Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sunnei Makes Intelligent, Ironic Menswear // Fall 2018 //

Much of fashion nowadays is entirely bereft of a sense of humour. It’s an industry of smoke, mirrors, fads and foppery but comedy isn’t something the po-faced pack seem to engage with—save for the oddly amusing detective work of Diet Prada or the Photoshop skills of meme account Siduations on Instagram.

Sunnei is a post-irony goldmine for the rags-to-riches success stories of SoundCloud, where Peeps and Pumps emerge like bacteria from soporific suburbs, the Instagram generation who mine the myriad of fashion inspiration accounts or the man who is in search of good quality basics. Sunnei doesn’t profess to be linked with one of the above factions, rather its open to interpretation, capturing the attention of the fashion industry’s attention in its wake. They began presenting at Milan Fashion Week in June 2016. 

Helmed by Lors Messina and Simone Rizzo, the Italian-French duo launched Sunnei in 2014 after quitting their day jobs. Stocked globally, their focus is on timelessness and an aversion to “sartorial boredom.” Conveniently, they have jumped on the ‘dad-core’ bandwagon—the thick-soled, 90s-inspired fashion statement that has dominated popular culture of late. Fanny packs, billowing work trousers, an unconventional understanding of styling. Dad dressing has skyrocketed to success—look no further than the clunky shoe craze propagated by Balenciaga, Vuitton and virtually every sportswear brand known to man. Bucket hats: they were seen here in a mushroom-like shape. Fanny packs, similarly, are everywhere, apexing with last year’s Supreme x Louis Vuitton collaboration, cementing them as ‘sick’; ‘sick’ being a preferred adjective of the streetwear disciples.

There is something more intellectual about Sunnei’s approach. Firstly, they took Maria Grazia Chiuri’s now infamous feminist slogan t-shirt and reworked the lettering to ‘We Should All Be Sunnei’, reasserting the pithy slogan rather than an empty political effort. Amusing, ironic, double-tap material. Moreover, they pick apart the theme of mundanity, which has been pervading fashion for a couple years now. Perfunctorily, the clothes achieve timeless while also appropriating 90s trends and dads’ wardrobes. 

Beige and blue, greige and green, the nostalgic colour palette echoes the direction men’s fashion, as dictated by social media, is taking.

With their clean lines and special attention to cut, Messina and Rizzo’s venture could succeed in the long-run but what happens when the consumer palette changes? Their ability to adapt will be crucial.

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