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Meet the Marnis

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Experience this story and others in HIGHArt, a print magazine by Highsnobiety, available from retailers around the world and our online store.

Even in fashion, family is at the core of everything we do. Whether we define family as our blood relations or as the bonds we find in friends and colleagues, being connected to those that are like-minded drives creation. Over lockdown, adoption became the catalyst for exactly that, shifting the ways in which we perceive the world around us. So too for Marni’s Creative Director Francesco Risso, who started recontextualizing what family means to him.

After spending over a year apart across borders, Marni’s family was reunited with a desire to present their work through a new lens, one that boldly celebrated community. Here, clothing is the connective thread that has brought individuals from all over the world together to create, and most importantly, to have fun while doing so.

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And nothing quite says fashion family-like collective dress – a uniform, reminding one another how they were all brought together. Risso’s vision for Marni’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection shown in Milan in late September was the realization of togetherness where ahead of the show, 500 guests were personally fitted in 500 upcycled, hand-painted looks, leaving little distinction between models and showgoers.

“Getting dressed together. An act of trying on, fitting in, and fitting out. One that connects the observers and the observed. Everything and everyone as one.” Collectiveness in the literal sense. Here we speak to those nearest and dearest of Risso and Marni, minutes after the show’s final fitting.

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Francesco RissoCreative Director

“Our big Marni family formed naturally through the most common law of attraction. We’re all complete opposites but we really compliment each other. You can really break your limits and break barriers through the trust you allow yourself to give to your opposites.”

Ileana GiannaKouraHead of Womenswear

“I’m drawn to the joy, the beauty, the creativity, the freedom, the democracy, the community, and the people. To Francesco with his crazy mind and wild hands that turn everything into magic.”

Alessio CiacchiHead of Menswear

“What drew me to Marni, I think, is that Francesco was trying to do something quite different and also something quite difficult, in order to transport the brand into a new direction. To update it. I decided to accept the challenge.”

Camilla NickersonStylist

“Every memory with Francesco is adorable, he’s a magician. Seeing how love goes into Marni, and how he’s created this studio that asks the people to pour all of their passion into the clothes. It’s how we want to live today – as one, in a community.”

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Mykki BlancoSongwriter and Performer

“One of my fondest memories is one of my first performances for Marni. It was in this kind of food hall marketplace. Without really asking any of the vendors, I took all of the furniture and stacked it in a giant pile, then performed on top of it.”

Jess MayburyModel

“I think the first time I ever modeled for Marni I opened the show, and it was the first show I ever opened, so it’s a very special memory.”

AngelModel

“Marni is playful and it’s fun, it doesn’t take things too seriously. It’s silly and the team has a beginner’s mindset. Nothing feels overthought.”

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LuluModel

“Francesco is super sweet and I’ve been having a lot of fun. There’s a really cool childlike mindset here, which is really cute.”

IzzyModel

“The team genuinely cares about the clothes and the models, which is really rare – it feels very personal.”

Michele RizzoChoreographer

“The sense of family that’s here is something that I don’t experience so easily in work environments. It’s just lovely.”

Julien D’ysMakeup Artist

“What I love about Marni is the creativity, the craziness. It’s nice – intense, but always fun.”

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South Beach

The Caves Called – Vibram x Roa Hiking Answered

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Brand: Vibram x Roa Hiking

Model: Andreas and Katharina

Release Date: Available now

Price: $449-518

Buy: Online at Roa Hiking

Editor’s Notes: If your brand of wearing Arc’teryx is TikTok shenanigans involving fully-clothed showers or pouring bottles of champagne over yourself in clubs, finishing the look with a pair of terrain-ready kicks may not be priority number one – but who knows?

Trips up the peaks, around the lakes, or anything in-between, call for a sturdy set of footwear, a pair that’ll offer all-around weather protection, support, and responsiveness.

Such elements can be sought and found from Arc and Salomon, even HOKA depending on the terrain of choice, but a perfecting pairing that’ll leave you doubt-free is Roa Hiking (clues in the name) and Vibram.

Vibram are, of course, leaders in the world of high-performance rubber soles and the bread to Roa’s butter. The two have come together to offer a cohort of footwear that are equipped to tackle mountains and be styled to city life – a gorp win-win.

With the CAVE capsule collection, the timeless Andreas is dressed up in brown suede or Cordura nylon, while the newly designed Katharina takes on the same fabrications in brown and green, respectively.

Both come fitted with the best-in-class Vibram Megagrip sole, which will keep you firmly planted on wet peaks, and that battered concrete you’re still waiting for the local council to fix. Figures.

​​To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, check out the best sneakers to add to your rotation this week, follow @highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, and sign up to our newsletter for early access to the best drops sent straight to your inbox.

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Awake NY x Lacoste Is Angelo Baque’s Dream Come True

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Awake NY founder Angelo Baque sees collaborations as a communal effort, a unfication of likeminded creative peers. Collaborations aren’t merely two brands coming together to drop a product, that’s for sure.

And, considering the cultural clout that a guy like Baque commands, he could likely have his pick of the collaborative litter, so to speak.

But he prefers to patiently pick out opportunities that align with his personal taste, lifestyle, and ideology; intent is everything.

That’s why it made sense to come together with Louise Trotter, creative director of Lacoste.

“Growing up in New York, Lacoste was an aspirational brand,” Baque explained to Highsnobiety. “I’ve been a fan since I was a kid – I remember seeing the polo and tracksuits in music videos, watching hip-hop artists and my own friends adopt them and incorporate it into their own style. I grew up with Lacoste.

