While Milan Fashion Week can be unpredictable, there are a few universal truths: it will be nearly impossible to get a taxi, you will be trampled by K-pop fans waiting eagerly outside shows and you can be certain that SUNNEI will present the most spell binding runway of the season.
At entrance, an omnipresent voice could be heard admits the black stage with provocations including: "Getting here was a nightmare, it's always so hard to find a taxi in Milan," "Just 15 minutes. That's the time frame that six months work is summarized and presented to the world," and "At a SUNNEI show you're never just a guest. There's always an interaction."
Just before the show commenced guests were handed numbered paddles and soon asked to judge each look. As fashion week season becomes more about content than critique, SUNNEI's vulnerable pledge for review was both refreshing and joyous at once.
As the models arose to the stage, paddles raised high in the air. 10/10 looks included tulip-shaped intarsia pieces and the image of a SUNNEI team member printed on to a silk dress. As for footwear, a Cuoio collection was born including Mary Janes, a Stringata style silhouette as well as an array of knitted, 1000CHIODI shoes.
In an exclusive backstage interview, Hypebae asks the founders, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo how it feels to be perceived as a creative and why they put that feeling at the heart of their SS24 showcase.
We loved the show concept, where were you exactly when you first thought of the idea?
We were on a flight back to Milan after 10 hours of very tough business meetings. It wasn't about feeling the pressure or feeling judged. We were looking at a video and we just thought, what if we made an image to make everyone understand the feeling of opinion? Today we are free to express ourselves but also media has a negative impact on expressing our opinions openly. For us, all of our shows need to be a suspended moment. It's a moment of craziness but also reality. We want you to play with us. The show needs to be about togetherness, presence and thought.
We were told by your staff that you say, "You don't work for SUNNEI, you are SUNNEI." With that sentiment comes mutual collaboration through music, graphics and design. How did this play out in your SS24 collection?
We always create our content and collection in house. It's very important to develop our collections together with our whole team. This season we had a member of our team, George, who we printed on a silk canvas. First we shot him naked, then we shot him with pants and then with garments on top. We layered all of these images on top of each other to create both a shirt and a dress. It's collaboration like this that makes us SUNNEI.