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SUNNEI Spring Summer 2017

Youthful Sportswear

 

The Milan-based designers Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina of Sunnei are heavily influenced by the contemporary and creating synergy between people and situations, already cementing a strong aesthetic through their young clothing brand only in its second year. The duo’s effortlessly playful collections combine experimental dyeing techniques with rare Italian materials and streamlined sports silhouettes with tailored suiting. Taking an innovative approach to design, the pair’s manipulation of high-quality fabric and provoking construction has resulted in an effortlessly modern aesthetic whilst their traditional methods and classic silhouettes secure them as a timeless menswear brand.

The SS17 collection harnesses an irreverent youthfulness with tactile tailored pieces, graphic t-shirts, sports-inspired accessories, roomy knitted vests and boxy denims. Oversized cuts and luxury materials lend comfort to the collection and an understated sense of modernity adds to the Italian ideal of ‘Sprezzatura.’

We spoke to Rizzo and Messina ahead of the anticipated Sunnei collection launch at LN-CC this season;

 
 

LN-CC: WHERE DID THE BRAND NAME SUNNEI ORIGINATE FROM? HOW DID YOU MEET AND HOW DID THE BRAND COME ALIVE?

 
 

We met through a circle of friends a couple of years ago. The brand came alive when we realized that we had the same vision regarding fashion and what we would love to create within it. So, after a while we decided to quit our jobs to express ourselves through Sunnei; we felt like it was something we should be doing. With regards to the name, we came up with it during a road trip in America. We were in the car, singing along to a song and realized that “Sunnei” would be the Italianised version of saying sunny.

 
 

LN-CC: WHERE DID YOUR INTEREST IN FASHION STEM FROM? WHAT CONTINUES TO INSPIRE YOU?

 
 

We are definitely more interested in the notion of style and timelessness rather than the idea of trends that guide the fashion industry. We also make sure that our pieces reflect that ideal. With regards to inspiration, we look everywhere except to other fashion brands! It could be anything that we see in our daily life that inspires us!

 
 

LN-CC: YOUR AESTHETIC – ALTHOUGH SUBVERTED - IS ROOTED IN ITALIAN CLASSICISM; WHAT TROPES DO YOU TAKE FROM ITALIAN TRADITIONS?

 
 

Being Italian is definitely rooted in our DNA. We believe in having a different approach to “Made in Italy” – one that shows not only traditions but innovations taking place in our genius loci. The Italian scene is mostly surrounded with rather traditional names in contrast to the London or NY ones which are more open to young designers. But being Italian will always be present in our works, just interpreted in a more diverse manner than the usual.

 
 

LN-CC: YOU’RE BASED IN MILAN, HOW DO YOUR EVERYDAY SURROUNDINGS IMPACT YOUR DESIGN PROCESS?

 
 

Milan is a big part of who we are. We’ve been living here for quite a bit and we really appreciate the joys in having an aperetivo with friends after work. But we must underline that even where we have placed “Spazio Sunnei” is on a different path than the cliché fashion route of the city. We are not interested in the Duomo as such but rather in the alternative landmarks of the city that make us who we are through the design approach we obtain; like Bar Basso and Torre Velasca.


 
 

LN-CC: YOU ADHERE TO THE ITALIAN IDEAL ‘SPREZZATURA,’ WHAT MEANING DOES THIS HAVE FOR YOU AND HOW DO YOU INCORPORATE THIS INTO YOUR BRAND PHILOSOPHY?

 
 

The classic meaning is defined “a perfect conduit or performing a task without any effort”. We interpret this as the reinvention of being effortlessly cool. The SUNNEI man or woman will not ground themselves in logos or trends, they will just be effortlessly cool – that is what it is all about for us as we celebrate the art of Italian living.

 
 

LN-CC: YOU OFTEN REWORK AND REIMAGINE CLASSIC GARMENTS, HOW DID THIS METHOD OF CONSTRUCTION DEVELOP?

 
 

This can also be understood in the way we reinterpret “Made in Italy”. For us, the traditional way is important yet we always want to bring a touch of innovation. The denim for example, is a classic and it has always been redone and reimagined. We want to show how we translate these classic garments as well. It is all about adding our touch!

 
 

LN-CC: ARE THERE ANY SILHOUETTES OR DETAILS YOU TRY TO INCORPORATE IN EVERY COLLECTION?

 
 

The stripes have always been there! There has not been a single collection where we haven’t incorporated them in a different way. Each season we will take items like classic T-shirts and denim pants and see how we can envision them with a diverse approach.

 
 

LN-CC: YOUR COLLECTIONS RELATE BACK TO ITALY AND ITS CONTRADICTORY HISTORY, WHAT IS THE NARRATIVE OF YOUR SS17 COLLECTION?

 
 

For the SS17 collection we reworked, deconstructed and reimagined the traditional staples of Italian sartorial tradition through an ironic lens. The youthful and playful spirit is always visible through the infusion with a sense of freedom and rebellion. The nineties echo is always present and overall we just wanted to portray a crew where different individuals express themselves whilst sharing common values.

 
 

LN-CC: TRENDS DON’T RESONATE WITH YOU; WHAT DO YOU THINK HELPS MAINTAIN YOUR SENSE OF CONTEMPORARINESS?

 
 

As contrary to popular belief, we don’t believe that trends are what are guiding contemporariness. For us, it is more related to the understanding of the notion of culture in general rather than fashion-based trends doomed to die in six months. For SUNNEI, the sense of contemporariness is rooted upon the idea of freshness and innovation while we play around the idea of tradition.