A brash upstart in the pristine fashion world of Milan when launched in 2008, MSGM, founded by Massimo Giorgetti, has grown to be a mainstay in the Italian fashion capital. Awash in sharp tones, and with prints and logos replete from head to toe, the brand has found a connection with a younger audience that is driven by instant nameability. Following his recent menswear show at the University of Milan, Giorgetti met with Document at his studio to discuss his unconventional fashion education.
Alice Lefons—First I wanted to say, congratulations on a beautiful and uplifting show; it made us all start the day in a good mood. With Milan being a city dominated by historical, family-run fashion houses, MSGM is one of the few newer brands that seems to have found its place in the calendar amongst these giants. How do you feel about MSGM fitting into this Milanese context?
Massimo Giorgetti—I’m happy and proud of the attention we have been receiving. I think MSGM has been a gateway for this younger vibe. For men, it’s street style combined with tailoring, and for women, street style combined with femininity. When the brand started in 2009 it wasn’t easy, as people didn’t necessarily understand what we were about. While now there are loads more brands that are following this younger influence.
Alice—You first started in retail, and then moved on to being a creative. What led to this jump?
Massimo—I have to say, I was very young when I started in retail—it was my first real work experience when I was 19 years old. After that, when I was 21, I began nearly 15 years of consultant work for men, women, denim, and leather, which was my schooling. MSGM came about as a project that started with a group for friends—four of us. As soon as we started thinking about colors, prints, and logos, street-style became part of the DNA of the brand. We then presented the project to an investor who took us on. Within six months my three collaborators left the project and I found myself alone, but to tell you the truth this was probably a positive thing. When you’re by yourself you’re able to make your mistakes and follow your instincts, whether they’re right or wrong. In 2009, MSGM came into the conservative, tailoring-based Milanese market bringing acid colors, logos, denim, and hoodies—all of which was not seen at the time. I really learned a lot from those first collections.
Alice—The brand has really come a long way since 2009, from shocking buyers to fitting perfectly in the current market with the mix of your core elements—tailoring, denim, and street-style.
Massimo—MSGM is always quite real. It’s fashion, but it’s important for me that it is still believable.
Alice—Is this the reason why your casting this season exclusively featured university students?
Massimo—This project started over a year ago when I saw the exhibition University of Disaster in NYC. It was an exhibition by extremely young and unknown artists and I really liked the logo they used. I then decided to create the FW18 collection on the university world and we started casting for the show in November. The students have been absolutely fantastic and professional during this whole project—very inspiring.
Alice—One of the slogans we saw on the clothes was tempo di cambiare (time for a change). Is this connected to showing the collection at the University of Milan?
Massimo—Absolutely, and the location is absolutely stunning.
Alice—Did you study there?
Massimo—No, I didn’t go to university. This is why I’m fascinated by the university world, as I missed that part of my life. All the slogans and words you see on the clothes were taken from around the school, written by students on desks, in bathrooms, and on the walls. The show, which featured an all-Italian soundtrack by Battiato, opened with Un Tempo Di Cambiare, which is a message to Italy and to Milan.
Alice—Colors have always been a main feature in the MSGM collections. Do you find them to be a primary focus for you?
Massimo—Absolutely. Colors are always extremely important for me. Yellow, pink, and red are all iconic MSGM colors—along with the prints. In this collection there’s an evolution in terms of refining the pieces further—more towards the luxury that is made in Italy. But always in a MSGM way. For example, all of the tie clips were, in fact, real paper clips.
Alice—And what’s your favourite color?
Massimo—Yellow combined with pink.