New blood: Italian fashion houses make forward leap

2 months ago 91

SINGAPORE – In a fashion capital filled with multi-generational family businesses and designer-founders who reign for decades, change can sometimes feel excruciatingly incremental.

But all of a sudden, for spring/summer 2023, an infusion of new blood in Milan is energising what had been family-owned enterprises such as Missoni and Etro, and accessory giants like Bally and Ferragamo are looking to carve out a bigger slice of the fashion pie.

Here are the designers who turned the heat up at Milan Fashion Week.


Rhuigi Villasenor was one of the pioneers in the luxury streetwear market when he established Rhude in 2015.

Since then, the label has been worn by influential tastemakers the likes of rappers Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z and model Bella Hadid.

Last year, the American-Filipino designer was tapped for the top job at Bally – the brand’s first creative director in five years.

Founded in Switzerland but showing out of Milan, the brand is mostly known for its accessories.

Villasenor aims to change that. His debut offering injected the 172-year-old brand with a fashion sensibility that was equal parts Californian cool and Hollywood bombshell glamour.

It was the kind of glamour that evoked the sexually charged 1990s, when Italian brand Gucci was revived by a hotshot American designer, Tom Ford.

The first look – a velvet suit in a tiger print – set the tone. Its jacket opened to the navel to reveal a bra underneath. What followed was plenty of skin – of both the leather and flesh variety.

There were metallic leather jackets shown with no pants; unbuttoned shirts worn with skirts slit up to the hip bone, held together only by a double-B clasp. One arresting look was composed of a silk shirt tucked into suede pants tucked into python boots.

Villasenor blended breezy and sexy best in his denim looks. See the denim shirt worn with the sparkly skirt cut ultra-high, or the denim-on-denim ensemble with plenty of cleavage and gold jewellery.


Salvatore Ferragamo founded his business in 1927 and very quickly made his name as shoemaker to the stars, including actresses Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.

The brand’s newly appointed creative director, Maximilian Davis, is also no stranger to dressing celebrities. The likes of singers Rihanna and Dua Lipa and reality television s...

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