Marco Zanini, how good to see you back! This truly talented designer of Italian-Swedish origins had his stints at Rochas (those were truly brilliant seasons comparing to today’s state of things at the brand) and Schiaparelli, then did a few capsules for Santoni, and disappeared from the radar for a while. Now he’s back, better than ever, completely free, with his own namesake brand – Zanini. What it’s like to be on your own? “Finally, independence!” he told Vogue. “Of course, it’s a gamble, but this way feels more conscious, more authentic.” Zanini is thinking small, and proudly so – two collections per year, well-edited line-ups, quiet showroom presentations. But sometimes, less is really more. His debut collection can be described in one term: exquisite. Beautiful, beautiful tailoring and coats that you will make you drool. Cozy knitwear and beanies made in collaboration with his sister, Miki Zanini, who’s an avid knitter. The designer was in Japan last summer, and he came back with kimono silks that he’s cut into seamless bias dresses, airy and laid-back, but surprising with their construction. He can produce them in limited editions of two, a small number, but true to Marco’s intimate approach. “A lot of us are looking for something special, not overexposed.” That’s a fact. At a first glance, you might say that Zanini is the Milan alternative of The Row – one-off, logo-free, top-notch quality garments. But comparing to the Olsens and their uncompromising minimalism, Marco’s brand radiates with warmth and tactility. Summing up, Zanini is one of the best things I’ve seen in Milan this season.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.