Fashion designer Carlo Volpi, 37, was the winner of Italy’s Who is on Next prize for menswear this year thanks to his inventive use of Italian knits and British cartoons. At 19, the designer left his native Italy for London and has been there ever since. Today, Volpi divides his time between teaching at London’s RCA (Royal College of Art) and LCF (London College of Fashion), in addition to working in the mini ateliers he has set up in London and back home in the Tuscan village of Limite Sull’Arno where artisans assemble his complex tunic-inspired sweater patterns using a combination of hand-knitting machines and techniques like thermal welding, which he has pioneered. Volpi’s small production means that most of his sweaters are snapped up by friends and friends of friends, but if you’re lucky you might be able to snag one online at Wolf & Badger.
Ikiji is comprised of a consortium of authentic Japanese fashion craftsman who produce, cut, sew and knit both fashion pieces and accessories as one collection. The sweaters and suits all have a slight influence of kimonos and workwear that underscores the brand’s fusion of old and new and east meets west.
The White Briefs
Peter Simonsson’s intimates label The White Briefs began as a meticulously minimalist Swedish brand and has slowly expanded to include soft, understated tailored pieces for both men and women.
Paris-based designer Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud took inspiration from the intricate patchworks and print looks of her native Ivory Coast and infused them with a Parisian sense of color and sophisticated, minimalism. For her Spring 2017 collection, the now Paris-based designer reduced the scale of the colorful portrait prints Africans wear to celebrate presidential candidates and other notables into polkadot size for a head-turning pattern.
Ilaria Soncini, the designer of Ilariusss Hats, designs hats for men and women using a sculptural approach from hear shape brims to juicy lip visors. Soncini, who creates headgear for Valentino and Versace, scored a major coup recently when Amal Clooney wore one of her turbans to meet the pope.
Fashion designer Filippo Colnaghi grew up around his family’s innovative fabrics business before he left Italy to attend Georgetown University. It was there that he got the idea to produce clothes to show all the possibilities of the latest fabrics from the family house enlisting Andrea Busnelli as designer and Francesco Evangelisti in marketing. The threesome, all in their 20s have developed a collection, named after the street where their office is located in Milan of traditional tailoring and sportwear in state of the art ffabrics which mimic wovens in breathable syntheics to take the creases and stiffness out of tailoring.