Only six years after Massimo Giorgetti launched MSGM - the Milanese fashion label known for bold, bright colours and digital print mash-ups - it’s already a $45 million business. He is currently the name to watch in Italy, recently stepping into Peter Dundas' shoes as creative director of Emilio Pucci, a role that will see him split his time between the Pucci headquarters in Florence and the MSGM offices in Milan. Carolyn Asome catches up with the accidental designer: Giorgetti trained as an accountant before becoming a DJ and eventually turning his hand to fashion.
Exclusive: We talk to MSGM and Pucci's Massimo Giorgetti the most wanted man in Milan
Why do you think MSGM has become such a successful brand in such a short space of time?
Probably because we anticipated trends and did something new. In 2009, presenting a collection with psychedelic prints done by computer and in fluorescent colours was the secret to MSGM’s immediate success. Also, right from the beginning, we wanted to create a contemporary collection, which wasn’t something very common in Italy at the time. We considered the impact that social media was having; many young people were already getting ideas from the internet rather than from the pages of a magazine.
Who is it aimed at?
MSGM has an “irreverent” energy, made for people who dare!
Who would you love to dress?
There’s no one person in mind: my girl is young and loves fashion with a capital F - although she’s fashionable without being a victim.
You were formerly an accountant but did you have an interest in design growing up?
At the age of 16, when I was in my second year of accounting school, I realised I was in the wrong school. I used to wait impatiently for Saturday to arrive so that I could go to the newsstand and buy all the magazines: Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, Harper's BAZAAR, Elle, etc. I wanted them all. And I read them all. Then at the age of 17 I was asked to be a male fit model and in a few months I learned all the technical aspects of modelling, as well as fitting and stitching.
Being an accountant has obviously helped you to set up your own company, what did that force you to focus on first?
My past experience helped me a lot: when I imagined MSGM collections I tried to visualise them first in the showrooms and then in stores.
Your clothes are known for decade-hopping. Is there a decade you always find yourself referencing?
The late 1950s and the 1960s. I like the clean lines and the colour blocking.
Where did you grow up? How has that informed your clothes?
I was born and grew up in Rimini by the sea, just like Federico Fellini. I was inspired by the Italian seaside and its colours.
Italy is in the doldrums right now, what can be done to bolster Italian fashion?
I don’t agree. In Milan there is new blood, a new group of emerging young designers.
MSGM spring/summer 2015 advertising campaign
What can be done to help young designers get on the Italian fashion ladder?
In Italy it is difficult to become a successful young designer because there are still a lot of big and important family firms where family members are taking care of the creative direction of the brand. We were different…we built a new brand, and the success came almost unexpectedly. I think that MSGM is the proof that something is changing, and that Milan is becoming more receptive to the idea.
Is there a camaraderie between the other younger Italian designers on the schedule?
I know all the young designers who show during Milan Fashion Week. There used to a more competitive atmosphere but that is changing.
What is the difference between the way Italians and the British dress?
The Brits are braver and willing to mix colours and prints, while Italians are more classic, conservative even.
What single thing has changed fashion during the past seven years?
Social media has changed our lives as well as that of the fashion world. It has become faster, younger, much more modern.
If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would you be doing?
I wouldn’t stray too far: I would be Miuccia Prada’s PA.
By Carolyn Asome