Italian-born fashion designer Massimo Giorgetti’s journey with luxury brand MSGM might not be what one would expect. Growing up studying accountancy, Giorgetti decided after graduating that the corporate grind was not for him and headed in the opposite direction, taking up a job in retail as a sales clerk at a boutique in Rimini. He founded MSGM in 2009 after discovering a space in the market for a modern Italian brand with an affordable price point, and launched it under the Paolini Group.
In 2010, Giorgetti was listed as one of the best discoveries in Vogue Italia’s ‘Who’s on Next’, a competition created to shine light on new talent. MSGM expanded massively following the publicity, opening retail stores across Europe and Asia. Giorgetti was also appointed creative director of Italian label Emilio Pucci in 2015, but left after a short stint to focus on his namesake label, which was seeing tremendous growth at the time. The brand recently celebrated it’s 10-year anniversary in 2019 and has seen collaborations and events held with many renowned artists worldwide, building a cult fanbase with its youthful designs and bold technicolour patterns.
With a penchant for incorporating film and art in past collections, MSGM’s latest womenswear collection was no different. It tells the story of an imaginary wedding, treading the fine line between sweetness and irreverence. From start to finish, MSGM’s spring/summer 2023 assortment played like a cinematic fairy tale spliced as an action thriller. Deconstructing and reimagining classic elements of weddings, the brand played with femininity and romance in a hyper-contemporary way.
Models were sent down the runway as MSGM brides, wearing tiny briefs under sheer tulle slip dresses. There were ruffle baby doll dresses worn over silk camisoles, and understated bikinis veiled by sheer T-shirts. Floral leggings and black tights made up the bottoms for some of the looks, while embellished trousers and distressed denim completed others. Sticking to the theme of strong and confident women, an array of tank and halter tops with trompe l’oeil bikini prints on them sauntered into the room, each one vibrant and graphic. The collection also saw the house’s own sneakers and sleek iridescent heels with silk bows on the back of them, each one brighter than the former.
MSGM also collaborated with sustainable Italian circular science and footwear company ‘Anything can be Changed’ (ACBC) to release two new models of eco-conscious sneakers. The FG1 collection—acronym for ‘Fantastic Green 1’—is part of the spring/summer 2023 collection and features environmentally-responsible sneakers made of recycled rubber, polyester and vegan leather. The two silhouettes, named the Future Basket High and Future Basket Low, are each available in six different colourways.
Below, Vogue chats with MSGM’s creative director Massimo Giorgetti, diving deeper into the inspiration behind the collection and collaboration with ACBC.
Can you take us through the original inspiration for your SS23 collection?
I actually came up with the idea watching Kill Bill’s famous Marriage/Massacre scene and was immediately fascinated with the idea of completely twisting a classic romantic moment. Another inspiration was the movie La Mariée Était en Noir (The Bride Wore Black) by François Truffaut, where the protagonist similarly shifts from being an innocent girl to seeking revenge for her dead husband.
“There’s a lot of elements that speak of a ‘classic’ femininity—ruffles, frills and bows—but they are always reinterpreted and subverted to provide a cool and fresh take.”
The collection seems to speak of an imaginary wedding, an unconventional romance of sorts. Could you elaborate on why you picked that to be the theme revolving around your collection?
Using the initial film inspirations, I started my research and bumped into images of Milla Jovovich wearing a wedding veil and a crown filled with white roses for a 1999 Dazed editorial, with a fiercely romantic vibe. That was when I fell in love with this idea of romance with a plot twist. Although I decided to flip the idea of a wedding on its head with sarcasm and irony throughout the collection, I confess I am a hopeless romantic and I love weddings. Also, if you think about it weddings are the celebration par-excellence of the joy of getting together—of the joy of living—and there’s nothing more MSGM than that.
“No matter what, every woman owes it to herself to carry herself with pride and dignity, in any kind of situation from the most ordinary to most important.”
Which look from the SS23 collection is your favourite?
My favourite looks are two, 12, 15, 30 and 31 because they embody my inspirations the way I had it in mind when I started to create this collection. They are very sensual and light, full of transparent fabrics and layers with a bit of bare skin. Fits are often body-conscious, with stretch fabrics such as lace and tulle, and styles shaped by criss-cross or tie-up details. There’s a lot of elements that speak of a ‘classic’ femininity—ruffles, frills and bows—but they are always reinterpreted and subverted to provide a cool and fresh take. Colours are generally light and subtle with some minor insertions of quintessentially MSGM ‘fluo’ tones, which is new.
What message do you hope to convey through the SS23 collection?
No matter what, every woman owes it to herself to carry herself with pride and dignity, in any kind of situation from the most ordinary to most important. Add a touch of irony and irreverence to that, and it encompasses the themes of this collection and MSGM.
Let’s talk about your collaboration with ACBC. How did you first come to hear of the brand?
I met the ACBC founders during a dinner in Milan through a mutual friend of ours. My friend was so certain our two identities would match perfectly and in fact it was love at first sight. Honestly, I had heard about the brand but I did not know much behind the scenes. During that dinner we had the opportunity to get to know each other deeply and it was a very interesting match.
“ACBC’s brand identity coincides with MSGM’s on multiple fronts, there is a common attitude that our brands share.”
What made you want to collaborate with ACBC as opposed to other bigger sustainable brands?
First of all, their mission is unique in providing a panorama of Italy, and the brand’s design philosophy is also really concrete. ACBC’s brand identity coincides with MSGM’s on multiple fronts—a fresh aesthetic and a need to care for the environment being some of the more relevant ones— there is a common attitude that our brands share.
What was the collaborative process like?
I already had an idea of the sneaker style I wanted in mind but what defined the collaboration were the materials proposed from ACBC. They were incredible. The shoe is composed of organic materials and natural textures that respect biodiversity and the safety of the planet. Can you imagine using a vegan leather tanned with natural extract from chestnut and quebracho wood that produces a shade so similar to real suede leather? It is truly incredible and it has the minimum impact on the planet’s environment.
What’s next up for you and MSGM?
Stay tuned and you will see.
MSGM’s spring/summer 2023 collection and ‘Fantastic Green 1’ sneakers will be available at MSGM Takashimaya and online on club21global.com from January 2023.