The designer, who launched the first collection under his eponymous label at Milan Fashion Week, discusses taking the plunge into full creative control.

Known for his revival of fashion houses, Marco Zanini is gifted with an innate talent of molding to a brand’s aesthetics while elevating them to appeal to both current and new customers. After his time at Halston, Rochas, and, most recently, Santoni, the designer has accumulated the experience and confidence to start his own line Zanini, which dropped its inaugural collection during Milan Fashion Week. Zanini notes the freedom and revived passion he has felt through launching his own brand, saying the clothes feel “way more conscious and authentic.” Document tapped Zanini to discuss this new point in his career, how travel influenced this collection, and what it means to be in full creative control.

Alice Lefons—The collection feels very personal in every aspect, including the look book being shot by yourself in your Milanese apartment. How was it, being personally in charge of so many aspects? Did you feel the pressure?

Marco Zanini—To be in charge of every single aspect of this launch, literally from A to Z, feels great… All of this is not exactly about the inevitable pressure that comes with it: it’s more precisely about the need to do it. The urge.

Alice—Describe the collection in three words

Marco—Intimate, Free, and Individual.

Alice—How important is maintaining a level of exclusivity or specialness to this line in a world where everything moves so quickly?

Marco—I firmly believe that in a world where everything is so overexposed, immediately accessible, fast (and quickly discarded!), there’s a true desire for items that are more exclusive and less ostentatious. There a niche of exacting consumers that ask for that kind of product: stylish and soulful, but not too fashionable.

Alice—Fatigue is spoken about so much throughout the design world, has starting your own line rejuvenated or even increased your love for the design process?

Marco—Starting my own line certainly increased my passion for my job. This way feels way more conscious and authentic.

Alice—What is the greatest difference from being a designer under a pre-established label and starting your own line?


Alice—Do you wish you would have taken the leap sooner?

Marco—I think that this is the right time to do it. I don’t regret I haven’t done it sooner—certain ideas need time to develop and to affirm themselves.

Alice—What is your most treasured possession?

Marco—My insatiable curiosity and my creative drive are the two things I treasure the most.

Alice—And the favourite piece in your art collection?

Marco—My favorite thing about art is the great passion it can evoke, and that goes beyond any single piece.

Alice—How did your trip to Japan influence this collection?

Marco—It greatly influenced my aesthetic and my appreciation for simplicity, which to me (being half Swedish) is the ultimate elegance.

Alice—The gamble to go out on your own is a large one, but the reward is even bigger. What has been one of the most gratifying moments thus far?

Marco—Thus far, I must say each day has been exciting, but to instantly get the support of the best fabric suppliers in Europe has been the best start I could hope for.

Alice—One the same kind of line, what has been one of the most difficult moments thus far?

Marco—Luckily enough, I haven’t (yet) experienced any trouble or difficult moment… touch wood!

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