Forever Timeless. Zanini SS22

Marco Zanini launched his brand in early 2019, and he makes no secret of the challenges of being a one-man show building a label from scratch in a city full of industrial behemoths and glitzy events. “I’m looking for support,” he said frankly. “It’s very positive to be above the confusion, but now I’d like someone to put some money in it.” He’s the kind of designer you hope gets the help and structure he needs because he has unwavering taste and an understated but luxurious aesthetic. The Zanini spring-summer 2022 collection is a little less formal than the label’s previous seasons, though all of it is constructed with the same care as usual. Where many of the prints we see on the runways these days are designed on a computer with Photoshop, Zanini created his in collaboration with an artist based in Antwerp. There’s a lush chrysanthemum print on a cotton shirtdress and a finely rendered watercolor print of baskets on a silk one. Tailoring is a Zanini calling card, only here he gave it a more carefree attitude. Cotton shorts made for an unexpected but believable accompaniment for an ivory silk jacquard blazer, and a Breton shirt in gray with plum stripes gave a chrysanthemum-print jacket and army green silk pants a chilled-out vibe. Other collectable knits included ribbed linen Henleys and tanks for layering, and cashmere in both shrunken cardigans and a blanket-size cocoon. It’s a wardrobe to dream about (and invest in).

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

It’s Perfect. Zanini AW21

It’s always refreshing to see a Zanini line-up during Milan Fashion Week. While it’s mostly about who’s louder and bolder in Milan, Marco Zanini delivers quiet collections (the lockdowns in Italy prevented him from doing so last season, so he used his sketches to present his collection to buyers instead) that actually speak volumes and have true substance. Don’t get me wrong, I love a camp-y Moschino, but nothing beats a well-edited offering that includes a perfectly tailored, felted double-faced cashmere peacoat or a sartorial jacket made from ultralight wool flannel. Zanini is a place for women (and now for men as well) who seek timeless, investment pieces that aren’t plain, cold minimalism, but got the human touch palpable in every single seam. The autumn-winter 2021 collection is simple, but studied, while the materials are luxurious, but unshowy. “Fabrics inform everything,” he confirmed on a Zoom call with Vogue. The cotton of an elastic-waist full skirt and top with handmade buttons down its back was embroidered by specialists in St. Gallen. Scottish cashmere was used for a roll-neck jumper, and a chunky turtleneck was hand-knit from yak wool. A heavy-gauge rib-knit cardigan coat with a deep collar that Zanini showed with a pair of very well-cut pleat-front side-zip pants is another delight. Love everything.

Collages by Edward Kanarecki.

Io Sono L’Amore. Zanini AW20


Marco Zanini‘s small, name-sake label launched a year ago, and though the challenges are constant, he now finds himself with a roster of top boutiques around the world and the kind of personal satisfaction that comes from doing precisely what he wants after many years of working for other companies. This also is reflected in the garments: there’s no compromising at Zanini. Not on materials, not on the finishings on the inside of the garments, and definitely not on his silhouettes. For autumn-winter 2020, Zanini’s interest turned to traditional English wool flannels, which he cut into mannish two- and three-piece suits that he lined in white linen. Another wool jacket and matching full skirt were lightly hand-quilted. The thick cashmere knit worn with another big skirt looked just perfect, worn with a cameo necklace and a cotton poplin shirt underneath. Very, very Milanesa. This collection made me think of Luca Guadagnino’s masterpiece “I Am Love”,  starring Tilda Swinton as Emma. I can see Zanini’s delightful silk eveningwear worn around the wonderful Villa Necchi Campiglio and his daywear being Emma’s day-to-day basics. And in our reality, Marco’s brand is gradually stealing hearts of clients who don’t need logos and one-season statements, but want a garment that will forever feel luxurious and beautiful.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The Love for Details. Zanini SS20

Marco Zanini‘s name-sake label – Zanini – is the antidote for seeing too many big brands with their four or more collections a year that, simply speaking, lack any substance. Zanini is a quiet mega-talent, whose aesthetic and precision in making clothes isn’t based on random references and muses. His clothes are of the best possible quality, they are luxurious, but in a peaceful, logo-less way – they are investment pieces. His debut, autumn-winter 2019 collection, was a promise of great things to come. And here we are in the spring-summer 2020 season, and Marco impresses even more. All of the materials were uniquely developed for him, from the “crispy” checked cotton of a smock dress to the super-deluxe washed ivory satin of a tank dress, double-layered for ease of wear and comfort. Zanini pays attention to the smallest detail: the way a coat sleeve gathers at the elbow; the tie at the back of a mannish jacket that creates a womanly hourglass shape. The designer’s point of view has been at least partially formed by his roots – he’s Swedish on his mother’s side. “Scandinavia is in love with little details that you could call nothingness,” as he puts it. “But they are everything to me.” Love.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.