Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
For years, Boglioli was known mostly by those deep in the fashion industry—coveted for its signature jackets, which were unstructured, unlined, super-soft, and impeccably tailored. As menswear has exploded, the name has become much more recognizable, and, for the first time in its history, Boglioli announced it had named a creative director, Davide Marello. He assumed the role after nine years as the head of tailoring at Gucci. After the opening of the label’s New York store on Bond Street, we wanted to hear from Marello about expanding the Boglioli story beyond the suit to knitwear, outerwear, and accessories. When we spoke, he was in the middle of working on the next collection, choosing fabrics, which, he told us, was the best part.
WHITEWALL: Before joining Boglioli, you had been working in menswear and tailoring for nearly a decade a Gucci. What was your perception of Boglioli as someone inside the industry?
DAVIDE MARELLO: Of course, when you work in that world, you know everything about all the other brands and what they are specialized in. Boglioli, for me, was always the biggest brand for deconstructed jackets. We were always thinking about Boglioli as a sample of the best brand doing this kind of style, what I would call the soft tailoring master brand.
WW: As the first-ever named creative director of Boglioli, you’re really defining that role.
DM: I’m trying to bring the brand to a higher perception. The brand was well known for jackets and for suits, not for having a refined image; it was more around this key jacket. So I wanted to bring some storytelling, and a full wardrobe. When I began working for Boglioli, all of my friends were calling me and telling me, “I have this deconstructed jacket in my wardrobe and it’s my favorite.” So I wanted to create a lifestyle around that, with accessories, with more knitwear—a full wardrobe around this name, around this brand.
WW: So how do you tell that story?
DM: The starting point is always the jacket and the quality of the fabric. When I arrived, I found the most beautiful fabrics I’ve ever worked with. For me, it was a pleasure to build up around that world. Fabrics are really important—the softness in general, everything around the Boglioli world must be relaxed. I think that every piece is really precious.
WW: How do you employ that softness to things like accessories?
DM: The bags are made in the super-soft leather, which is treated in a special way that makes it even softer. And for the shoes, it’s difficult to do soft shoes [laughs], so it’s more about finding treatment and playing the shades of colors. But similar to the faded wash of the jacket, I wanted to create the same effect on the shoe.
WW: Continuing that story, who is the Boglioli man?
DM: I’m always imagining him as sophisticated, well-mannered, cultured, a bit mysterious, and not fancy. It’s always someone that has his own personal style. He’s not following specific fashion waves or trends somehow. His style is classic but with a little twist that makes him special and different from all the others.
WW: You often look to art as inspiration, like the work of Nicolas de Staël for the recent Spring/Summer 2017 collection, which debuted in Milan over the summer. Tell us how you became interested in his work and how that worked its way into the collection.
DM: Some years ago, I was looking for pictures of artists. I really like artists because they have their personal style. Usually an artist is into workwear or wearing something really comfortable. But they always have their personal touch. I was looking for images of artists and I found Nicolas de Staël. I hadn’t heard of him before. He was super good-looking and super-stylish. I realized that his work was incredible and he became one of my favorite artists.
When I began to work for Boglioli, I already had some men in my mind and some sources of creation, and almost everything was connected with art or artists. It is something common because art is really easy to find inspiration in. When I was growing up, my mother was really passionate about art and architecture in general, so I was a lucky child and I had the chance to travel around Europe and to see all the most beautiful masterpieces at a young age. And then, of course, the art school was really helpful in terms of general culture about arts, about fine arts.
WW: How would you describe your personal style?
DM: It’s something genuine. It’s really something that comes from when I wake up in the morning. It’s always changing. I’m always wearing something soft because I spend a lot of time in the studio, and our jackets are perfect for that. But I always like to add some accessories that you would not expect.
This article appears in Whitewall’s winter 2017 Luxury Issue.