Subscribe Now

Search
March 23, 2016

Scene and Heard: Francesco Ragazzi


Photo Credit: Donato Sardella

Editors' Notes

Palm Angeles creative director Francesco Ragazzi at the Chateau Marmont, celebrating the launch of his spring collection at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.

Photo courtesy of Palm Angels

Editors' Notes

A look from the Palm Angels spring 2016 collection.

Photo courtesy of Palm Angels

Editors' Notes

A look from the Palm Angels spring 2016 collection.

Photo courtesy of Palm Angels

Editors' Notes

A look from the Palm Angels spring 2016 collection.

After a grand tour to multiple international locations for fashion weeks held in various cities, Francesco Ragazzi, art director of Moncler and creative director of his own skate-inspired line, Palm Angeles, recently arrived in Los Angeles for a visit. His men’s sportswear line, this spring in its second season, was originally inspired by a photograph Ragazzi took of a skater in Venice Beach. Ragazzi says the angelic look of a guy in that one image, “with long blond hair floating against a background of sand and palm trees,” brought to mind the moniker, Palm Angels, which sparked a Rizzoli photography book, and, a year later, the ready-to-wear collection. So it seems fitting that Ragazzi celebrate his Saks Fifth Avenue spring 2016 collection debut in the Beverly Hills department store, miles from the skatepark that inspired his made-in-Italy brand. Here, he discusses his vision for the line he designs in Milan based on his Venice-inspired aesthetic.

What’s the most important thing to the Venice skaters you’ve met? To be authentic. So I decided that if I do this, I have to transmit the same codes. I start with my perception and take it from there. They do their thing, I document it, like Robert Frank documenting America.

You started this line from a picture of a skater. How do you design each collection? I start with an idea, a picture. This spring it was Bob Marley in Paris. I research images, and often start from something taken in the past but show it in a different, modern way. I change volumes, change materials. So much is about editing, how you put the looks together. It’s very much like art directing.

But it’s not a streetwear brand? I’m obsessed with materials and because the concept of the line is rooted in skateboarding, it’s easy for it to seem like a streetwear brand. Being born in Italy, I know a bit about craftsmanship, how to find the best fabrics and make the looks into something new. It’s taking American wardrobe staples and trying to reinterpret them. Our first suit was really boxy. What America was doing 20 years ago is now so modern.

The spring 2016 collection includes many seemingly simple designs, including T-shirts and sweatshirts, but everything includes ornate embellishments or a surprising use of traditional menswear fabrics (white seersucker shirts with gold slogans). How are you wearing it? I’m very simple. I wear crewneck T-shirts, denim, and sneakers with a double-breasted jacket. I love outerwear, and we always want to create the one jacket, the one piece you want for the season. I want to use the American menswear codes, but rework them. Incorporate a Brooks Brothers contrast collar but use the DNA of our brand to make it post-prep.

You have a full-time job at Moncler in addition to this Palm Angeles project. When do you develop your ideas for this new line? I work on this at night. In the morning, I’m up with our baby girl, then at Moncler all day, then home to work on Palm Angels. But I have good teams, and I have no time to myself.

By Elizabeth Varnell

 

Pictured: Palm Angeles creative director Francesco Ragazzi at the Chateau Marmont, celebrating the launch of his spring collection at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.
Photo by Donato Sardella

Email This To A Friend
Photo Credit: Donato Sardella
Share With Your Friend

Please wait...

Thanks for sharing!
A link to this gallery has been sent

There was a problem. Please try again.

Please complete all the fields in the form before sending.