lello Cal­drelli

LELLO CAL­DARELLI, PRES­I­DENT AND CRE­ATIVE DI­REC­TOR OF ANTONY MO­RATO, SHARES HIS VIEW­POINT ON MENSWEAR FROM HIS SEAT AT THE HELM OF ONE OF THE FASTEST GROW­ING BRANDS IN THE WORLD

DA MAN - Style - - Contents -

The cre­ative di­rec­tor of Antony Mo­rato shares his view­point on menswear from his seat at the helm of one of the fastest grow­ing brands in the world

Com­pared to many other global fash­ion houses—in­clud­ing other Ital­ian es­tab­lish­ments—Antony Mo­rato is still a bud­ding brand, hav­ing started its jour­ney as the dream of three broth­ers a mere nine years ago. Yet, as early as 2012, it has ex­panded into at least 50 coun­tries. And since last year, the brand al­ready landed on In­done­sian shores.

At the helm of this flour­ish­ing busi­ness sits Lello Cal­darelli, pres­i­dent and cre­ative di­rec­tor, who—along with his broth­ers Ta­nia and Gio­vanni—has made quite a name for him­self with a de­sign di­rec­tion that is both con­tem­po­rary and dis­tinc­tive, both Ital­ian and global. It surely doesn’t hurt that Antony Mo­rato’s mar­ket­ing ef­forts have al­ways been on point, ei­ther by fea­tur­ing top-billed mod­els (in­clud­ing, for in­stance, Tobias Sørensen whom we’ve fea­tured in a pre­vi­ous is­sue of DA MAN Style) or in­ven­tive cam­paigns such as #IAMWHOIAM (more on this be­low).

Nat­u­rally, pick­ing the brains in charge of this in­trigu­ing brand ven­ture is a def­i­nite eye- opener for se­ri­ous fash­ion en­thu­si­asts or just about any­body who would like to keep up with the ever- chang­ing tides of con­tem­po­rary menswear.

DA MAN: What’s the style di­rec­tion of Antony Mo­rato’s F/ W ’16/’17 col­lec­tion? Lello Cal­darelli:

The col­lec­tion ref­er­ences the glam rock of the ’70s, the years when the rules of mu­sic and style were chang­ing, when at the Mar­quee Club in Lon­don or the CBGB Club in New York City, artists ap­peared on stage bring­ing a mu­si­cal pro­posal that clashed to­gether rock and psy­che­delic mu­sic. They pro­posed a style never seen be­fore. Rugged and rock mu­sic-in­spired qual­i­ties mix up in the fall/win­ter ’16/’17 col­lec­tion with op­ti­cal-il­lu­sion prints in­spired by the ’70s and retro de­signs.

DA: Which pieces do you think will be the high­light of this fall/win­ter sea­son? LC:

Well-tai­lored out­fits that rep­re­sent Ital­ian tai­lor­ing tra­di­tions, go­ing back to con­tem­po­rary ma­te­ri­als and fits. They are to be worn in a clas­si­cal way or with sneak­ers and a T-shirt.

DA: How far are you per­son­ally in­volved in the de­sign of the col­lec­tion? LC:

As the brand’s cre­ative di­rec­tor, I am very in­volved and this is the best part of my job. Our of­fice in Naples has more than 30 peo­ple, mostly in their late twen­ties, from all parts of Italy. We be­gin each col­lec­tion by col­lect­ing cre­ative ideas, be­fore tak­ing them to the next step, which is the pro­duc­tion of the de­sign and cre­at­ing the first pro­to­types.

DA: What is it that sets Antony Mo­rato apart from its com­peti­tors? LC:

Our de­sign stems from Ital­ian style. That is our cul­tural roots and we re-in­ter­pret them fol­low­ing con­tem­po­rary fash­ion trends through con­stant in­no­va­tions in fab­rics, ma­te­ri­als and in­spi­ra­tions from all over the world.

DA: The brand is known to be quite ag­gres­sive in terms of mar­ket­ing, with strate­gies such as fea­tur­ing a care­fully se­lected group of in­di­vid­u­als to wear and show­case the prod­ucts. Are you em­ploy­ing any sim­i­lar meth­ods for the brand’s F/ W ’16/’17 cam­paign? LC:

In the last sea­son we launched a new cam­paign called #IAMWHOIAM. This is ba­si­cally a dec­la­ra­tion of free­dom and in­de­pen­dence, by which we mean to say that the 2016 men’s col­lec­tion of Antony Mo­rato will defy ev­ery at­tempt by so­ci­ety to clas­sify it. The world of men’s fash­ion is go­ing through a lit­tle revo­lu­tion that fol­lows the traces of change in our so­ci­ety. Dog­mas and clas­si­fi­ca­tions are dis­ap­pear­ing, leav­ing space for the free­dom of be­ing what we want in a sin­gle click or to end­lessly change our style. With #IAMWHOIAM, we will con­tinue to col­lect dig­i­tal sto­ries of in­flu­encers, artists and com­mon peo­ple who de­clare them­selves as free through our plat­forms.

