Making the tracksuit cool again
Take note Prada, Armani and company: Palm Angels is shaking up the fashion world, with celebrities including singer Pharrell Williams and rapper A$AP Rocky donning the Milan-based, skate-inspired brand.
Italian Francesco Ragazzi, 31, is not only being hailed as the man bringing an underground energy to otherwise straight-laced Milan, but also the designer who reclaimed the humble tracksuit.
Palm Angels, which showed its winter-fall 2017 collection in Milan last month, grabbed the headlines at the start of Milan's women's fashion week after the revamped tracksuits sold out as soon as the brand's new online shop went live.
Art director at Italy's fashion powerhouse Moncler for his day job, Ragazzi dedicates the rest of his time to his largely unisex line of luxury casual-wear inspired by Los Angeles' skate subculture.
The brand was born in 2015 after he published a book of photographs he had taken of skaters in Venice Beach, with a foreword written by his friend Williams.
Moving his Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix-inspired collection from Paris to Milan last year "was a gamble", he told AFP.
"It was a case of, 'let's do something different Milan doesn't have', but I was afraid they wouldn't understand what I'm doing," he said.
"There is this contrast in my work: Very laidback clothes, but made in the best possible way..." he said. "I like the fact the tracksuit in different cultures represents something different." - AFP