Missoni’s Creative Director on Connecting Music & Style at Milano Fashion Week

One of the most remarkable parts of the recent Milano Fashion Week was Missoni’s tribute to its iconic striped style and creative history, which the Italian brand has carried forward with courage and innovation over the decades. That began in 1958 when Ottavio and Rosita Missoni created a provocative fitting at the Rinascente mall in Milan, covering the eyes of the mannequins with colored, striped scarves.

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It is from a harsh comment of that time (“Poor girls, luckily they are blindfolded — if they could see themselves”), that the fashion show of Missoni (“those of the stripes”) began. The models paraded on the catwalk, with the stripes moving in rhythm and appearing to expand on the clothes, dancing from head to toe, contracting and then slowing down.

The purpose is clear, the stripes help to understand it: everything is matched rather than mixed. To underline the models’ steps, Filippo Grazioli, creative director of Missoni, decided to have one long music track specially created by producer Andrea Mangia (aka Populous). Billboard Italy, Missoni’s music consultant and media partner for the show, sat down with Grazioli a few hours before the opening.

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Why did you call this new collection “The Ones of the Stripes”?

Since I arrived at Missoni almost three years ago, I have faced many challenges, both personal and professional. One of the main ones was to fully understand the essence of the brand and make it evolve. I spent a lot of time immersing myself in the archives of the historic Missoni headquarters in Sumirago and establishing a strong connection with the legacy of the company, which is a continuous source of inspiration. Working with such an iconic brand also means balancing respect for its history and the desire for innovation and change. In an unstable context like the one we live in, I wanted fashion to maintain a sense of fun – especially in the case of Missoni’s style, which is very colorful. My idea for the FW 24/25 women’s collection was to pick up Missoni’s old striped style and reinterpret it in a contemporary way.

What innovations do you think you have brought in these three years? On what principles was the concept of this collection formed?

My goal was to bring modernity, contemporaneity, desire, femininity and lightness to fabrics and graphics. In creating the collection, I tried to express a concept of freedom and femininity, playing with a contrast between masculine and feminine with silhouettes that mark the body and lengthen it and strong volumes that envelop it. To me, Missoni represents a style of “bien vivre,” in harmony with the values of “Made in Italy.” I am convinced that Missoni’s code suits many women well, offering a variety of styles that allow each to find their own unique expression.

You have a great passion for music. Who are the Italian singers who fascinate you and stimulate you the most for your work?

I have always wanted to link my work to the Italian and international music scene. Having lived in France for many years, I didn’t know Italian music that much, but when I returned to Italy, I immediately started working with Lazza, Elodie and Mara Sattei on their projects for Sanremo 2023, and then on those of Rose Villain, Emma and Negramaro for Sanremo 2024. The unique aspect of music is that it is borderless. As Missoni, our projects have opened up internationally, with Sabrina Carpenter, Beyoncé, Rita Ora and Suki Waterhouse.

How important is music for the success of a fashion show?

It is essential for its success. Music is the part that creates emotions. It must integrate perfectly with the collection, in order to convey a consistent message. Lou Reed is often my starting point. His songs always inspire me in so many different ways.

It was precisely by talking about “Walk on the Wild Side” that your creative interaction with Populous began. What did you find special about working with him?

He is a very inspirational professional. It was nice to talk to a creative mind who interpreted in music what I wanted to convey in the show. The exciting aspect was that it was the first time he wrote music for a fashion show, and he was excited. Having this type of exchange between creatives is essential.

Have you chosen an Italian artist to underline the sense of “Made in Italy” or do you not preclude collaborations with international artists?

I think it is essential to value Italian artists. We wondered whether to have an Italian voice in the show’s music precisely to emphasize the Italian identity, then we opted for lyrics in English to be able to reach the entire audience. But I don’t preclude myself from collaborating with international artists in the future.

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