Andrea Incontri, Benetton’s newly named creative director of United Colors of Benetton, disclosed the new s/s 2023 collection of Benetton, the first one he curated in his new role within a fashion show taking place for Milan Fashion Week.
The designer and architect chose to explain the brand's new direction with a fashion show held inside one of the brand's most important flagship stores, on Corso Buenos Ayres, a main shopping street of Milan.
“Benetton is a brand I deeply love, as all of us Italians have grown together with it and feel a great empathy and affection for it," he explained. “My will is to start this path from the store, the primary architecture that is tied to the consumer, as the consumer is the undiscussed protagonist of this brand. Therefore, the experience of the store and of the on-line shopping are the pillars of this relaunch," he continued explaining that he redesigned this store as a container where much can be changed and moved inside of it, as it's meant to host events and trunk shows purposely designed to establish an even stronger relationship with the final consumer.
"This presentation held in this store tells the brand's new manifesto. The store will tell how Benetton's new direction starts from archetypes of the brand like color and playfulness…all aspects that belong to the history of this brand. Though I think it is possible to also start a new story tied to other ingredients," explained Incontri.
"This brand was born in 1965 as Maglieria Benetton, and the product is fundamental for its relaunch. Benetton has a history that has talked much about society, inclusivity–you all know about it–, but before speaking about communication it’s time to first focus on the product, a transversal and contemporary product for men, women, kids and newborn–an immense world of possibilities. First there is the product and then a narrative will take its shape," he explained.
He also pointed out which aspects he started working on, like, for instance, knitwear, a key aspect for the brand that for s/s 2023 has chosen the slogan "Be Everything" underlining how the brand want to let everyone express their personality and style.
Along with knitwear and color blocks, he also revisited the idea of an understated elegance based upon lightweight knitwear, canneté, mélange and mouliné to combine with bouclé fabrics, Vichy cottons and recycled nylon for fluid shirt dresses, crop tops, shorts, jackets and windbreakers in pastel hues asw ell as brighter colors like red, orange and green.
Along with these aspects, Incontri also worked on fits and basic aspects of the collection. "I redesigned what could be considered the most essential and basic aspects that play a significant part for the brand’s market," the designer explained while stressing the importance of graphics like fruit patterns reinterpreted as pop graphics - almoste reinvented as obsessive repetitive elements interpreted in unconventional hues as part of the brand's key themes of this relaunch.
"There is nothing more interesting than working on normality. Therefore, I accepted to work on this project," he added. "As I come from design, developing series-made product is a kind of poetry. For this, I am not interested in doing single pieces or special collaborations," he said, hyping on the importance to offer products at democratic prices and appealing to different people and families. "Especially for my professional path after I worked in luxury, finding myself in a company like Benetotn made me understand that it’s possible to produce quality products for many," he added.
The designer will push ahead some different aspects that belong to the brand's heritage, though in a reinvented manner, while always defining how vast, quality-impregnated and professional is the overall company's context.
"I have started working here for six months, a relatively short period. Therefore, there is much more I can do here. There is a huge sustainability department with a dedicated division and team working on products and collections. I also discovered a company that has an incredible potential on denim in terms of quality, fits, products and finishing. For this, I think there is a huge territory to discover. And in this show you and find just a preview of a much wider work I will work on in the future," he said adding that he also considers himself like a brand curator who might also start collaborating with designers, illustrators and other personalities in the future, for instance for reinventing the brand's accessory division and start setting a culture of project.
"In terms of advertising and communication, Oliviero Toscani did a huge work that needs to be crystallized rather than cut and pasted," he explained, referring to a key chapter of the brand's history that meant joys and pains. "It’s a work that deserves great respect as it has been genius-like tied to a precise time. I want to start from the product because apparently they forgot about product in the last times for various reasons. More steps will follow. Surely working on social aspects is very interesting for me, too. This is only the first step of my commitment," he added.
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