Sunnei to support Lessico Familiare at Milan Fashion Week event

MILAN – The fashion crowd is not new to social events, but the one Sunnei plans to host here on Saturday could be unprecedented.

Placeholders at the dinner to be held at the brand’s Palazzina Sunnei headquarters will read the names of members of the press, friends of the house and a bit more. Mr. Darcy, Richie Tenenbaum and Seth Cohen will be attending the event, so there’s no risk of boring moments.

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The trick is Sunnei’s latest fun move. The brand’s Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo are known on the circuit for their unpredictable show formats, infused with irony and social commentary. But this time they met their match in Lessico Familiare, the independent Italian brand that the duo decided to support during Milan Men’s Fashion Week by offering a venue for their presentation.

Founded during the pandemic and rooted in sustainability, Lessico Familiare is the brainchild of Riccardo Scaburri, Alberto Petillo and Alice Curti, who met while attending the NABA school of fashion, art and design. After taking different paths in the industry, in 2020 they decided to launch the quirky label by looking at what their home environment could offer. Therefore, curtains, rugs and discarded clothing were recycled to turn a “familiar lexicon” (as the brand name translates in English) into new handcrafted pieces, which are marked by a froufrou aesthetic and a bit of wardrobe rich in ties. ruffles and patchworks.

For fall 2024, this approach informed the reinterpretation of iconic looks from fictional characters or real pop culture personalities, which have occupied the Lessico Familiare universe of references built through fashion magazines and television series marathons. These characters’ key ensembles were dismantled, reassembled and magnified in exaggerated proportions without regard for functionality, with patchworks of fabrics, ruffles and lace inserts clashing in a concise alignment with no color coherence or silhouette cohesion.

Dubbed “Literally Me,” the collection will include 17 styles that give an overt nod to the likes of Nina Simone, Cindy Sherman, Joan Didion and Natalia Ginzburg, whose book “Family Lexicon” inspired the indie brand’s name.

Each personality was chosen for a specific reason, as listed in a press release that read: “Martin Luther, for the Reformation. Cecilia Lisboa, for his frankness. Florence Welch, for the lungs… Gwyneth Paltrow, for Goop. Sofia Coppola, for the girls… Luke Danes, for the coffee. Seth Cohen (with the Spider-man mask) for indie pride. Lady Diana, for everything.”

A preview of Lessico Familiare A preview of Lessico Familiare

A preview of the “Literally Me” collection by Lessico Familiare.

While Lessico Familiare is not new to pop references (the “Cocktail” range presented last year already had nods to the characters of “Desperate Housewives” and “The OC”), the statement revealed the ironic tone of voice that the brand shares with Sunnei.

“The collaboration with Sunnei dates back to before the summer, when we chatted with Loris and Simone after having met them at one of our presentations,” recalls Scaburri. “If I think about our aesthetics, I don’t find any common points and that’s why we found this union so fun and effective: there is a cross-pollination of ideas, but without distorting the project. Then I think about irony, conveyed in another way, and I think that’s what unites us.”

Scaburri said the idea for the brand’s line originated from an outfit seen in Coppola’s 2013 film “Bling Ring.” “We asked ourselves, ‘Do we really have to think about new clothes from scratch?’ No, because there are wonderful ones that we have always been in love with, worn by icons that feed the brand’s imagination. And to these characters, to whom we owe in part our ethical and aesthetic education, we have decided to dedicate this collection.”

The founders of Sunnei did not want to contaminate the range with their own fashion codes, but rather support the project by facilitating the location and guaranteeing greater visibility of the brand through their network of contacts.

“We know how difficult the issue of location can be, especially at the beginning, and since we have already used our space for our shows, we thought we would make it available to you and create a special moment,” said Messina.

“As always, the idea is to enter Palazzina Sunnei opening your mind to everything that can happen inside. The guests know that they are invited to a dinner and that the new Lessico Familiare collection will also be presented on the occasion,” she continues, keeping more details about the format secret.

Preview of Lessico Familiare looks Preview of Lessico Familiare looks

Preview of the looks from the “Literally Me” collection by Lessico Familiare.

This is the latest in a series of initiatives in which Rizzo and Messina support emerging talents in different industries, ranging from design to media.

“We have always been clear that the term Sunnei had to refer to something that goes far beyond the items available in our store,” said Rizzo. “More than a brand, it is a speaker of creative expressions and perhaps that is also why it does not seem strange to us to help another reality like Lessico Familiare… We were recently in the place of these guys, so we know what it means and we remember all the mistakes that we had to commit to eventually learn.”

Rizzo believes that “there is no project like Lessico Familiare in Milan” and praised the brand for its “very spontaneous way of responding to current needs, such as minimizing waste and overproduction” and stressed that this choice was “the result of its vision”. and not by following trends or labeling oneself in some way.”

At the same time, Sunnei’s founders believed that the project had not yet expressed its full potential and wanted to offer their experience to guide them. The approach is in sync with the duo’s previous initiatives, such as the launch of their first mentoring program in collaboration with Milan-based fashion, art and design school Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, better known as NABA, in 2022.

Last year, the founders also sponsored the launch of Media, an independent illustrated publication that Rizzo and Messina supported from defining the issue’s concept to the launch event held at the Sunnei flagship in Milan. The founders discovered the magazine in 2021, beginning a two-year collaborative journey that culminated in an issue full of different four-handed graphic projects and a design that challenged the viewer’s perception.

The media publication supported by Sunnei last year.The media publication supported by Sunnei last year.

The media publication supported by Sunnei last year.

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