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Is the New Guards Group the New Guard of Fashion?

  • September 23, 2020

On a Zoom call last week, Mr. De Giglio, an architecture graduate-turned-serial fashion retail entrepreneur who moved to New York in the 1990s with less than $1,000 in his pocket, was bullish about the group’s future prospects.

He started New Guards Group with Marcelo Burlon and Claudio Antonioli after the three of them helped Mr. Abloh start Off-White in 2014. Although licensing models have long been common in the low-cost and contemporary fashion market, there were few examples to be found in Italy, a country that often sees its future in its past. Renzo Rosso’s Only the Brave, which works with Maison Margiela, Marni and Viktor Rolf, was the only point of comparison. Mr. De Giglio began to wonder why.

“It was crazy to me that there was no Italian group doing this in luxury fashion,” Mr. De Giglio said. “Why was every single brand an independent when there is no better place than Italy to make clothing? There needed to be new energy in our old system, a way to incubate exciting young brands from exciting new people.”

“I don’t really see New Guards as a holding company. I see it as a platform for growing luxury fast fashion and new talent,” he added, noting a collection can go from concept to customer in as few as three weeks. “People in our world worry when they hear fast and fashion together. But there is nothing wrong with being fast if you keep quality high.”

For the most part, the creative directors at the New Guards Group don’t hold degrees from Central Saint Martins or Parsons School of Design, long a prerequisite for a design role inside a storied fashion group. Instead, they come from a broad range of fields including music, graphic design, art and P.R.

“These people have a vision and know how to build communities and a dialogue with their audience. They create the conversation, then we transform those conversations into products, from streetwear to elsewhere,” Mr. De Giglio said; last year, the group’s brands released more than 200 collections.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/23/fashion/New-Guards-Milan-Fashion-Week.html

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