approach, everyone is a bit afraid of what’s going to happen. Stores immediately ask ‘what about sizing?’ and ‘won’t the clothes all look the same?’” The brand hovers around break-even, with ambitions to maximise stockists and build an enduring presence on the Milan scene. “We have rebuilt the business pretty much from scratch,” Cracker says.

Jordanluca has also struggled to attract new stockists during a period when many international buyers were unable to see collections physically. “They just absolutely refuse to buy anything new unless they can touch it,” Bowen says. “They need to see the lining and how it’s made, check if the buttonholes have threads sticking out. So, it’s been really difficult. But, we’re getting there.”

Magliano: Reinventing tradition

Gender-free Bolognese luxury house Magliano, launched in 2016, has established itself as a progressive fashion brand on the Milan menswear schedule. It’s stocked by stores such as Ssense and 10 Corso Como Seoul, with a growing presence in China. Sales hit €1.5 million in 2021, up 50 per cent on the previous year, according to the brand. Founder Luchino Magliano intends to expand its retail footprint in the US this year and build a DTC operation to reach customers outside its current markets.


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