by Stephen Garner
Carmine Rotondaro
Carmine Rotondaro

On Tuesday, June 11, Collini Milano took over the historic Rivoire Café in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria with an explosion of glitter to celebrate the debut of the men’s spring/summer 2020 capsule collection.

Not a brand for shy people, Collini relaunched in 2016 under a new owner and designer Carmine Rotondaro. “Collini is an old Milanese brand that has experienced some moments of glory, and then due to a few internal changes, it ‘fell asleep’,” he says. “I like to think of the new Collini as waking up the sleeping beauty and bringing her to the disco. We did a lot of research on how to give to this brand the right spirit and soul, and this is the result. I see it as an extension of my lifestyle. This is what I always wanted and never found for men or in my size. It’s day-to-day glamour.”

The collection, which is centered around a highly-edited selection of men’s footwear, where the iconic Cuban heel ankle boot is the star of the collection, has a glam rock inspiration. Versions of the boots can be seen in lime green, silver and gold, and silver and blue striped glitter, and in vivid metal turquoise, worthy of a modern-day Ziggy Stardust.

To pay tribute to China, the Guest Nation of this edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo, three additional models have been created: red and electric blue with prints of dragons and macro rockstar studs, and silver glitter with a degradé red stain, hand painted on the boot.

As for the clothing, a special edition 24-karat gold printed cashmere pullover was also presented, a celebration of everyday glamour. A 24-karat gold leaf Collini Milano logo is printed across the front of crew and v-neck long sleeve tops in 100 percent 16-gauge cashmere or 90/10 cashmere/cotton. Light and seasonless, these precious pieces are enhanced with rarely seen real gold printing or gold print with crystal embellishments on solid knits that include grey, camel, and cream in addition to classic black and white.

“When I buy a design, I want to see the design,” mentions Rotondaro. “So, we really tried to put our efforts in making something that stands out, is different, and has a point of view, but is also wearable.”

So, what’s next for Collini? “I would like to run this brand in a very old-fashioned way,” says Rotondaro. “Like a brand and shop owner in the 1930’s, I will open my own shop in Milano. We are looking to open up our own store in Milan in September and we will take it from there. I always like this idea that at one point- you could meet the brand owner in their own store and say hello to them. It is a sense of development that I would like to have in the brand. Opening our store and to be able to talk to the market, press, and fashion community, but most importantly to the consumer. We are also considering opening a seasonal store in Ibiza, where we believe our brand will fit very well.  We’ve also got some interest in Japan- so these are the locations for expansion. But we are going to do it the old-fashioned way.”