New Generation June 10th, 2021

3 brands Made in Italy to follow: Alessandro Vigilante, Ardusse, Vitelli

By Marco Marini


What these three designer labels have in common is the savoir-faire of Made in Italy. They are emerging brands and have all the credentials to conquer the critics and connoisseurs of the industry, enriching a story that is still to be written with new and meaningful chapters. The target is a niche of the modern fashion system, saturated with brands but always ready to welcome new actors who can stand out thanks to original proposals. 

Alessandro Vigilante

After 14 years of work for brands such as Dolce&Gabbana, Gucci, and Philosophy by Lorenzo Serafini, in 2020 Alessandro Vigilante felt it was time to create a personal line that could materialize his sculptural and slightly erotic interpretation of the prêt-à-porter, aimed at enhancing the female figure with outfits that seem painted on the skin. His first collection, with a paradigmatic title, "Atto I", highlights the label's cornerstones, wrapping the silhouette in tight one-shoulder dresses, tops with cut-outs, and long dresses that leave the back uncovered. "I think there's nothing more expressive than backs," claimed the stylist." Sensual creation with overcoats, blazers, and mannish trousers as counterpoints. The dichotomy between stretch garments and larger models is central even in his following Fall/Winter 2021 collection, an homage to two seminal figures in the contemporary dance scene, Merce Cunningham and Pina Bausch. The designer does not neglect the theme of sustainability: latex, a recurring material in his collections, is obtained from natural rubber. The fact that names such as Elodie, Elisa, and Damiano David from the  Måneskin are amongst the brand's estimators confirms the quality of the sensual and refined aesthetics of Alessandro Vigilante. 


"I approached fashion to express the small world that I had in my mind": it is with these words, released to the newspaper MFF, that Gaetano Colucci announced his decision to launch his brand during the annus horribilis of the pandemic. His path was atypical: he graduated in Economics and then turned to the fashion biz creating Ardusse, whose name (a crasis of "arcadia" and "jeunesse") is a statement of intentions. The style he conceived is languid and dreamy, as a means to connect with a dimension defined by suffusing atmospheres, retro refinements, bucolic influences, and the absence of gender connotations. The debut of the S/S 2021 collection is a show inspired by the first Teocrito's idyll, in which the author wanders the myth of Arcadia, the immersion in Edenic nature. The Syracusan poet's suggestions pervade the selection of key pieces of the wardrobe - sartorial suits, parkas, blouses, and so on - signed Ardusse, which convey a sense of carefreeness and elegance through soft cuts, crochet details, watercolor tones, light nuances, from violet to antique rose. The defilè alternates bright velvet, inlaid coats, tapestry prints, and ruffles, celebrating the escapist power of the ready-to-wear. 


Mauro Simoniato and Giulia Bortoli, creative director, and knitwear designer, set up Vitelli in 2016, aiming to revolutionize the common perception of knitwear, making it a category with experimental and underground verve that draws from the dance and musical subcultures of the '80s and '90s, particularly from the "Cosmic Youth", a movement of hedonist clubbers that spread in 1980 in Italy. Each collection represents an iteration of the project "Gioventù Cosmica" and rotates around pullovers, cardigans, gilets with relaxed volumes and enlivened by multicolor patterns and thick texture. The brand is divided between the style office in Milan and Schio (Veneto), the textile district with solid know-how in knitwear, where garments are packaged. Since 2019, it has adopted an upcycling approach called "Doomboh". It uses a specific technique of needling and turns textile waste into yarn with which assembling outfits. Moreover, the brand has always proved to believe in the potentialities of creative contamination, starting several collaborations, including the one with the label of inclusive and sustainable lingerie Fantaboy and with Marsèll, Bloke, Cremate, and Rayon Vert, which allows Vitelli to translate his creative and energic attitude into different fields.