Two years ago, while working as a designer for Sean John, Edward Buchanan discovered that his favorite Milan knitwear factory was getting clobbered by its competition in China. “A lot of their clients had left them,” says Buchanan, who initially sampled the small workshop’s magic when he arrived in Milan as a designer for Bottega Veneta in 1995 and later employed the factory to produce his own label, LeFlesh. In an attempt to keep the company’s doors open, Buchanan launched Sansovino 6, which takes its name from the workshop’s address. The first collection, for spring 2010, was a love letter to the craftsmen’s technical skills, but the designs—for both men and women—were based on intelligence culled from 10 very cool friends, including Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci and model Lea T. “I asked them for their favorite items in their wardrobe,” says Buchanan, who then reconceived each piece—from a sharp-shouldered T-shirt to a blazer and a military-style anorak—as knitwear. This spring he has taken on the world of jeans. Indigo knits, washed and distressed by an Italian denim specialist, have been used to create unisex cutoff shorts, jackets, and various pant silhouettes. The five-pocket boot cut could be mistaken for a stylishly worn-in pair of Levi’s, but done up in fine-gauge cotton knit, it feels as snuggly as sweats.