Within the next Pitti Uomo, Avant Toi will be the protagonist of the exhibition “Heroes”, a project meant to celebrate pop culture heroes, mostly from the music world, who left a track and their imprint in collective imagery.

 



The exhibition, held inside the show's Central Pavillion, invites visitors to take a journey through a series of music icons' photos that, year by year, have set their mark in costume evolution along with images reinterpreting Avant Toi key pieces of the brand's evolution.




Avant Toi is an Italian men and women apparel brand born in 1994 in Genoa, Italy, from an idea by brothers Fiorella and Mirko Ghignone.

Mirko Ghione, creative art director, Avant Toi
Photo: Avant Toi
Mirko Ghione, creative art director, Avant Toi
The brand has constantly evolved to offer an entire selection of lifestyle products inspired and manufactured as true single exemplar pieces. The two brothers created it with the aim to mix tradition and experimentation after their mother Lia Gambetta founded Liapull Cashmere, a knitwear company that started offering pieces made with basic yarns like mohair and wool and later specialized in using precious materials like cashmere and silk.
Fiorella Ghione, CEO, Avant Toi
Photo: Avant Toi
Fiorella Ghione, CEO, Avant Toi
With the passing of years the Avant Toi universe has grown and has started including more product categories, including knitwear and woven apparel items, along with accessories like hats, gloves and scarves, plus footwear and home decor pieces, all produced according to a highly artisanal and creative artistic process through which each single item is "one of a kind" as devised and produced as a true and innovative art piece.




The brand will participate Pitti Uomo this January and will offer its f/w 2023/2024 collection made with new luxury materials and as comfortable as a second skin, though reinvented with new fits and desecrating irregular decor motives.

Avant Toi f/w 2023
Photo: Avant Toi
Avant Toi f/w 2023
Among the newest surface effects of the collection there will be airbrush decor spots on dark backgrounds placed on sweaters and ultra-soft sweatshirts, characterised by new fits and abstract jacquard motives, together with reinvented British iconic elements like, for instance, Prince of Wales coats decored with drips of paint, along with velvet blazers, cashmere knitted tops and hand printed wool pieces with casentino-like pilling effects.




Mirko Ghignone, co-owner and creative art director, Avant Toi, explained The SPIN OFF what is the essence behind his brand at the crossroad between fashion, art and craftsmanship.




How do you create your collections?
Each collection originates from our great passion for this world, our personal flair and the emotions we experience, as well as from a wide research work. In fact, we are driven by a constant desire to evolve, because not everything has already been thought of or invented, and we feel the need to always surpass ourselves.

Avant Toi showroom, Milan
Photo: Avant Toi
Avant Toi showroom, Milan
According to which criteria do you select the colors and elements that decorate each piece of your collection?We have many sources of inspiration. It can be a new coloring or treatment inspired by nature, though also a photo, a conversation, or even a piece of music. 





When we start playing with materials and colors, experimenting with new techniques, we inevitably get swept up in a creative frenzy that leads us to develop new combinations all the time.





Is each garment decorated by hand? What techniques do you use?
Each garment is strictly hand-painted, and therefore it is unique, like a work of art. 





The techniques we use vary over the course of the collections, but the one that we could call central to the process was the introduction of airbrush fabric coloring, back in the 1990s, of which we can boast of being forerunners internationally. Other typical coloring in our collections are applications made by brush, with rollers, or with the hands themselves.

Avant Toi s/s 2023
Photo: Avant Toi
Avant Toi s/s 2023
Are all pieces made by you personally, or by specialised staff?
All prototypes are personally made by our creative art director Mirko Ghignone, an action painter and a true pioneer of coloring, while our team of specialised employees produces the collection that goes in stores. 





Have you always produced your collections this way?
Yes, we have always worked this way because craftsmanship is undoubtedly the beating heart of Avant Toi. Our intention is to continue to amaze our customers by exalting craftsmanship and Made in Italy.





What trends will characterise the f/w 2023/2024 collection?
Jackets and coats in Prince of Wales fabrics, colored with multicolored pictorial touches that are fused together through a veil of color. Soft alpaca camouflage shirts and fluffy destroyed cashmere pullovers with punk pictorial drippings…

Avant Toi showroom, Milan
Photo: Avant Toi
Avant Toi showroom, Milan
What new silhouettes, treatments and innovations will you show within the next Pitti Uomo?
We will present a new coloration reminiscent of liquid art, hand-crafted with color castings thrown on garments, which will include gauzy cashmere-silk and felted cashmere-wool sweaters, as well as our brand-new alpaca tartan fabric. There will also be a novel "spot" coloring on airbrush-blackened backgrounds applied to ultra-soft sweaters and sweatshirts with varying volumes and fits.





Are there recurring themes in every season?
The fil rouge recurring in all Avant Toi collections is the desire to break away from stylistic and aesthetic rules, that means to create a bridge between the classic concept of sophistication and the allure of the unconventional, in total opposition to the usual conventions of the cashmere and knitwear world.

Avant Toi Home collection
Photo: Avant Toi
Avant Toi Home collection
Avant Toi offers various product categories already like, for instance, footwear and accessories. Will you launch any new product in the future?
Avant Toi is not simply a knitwear brand for us, but a real lifestyle brand. The collection has developed by starting to include total looks made up of outerwear, trousers, skirts, accessories, footwear, and more!
Avant Toi sneakers
Photo: Avant Toi
Avant Toi sneakers

In recent years we have also launched our Home Collection, which consists of a series of layers, from blankets, pillows, rugs, plaids, to tableware with tablecloths and other design elements, capable of creating an exhilarating play of bright colors and hues consistent with the brand's unfailing and incisive expressive code: hand-dyeing.
Avant Toi showroom, Milan
Photo: Avant Toi
Avant Toi showroom, Milan
Will you launch any new project in 2023?
We are already thinking about the brand's 30th anniversary that will happen in 2024. With the intention of celebrating this important milestone, we are developing ambitious projects that will fix in time and history the origin of the brand as a pioneer of art and hand-coloring in the fashion world. 




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