DA: Let’s talk a lit­tle bit about the brand’s his­tory. It’s said that you and your broth­ers es­tab­lished the brand. What was the idea that started it all? LC:

The idea was to cre­ate a brand that re­sponds to the re­quire­ments of a man who wants to play around with fash­ion and is not afraid to break the clas­si­cal rules of men’s styling.

DA: By the way, can you tell us the story be­hind the name Antony Mo­rato? LC:

A real fash­ion brand needs a name and a sur­name. Mine, Lello Cal­darelli, was too long and dif­fi­cult for an in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence. So, I in­vented Antony— with­out an H, as in the Ital­ian-Amer­i­can tra­di­tion.

DA: You have three lines un­der the brand. Is this what you en­vi­sioned from the be­gin­ning? LC:

The sub­di­vi­sion into three lines was born some years ago, and we think we have ra­tio­nal­ized the col­lec­tions so that ev­ery line has a real, dif­fer­ent and dis­tinct iden­tity: Black is rich in fash­ion and trend con­tent; Gold is more ca­sual and able to re­write the rules of denim-wear; and Sil­ver rep­re­sents sports­wear. One Antony Mo­rato, three dif­fer­ent mo­ments of use.

DA: As the brand cel­e­brates its 9th year to­day, how do you think has Antony Mo­rato evolved so far? LC:

Nine years ago, when I first be­gan my project, it seemed like in a dream. Now, ev­ery time I see some­one wear­ing one of my cre­ations, I re­al­ize that

“THE COL­LEC­TION REF­ER­ENCES THE GLAM ROCK OF THE ’70S, THE YEARS WHEN THE RULES OF MU­SIC AND STYLE WERE CHANG­ING”

my dream is com­ing true. I’m look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing the 10th year soon, and if I have to ex­plain how the brand evolved I would just say: with hard work and daily per­se­ver­ance.

DA: Con­sid­er­ing the rapid ex­pan­sion of the brand, what do you look for in a coun­try be­fore you con­sider mov­ing in? LC:

We are grow­ing a lot, and be­fore ex­pand­ing into new mar­kets our pri­or­ity is to rise in the mar­kets where we are al­ready present. We are a young brand. Europe still has a large po­ten­tial for growth; in the Pa­cific area we have Korea and, of course, In­done­sia where we want to in­crease our pres­ence. To be “ready for Antony Mo­rato,” a coun­try must have a grow­ing mid­dle class who is cu­ri­ous to­ward fash­ion and ea­ger to dis­cover new trends.

DA: What is your ul­ti­mate goal? Will you de­sign wom­enswear in the fu­ture? LC:

In the past eight years, I have al­ways been re­view­ing our goals. We went so fast, that once we had our tar­gets fixed, they were al­ready over­run. We want to keep grow­ing with­out chang­ing our idea of prod­uct and fash­ion, with­out los­ing the ca­pac­ity for chang­ing and in­no­vat­ing. Wom­enswear in the fu­ture? I don’t know about that. Modern men have just be­gun to play around with fash­ion, and Antony Mo­rato still has a lot to give to them.

DA: What do you think about the state of to­day’s menswear in­dus­try? What are the big­gest chal­lenges in run­ning such a global brand? LC:

The menswear world is evolv­ing con­stantly, and more and more com­peti­tors are en­ter­ing into the uni­verse of fash­ion with their own pro­pos­als. There­fore, there is a lot of com­pe­ti­tion, which is a prob­lem. But at the same time, this also gives us a great im­pulse to al­ways do bet­ter. To­day, the main challenge for a global brand is to pro­vide prod­ucts and ser­vices with­out mis­rep­re­sent­ing our­selves, with­out los­ing cre­ativ­ity, en­ergy and flex­i­bil­ity, which are at the base of our growth.

DA: From your ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try so far, what were some of the big mis­takes that you learned the most from? LC:

Ev­ery day you make mis­takes, and ev­ery day you get up and learn some­thing.

“DOG­MAS AND CLAS­SI­FI­CA­TIONS ARE DIS­AP­PEAR­ING, LEAV­ING SPACE FOR THE FREE­DOM OF BE­ING WHAT WE WANT IN A SIN­GLE CLICK OR TO END­LESSLY CHANGE OUR STYLE”

Clock­wise Pair­ing a for­mal blazer with grunge-styled den­ims; a leather jacket on top of a shirt with an op­ti­calil­lu­sion pat­tern; the sea­son’s biker denim pants

top Model Xavier Bues­tel wears a for­mal suit with leather pants

from left The sea­son’s out­wear lay­er­ing; a blue en­sem­ble with clash­ing pat­terns op­po­site page A stylish getup for fall/win­ter

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