“I have tremendous respect for Louise and the work she’s done with Lacoste. She’s immensely talented.”

The resulting collection is a hybridization of Baque’s retro-leaning aesthetic and Trotter’s worldly design sense, incorporating both iconic Lacoste items (the polo, the post-workout sweater) and fresh pieces (an updated harrington-style jacket) into a fresh spin on preppy heritage.

“As a brand, we represent youth culture, not just here in New York, but globally,” Baque continued. “With this partnership, I wanted to bring that youthful energy into each of the pieces. The pieces are all wearable and can be mixed and matched across the collection.”

“Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions, we didn’t get to work together as closely as we both would have liked, but Louise helped make the process seamless nonetheless.”

This collection, deceivingly simple in nature, is the result of literal years of effort. It took untold time not only to design the garments but to scour the archives, to find the right fabric weight, to produce the items in Lacoste’s native France.

“We began conversations with Lacoste prior to the pandemic, so the original plan was for myself and our head designer to fly to Paris, meet with the Lacoste team there and go through the archives,” said Baque.

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“Like the rest of the world, we had to pivot in early 2020, so much of the creative work took place via Zoom and from the comfort of our respective homes,” Baque recalled. “Although the process wasn’t ideal, we’re still very proud of what we were able to create in partnership with Lacoste.”

Though there’s plenty to like throughout the range — especially the slouchy, colorful sweatpants — one piece stands out above others for Baque.

“For me, it’s the polo. It’s a status symbol, and a symbol of achievement. To now be able to work with the Lacoste team and put our touch on it, that’s something that I never would have thought I’d do,”

“It was always a dream to work on something that’s iconic and steeped in history,” finished Baque. “The opportunity to work on a polo and put our brand name on it, that’s a bucket list item.”

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Innersect 2021 Was a Journey Beyond the Hype Machine

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As the curtains closed on the latest edition of Innersect, it became abundantly clear that the cultural landscape is changing. As we’ve come to expect from East Asia’s largest street culture event, the three-day fair united visionaries from the worlds of fashion, art, music, and tech to celebrate the bigger picture and paint a vision of the future. This year was no exception.

Despite Shanghai’s Covid restrictions dictating a reduced crowd (the annual event usually pulls upwards of 60,000 visitors), eyes around the globe remained peeled, no small part in thanks to Fear of God’s Jerry Lorenzo, who was tapped this year as the fair’s first co-curator. As one of the culture’s most in-demand names, he brought in a number of industry pioneers from his close circle of family and friends to create “Neighborhood” — a fair-exclusive exhibition comprising creative work that responds to an over-arching theme of “Balance.” Take a peek inside via the video below.

One clear result of this thematic exploration was that the presentation of product (particularly within a retail-focused fair) is no longer just about commerce. Balance was found within a wider perspective, a holistic take on culture today, where it’s heading next, and how that influences consumer habits. Take Angelo Baque’s Awake NY presentation, for example. Rather than setting up a typical product space, the New York creative used the opportunity to launch something entirely different — The Awake Record Shop, connecting consumers with beats that provide the brand’s pulse.

As Baque told Highsnobiety: “[I wanted] to curate our sounds, what inspires Awake? What is the music that we’re into? I want [Innersect visitors] to discover these records that help to inspire what it is that I do. I want to create experience. There’s going to be some faux record shop merchandise, cool stuff that I would like to get from my favorite record shop, growing up. I want it to be a moment in time, like you go to Innersect, and you [get] that one T-shirt from the record shop that doesn’t exist.”

Elsewhere, Sabukaru Online — the Tokyo-based publication dedicated to burrowing down niche rabbit holes within subcultures — teamed up with Innersect to present a curated exhibition dedicated to platforming the “next generation of players in the functional fashion realm.” The space was called “Section 31026” and featured 10 of the most exciting brands operating within the space today and will be integral to the next chapter in menswear.

And of course, we’d be remiss not to mention the unveiling of Fear of God’s Athletics collaboration with adidas, which is set to drop later this year. The first-look moment was a headline-hitter, with many publications noting the history lesson behind the design. “The adidas logo used in the new collaborative badge was featured by the performance house from 1950 to 1971,” Lorenzo explained, “arguably its most dominant and defining era.”

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Now, as streetwear itself enters its own dominant and defining era, redressing both mainstream and luxury fashion as we know it, retail experiences such as these speak to a changing of tides. The aforementioned labels are spearheading an adaptation that is set to happen en mass in both the East and the West — an adaptation that will require all brands to cut through the noise and offer experiences that are truly unique and have authentic meaning in order to keep afloat.

“Feeding the hype machine is no longer enough,” Adela Tan, Asia Pacific vice president, and managing director at William-Dickie, told Business of Fashion. “Consumers are looking for purpose in their consumption.”

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For Innersect brand director David Tang, the notion of purpose is intrinsically tied with value. In conversation with Highsnobiety earlier today, he echoed Tan’s sentiment when explaining that this year his team “found that the ‘Hype Engine’ is cooling down. [Rather, today] people are looking for something that’s sustainable, something that offers better quality and textures so they [can] wear it for the next couple of years.”

That value pivot will continue to elevate the Innersect experience, Tang tells us. In the coming years, we can expect to see more premium curated experiences that are synonymous with the “contemporary youth-culture movement [and go one] step further to riding the waves of the creative economy.” Watch this space.

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