Ten Meets Luca Magliano, The LVMH Prize Finalist Celebrating The Italian Working Class

“Being a spectator is not something that should be taken easily,” says Luca Magliano. He’s sat outside his studio in Bologna, northern Italy, with a cigarette balancing from one side of his mouth. An impressive moustache cloaks his upper lip. He’s talking about his catwalk shows, which have taken the fashion pack to the outskirts of Milan and have been held in old snooker halls and dilapidated houses. Often dimly lit and soundtracked with a tense score, on the catwalk he embraces making his guests feel a little uneasy. “You are invited but we want you to make an effort,” he says. “This is not because I’m a cocky piece of shit. It’s because it’s a relationship; to enter a relationship, both parties must be willing and determined, and to make sacrifices.”

Magliano is one of the nine designers who make up this year’s LVMH Prize finals. with the winner set to be unveiled next week. “It’s not an easy thing, especially for me, as I’m not such a social person. But the whole experience has been like a dream,” he says. “The super precious thing has been meeting the other designers [who made the shortlist]. We still text each other it’s super nice.”

The judging jury were no doubt impressed with Magliano’s romantic odes to Italian working class uniforms. Launched in 2016, the eponymous brand is quietly queer and informed by the workwear that surrounded the designer throughout his youth.

“It’s something that belongs to me in a way. I remember my father wearing those kinds of clothes – there is an emotional attachment to that silhouette in a way. It’s important for me to talk about my heritage, where I come from, and what I know best.”

Previous Magliano collections have been inspired by 1980s counter culture, Italian funerals and Mediterranean goths. His clothes are packed with delightful contradictions. Tailoring is sharp yet appears lived in; looks are at once smart but slightly dishevelled in appearance. Magliano’s AW23 collection staged in January, for instance, featured heavy overcoats, baggy slacks, swollen mohair knits and handsome pyjama-like shirting. With an enthesis on draping and silhouettes that shieled the body, the collection was a tribute to Italian workforces who are the backbone of the country.

Despite his rising profile, Magliano has no plans to leave Bologna, where he was born and raised. “It’s become kind of a statement. I want to be very faithful to the formula of work that I have established here. I don’t want to lose that rhythm.” The business, in January, received financial backing from a group of young Italian investors, which has allowed Magliano to begin working on the brand as his sole job for the first time. “It’s Magliano from the morning until the evening. It’s not something that I do in my spare time, very often we used to work during weekends because that was the only time that worked for me and my team, who like me also often had other jobs.”

Magliano hopes the exposure from the LVMH Prize will help propel him to new hights. “I’ve always hoped people would want to come to Italy because they want to come to Magliano,” he says, “but I hope the company doesn’t look much different from today.” The intention for Magliano is never have a huge house, but to use his brand to uplift those around him. “That’s what I know best, I want to celebrate them.”

Photography courtesy of Magliano.


Jake Gyllenhaal wears Magliano
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