Famed actor Jude Law and his son Raff were honoured by being last year’s Brioni brand ambassadors after ousting Brad Pitt from the fashion throne. This year Brioni opted to showcase their Spring/Summer 2023 collection in a “hidden” Milan garden. They substituted celebrities, top fashion models and the classic catwalk with lifeless, still mannequins.
For luxury correspondent Tobias Bayer, however, a real stretch of the imagination is not needed in order to appease the prestigious Roman menswear luxury house.
“Do you need catwalk shows? Maybe not. Brioni proves that presentations can be an engaging, entertaining affair. For Milan Fashion Week, creative director Norbert Stumpfl has opted for a monastery garden where mannequins seem to have come alive. They are deep in conversation, reading books from Plato and George Sand or are just wandering around in the cloister. (Of course, they are well dressed, too.)”
Brioni: The SS2023 Collection
Despite the lack of human souls for Brioni’s clothing line during Milan’s fashion week, fortunately, a press kit showcased the collection with a live photo shoot that had been done in the Lago di Como area – with “real men.” The Brioni brand is mostly famous for soft, light colours, including blue, yellow, and creamy white tailoring and the new line is giving the free and easy look in toe loafers.
Milan’s fashion week in June dedicated to men included 25 fashion shows, 24 presentations and four presentations by appointment, five digital contents and 12 events for a total of 70 appointments, of which 65 were physical.
Brioni: Diamond Era
Celebrating 75 years in menswear luxury and surviving tempestuous changes of fashion visions, the executive design director of Brioni, Norbert Stumpfl, is still in firm control of the artistic helm. He has found his passion for fabrics where the company’s style matches his character traits of a “serious quiet boy.”
“Fashion doesn’t always have to shout – you can whisper fashion. In Brioni, I don’t have to change myself at all. Before joining Brioni I was buying pieces for myself. I still have a white-sea island shirt and a grey turtleneck that I wear. So I was very much in sync to be offered the Creative Director position,” said Stumpfl at last year’s webinar conference hosted by the Accademia Costume e Moda.
With a worldwide pandemic that has crippled the fashion industry recently, Brioni itself has been faced with grim economic realities. Brioni’s decision last year to downsize the company’s production plant in Penne, for example, drew criticism from the local union leader Leonardo D’Addazio. “The people have to be angry with this company. After the layoff of more than 200 workers, more than 1,000 workers found their salaries cut by 20% and their working hours reduced.”
But the fashion persists: A Brioni man is confident in whatever he is doing
“Brioni is for the modern man. A person who is confident in what he is doing. He doesn’t want to show off different brands and he doesn’t need a big logo,” said Stumpfl. “The fabric gets more and more soft. The threads become finer and finer. They feel like silk and when you touch Brioni, it’s like “wow!” You always feel like you’re in a cloud of extreme softness.”
The perfect fit for the everyday man
“The design is quite minimal. As a designer, I don’t want to be seen. Nobody should see it was designed by a designer. It might be the opposite of everybody else because everybody wants to wear designer clothes. Our customer wants to put himself in the foreground. And my designs are there to create a shoulder line which is really harmonious. Sometimes our clients are 40-, 50-, 60- year-old men so they may have a little bit of a stomach. I have to create something that helps them in a kind of silhouette to make them look slimmer.”
Photos courtesy of National Chamber of Italian Fashion (Camera nazionale della moda italiana)
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