What’s trending in 2020? Charlie Luciano!
From time to time, new labels pop onto our radar because one of our 250+ retail partners in Italy buys a handful of pieces. It’s why we have a hard time keeping up with the descriptions you see on each designer’s main page. Other times, we become more aware of a brand because Google tells us people are searching for and finding it on our site.
That’s the beauty of a platform like italist—we encourage and foster discovery. Charlie Luciano is a unisex Italian label, just five years old, that was picked up by some of our retail partners, but also one that now has its own following, and which we’re proud to now be working with directly.
We reached the label’s leadership team to get the inside scoop on the story, the inspirations, and what will come next for the brand.
Q: Tell us a bit about the background of Charlie Luciano. What inspired the launch of the label five years ago?
A: Charlie Luciano began as an experimental line of unisex collections with innovative, art-inspired designs in 2015. We’re dedicated to presenting a past-future concept, which is a reflection of historical aesthetics in the modern method—with inspiration from ancient symbols of astrology.
Q: There seems to be a sort of ‘cult following’ for the label, which we noticed because shoppers were landing on our site after searching for Charlie Luciano, even when we didn’t have any products in stock! What would you say accounts for this excitement?
A: This excitement is due to the fact that the brand is well known in Far East Asia and already has an important following. All customers who live outside that area were looking for a way to buy our products as we were not yet able to satisfy all their requests.
Q: What makes Charlie Luciano garments special? Are there other details that are unique to the brand?
A: Charlie Luciano Collections are made of quality materials, prints, embroidery, sequins, to create an outstanding, balanced styling line which is suitable for daily life.
Q: Tell us about the themes you touch on with the collections—Dark Fantasies, The Lost Temple, and Gravity. What inspires your design process?
A: Dark Fantasies is about fairytale characters known as an image of cute, warm feelings. If those well-known characters show up in a nightmare, it gives people a totally different image, it’s fun and imaginative.
Lost Temple: A collection inspired by ancient myth, astrology, using the high quality of embroidery to create a mysterious atmosphere on the garments.
Gravity: a lot of us dreamt of being an explorer when we were children. We try to express this pioneering spirit on our products while emphasizing the beauty of the universe in this collection.
Q: Astrological themes and motifs have become much more popular in the last few years. Everyone in Los Angeles is obsessed with their horoscope, and it’s often the third or fourth thing you ask someone new… “what’s your sign?” How is astrology and the cosmos important to the Charlie Luciano brand?
A: Many people look at their horoscope as a living thing, capable of influencing our destinies and bringing a sense of order out of chaos, as an exact science capable of predicting our fate.
It also influences the smallest daily actions. We read our horoscopes in the newspapers and say something soothing to our friends after a bad breakup, like: “it makes sense that he was crazy, he was a Capricorn, you know?”
We simply tried to shape this connection between humans and the cosmos as many other brands have done too.
Q: What’s the importance of Italian craftsmanship to Charlie Luciano?
A: Italy is known worldwide for the quality of its design, its artisan craftsmanship, and its high-quality materials. The best Made in Italy products combine tradition and technology in a balanced formula that is always successful and inimitable.
We have tried to follow this precedent and have relied on the best local producers who can offer our customers the same manufacturing and quality experience.
Q: What’s the aesthetic essence of Charlie Luciano? What sort of person wears your clothing?
A: We started with the idea to create a comfortable collection that could be worn by anyone without distinction of gender. People passionate about fashion, who take care of their image and who like to stand out by wearing new, hot brands—that’s our core customer.
Q: What does the future look like for Charlie Luciano? What’s the product roadmap?
A: We try to create a touchable luxury brand. We will focus on collaborations with Disney and Marvel in the next few seasons. We want to develop more distribution to give people the opportunity to experience our products physically too.
Q: How do you think fashion will change as a result of COVID-19 and the sort of reset we’ve seen in the industry, with things like virtual shows, seasonless collections, and unisex garments?
A: We were born as a brand without seasons. We try to make all items available for several seasons, allowing everyone to have what they were looking for, working with ready-to-deliver stock.
Even before the pandemic period, we were already operating in this way, so little has changed for us and we hope it will bring changes also in the world of consumerism and in the big fashion houses dominated up until now by the strict, arbitrary calendar, by the deliveries of the collections out of season months in advance.
There was a need to recalibrate the entire system, and perhaps the recent evil will actually bring about some positive change in fashion.
Q: As an insider, what are your favorite spots in Milan to eat, take aperitivo, and shop? Favorite bars? Best historical/touristic spots to see? Are there any places you would suggest our readers not miss if they visit?
A: The list would be long and complex to draw up.
Milan is all to be visited in addition to the center and the most visited places such as the Duomo or the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the shopping street Via Montenapoleone and Via Della Spiga.
Go to the Aperol Terrace or Terrazza12 for a good aperitivo with a view of the Duomo.
I am in serious difficulty in choosing a restaurant because you eat very well in many places!
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