Designer interview

Designer interview

What were your initial feelings about the collaboration?

I was hugely excited about it from the very start. I really think this collaboration with UNIQLO comes at the best possible moment. I see it as the next step in the trajectory we've been taking over the past two years. Little by little, we have readdressed all our processes to take the brand closer to people, to push it beyond the constricting templates of “fashion”, and present MARNI authentically; engaging with and through people, in a dialogue with the brand.


What inspired the theme of the collection?

Creatively we've taken a very precise direction throughout the design process, with the ambition to create a wardrobe that will be treasured and shared. We explored the notion of LifeWear through our very own experience and perspective and imagined a wardrobe that a whole family (especially a chosen family) could share and exchange between each other, living their lives in it. We tried to translate that sense of ease and familiarity through the photographs, taken by Jamie Hawkesworth, that present the collection.

The collection is very MARNI; with its vivid, bold, graphic patterns. How did you come up with the hand-painted checks, flowers, and stripes?

MARNI is about colour and print, and always has been. For this collection, we wanted to inject our floral prints with nostalgia, and our signature ginghams with artistic flair; transposing MARNI's creative energy through brush strokes.


How did you decide on the colour palette of this collection?

With the collection launching in May, we looked at summery colours; combining bold shades of red and cobalt with warm, earthy tones of khaki, ecru, and olive green. Prints punctuate the range, connecting the collection chromatically, through a mix of textures.

How did your creative process differ from your typical process working on MARNI collections?

Throughout the whole process, we have always tried to champion UNIQLO’s ethos and integrity that lie behind the brand’s vision, giving our interpretation of UNIQLO’s LifeWear through a slightly out-of-the-box proposition that combines impeccably crafted clothes with MARNI’s offbeat and life-embracing spirit.

In addition to feeling like MARNI, what about the collection feels like you, Francesco?

Besides the colours and prints, which are indeed very MARNI, the collection features some of my own signatures: grunge-inspired striped tees, wrinkled pyjama shirts, slouchy tailoring, and combinations of bright and mellow colours, interspersed with a subtle 70s nostalgia.

What does UNIQLO's philosophy of LifeWear mean to you? You were already very familiar with UNIQLO products before this collaboration, what about the products stands out to you?

I am fascinated by UNIQLO's aesthetic and its proposition of smartly designed clothes for the everyday. Design-wise, UNIQLO's product offering can be considered an intelligent synthesis of material, colour and shape - but from my perspective, it's more than that. The commitment to offering product that translates universally is utterly humanistic and, in that sense, deeply virtuous.


What do you want customers to feel when they wear the collection?

I really hope that they feel good, that they feel like themselves, that they feel free, and that they live their best summer in these clothes!

What is your favourite piece in the collection?

Probably the silky matching sets. I can't wait to wear them.

You grew up on a boat, do you think this childhood experience has influenced your design?

I have blurry memories of those early years, but I reckon they must have had an impact on me. Probably more in the way they shaped my personality, rather than my design vision.

The campaign's visual concept is "MARNI FAMILY". Can you tell us more about why you cherish community and the bonds you share with friends and colleagues?

I think that bonds are at the core of human experience. Through our work and what we share with each other as we create, we define a framework that is dense with meaning. I consider MARNI both as a destination, and a platform for people who share the same values. It's a brand that is in constant dialogue with the people around it, and isn't that the very definition of community?