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BRIONI – Paris One


Brioni-x-Metallica-1170x676


Brioni. A brand unknown to many, but those who know it also knows that you won’t be able to acquire a Brioni suit (their core competence) for less than around 3500€. A substantial amount of money for a suit… 😉 Well nonetheless they presented a capsule collection during Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week. A so called See-Now-Buy-Now collection called Paris One. Where “One” may be indicating the first collection with Justin O’Shea aboard.

Further the world of fashion and anti-fashion (menswear and general bespoke) has lately seemed more and more intertwined. Which means that many of the classical deeds unfortunately won’t cut it no more. For that sake has Brioni appointed Justin O’Shea as creative director. He is to design the collections and be in control of the brand image. For those who don’t know him here is how Kering Group (the company who owns Brioni) describes him:

“Justin O’Shea, 37 years old of Australian origin, started his career in retail companies based in Australia and the Netherlands. This was followed by two years of fashion wholesale in the United Kingdom. After a one-year hiatus where he worked in the mines back in Australia, he eventually became a buyer for the powerful luxury retailer Al Ostoura in Kuwait. In 2009 he moved to the online retailer mytheresa.com covering first the role as Buying Director to later be promoted to Fashion Director. ”

 

Justin-OShea

 

It may seem controversial to appoint O’Shea as creative director despite not having the slightest design background. On the contrary he has probably attended more fashion shows than any other man. O’Shea pointed out a few days before the show that “I’ve seen a million and one shows, and I know what you need to do is create a mood and a moment in time,”.

So, has O’Shea been able to shake up the old brand? Put some value into the fine garments? Well first lets quick dive into his first campaign for the brand. Well who’s the new faces you say? None less than the thrash rockers Metallica. Trying to merge fashion with masculinity – there is probably few more masculine characters than Metallica that O’Shea could reach for. Especially frontman James Hetfield that with his broad back, muscular body, low hanging guitar and raunchy vocal is probably the most masculine of this world. Now, tearing on the cool factor of Metallica,  Brioni tries to make their 3500€ suits more raunchy and cool.

 

The Show

In a small dark venue (only 95 seats) O’Shea narrowed down the invited to only the most important – including members of the band – whose music was used (at least in the video) as show tunes. The iconic track “One” from the success record “… And Justice For All” from 1988. “One” may also refer to the collection Paris One that is presented. As supplement to that raunchy coolness, the backdrop for the show consisted of Marshall stacks (amplifiers). Those of you who don’t know the importance of the Marshall to the rock scene has to go to google and do a little research (shame on you!). You’ll soon find the stack supporting Jimmy Hendrix, Motörhead, Slash (Guns n’ Roses) the list is endless! But despite Metallica not actually really using Marshalls in the last few decades, then they do have that rock star bad boy associations that O’Shea wants to create for Brioni.

Runway Highlights

The show consisted of 33 entrances primarily dominated by suits. Though some models wore suit trousers with a longer coat everything were kept strict to the Brioni suiting identity. The Paris One collection involved an extravagant use of fur (chinchilla and mink) and crocodile leather. Also the silk shirt – which is a part of O’Shea’s regular uniform – seems to be a personal element that he has brought to Brioni. And man that works! I’m already by now engaged in three google searches for such a shirt. The mission, according to O’Shea, is that even though you don’t have the funds to buy a suit you may be able to get a shirt. This may be the reason for the extravagant shirts, that not only involves silk but also prints and embroidery. Further were ties sporting a big rendition of the brands’ first letter seen on multiple models. A tie that may be pushed to be an IT-tie? Who knows. It’s also worth noting that a few women walked the runway for Brioni, indicating that there may be something coming that way? We’ll hold on to that one.

Brioni sample

The show consisted of 33 entrances primarily dominated by suits. Though some models wore suit trousers with a longer coat everything were kept strict to the Brioni suiting identity. The Paris One collection involved an extravagant use of fur (chinchilla and mink) and crocodile leather. Also the silk shirt – which is a part of O’Shea’s regular uniform – seems to be a personal element that he has brought to Brioni. And man that works! I’m already by now engaged in three google searches for such a shirt. The mission, according to O’Shea, is that even though you don’t have the funds to buy a suit you may be able to get a shirt. This may be the reason for the extravagant shirts, that not only involves silk but also prints and embroidery. Further were ties sporting a big rendition of the brands’ first letter seen on multiple models. A tie that may be pushed to be an IT-tie? Who knows. It’s also worth noting that a few women walked the runway for Brioni, indicating that there may be something coming that way? We’ll hold on to that one.

Additional Notes

I know from a friend of mine, a previous store manager at Brioni, that not all may welcome this fashionista approach. He believes that taking this approach to bespoke ruins the whole idea of those classical deeds that Brioni stands for. Whats your opinion?

Best regards

Jon
Portrait De L’HOMME

   

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