Milan-based fashion designer Domenico Formichetti has launched his new S/S 2024 fashion collection under his project, PDF. Inspired by a blend of American high-school tribes’ aesthetics and the adrenaline of extreme sports, Formichetti attempts to give Italian fashion a colourful, original twist, and more specifically, something he can’t find on the market. Ever since his debut with the collection FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) he has been virtually unstoppable, drawing continuous inspiration from his international travels. With this newest collection, Formichetti once again manages to transcend the limits between casualwear and couture, observed through his youthful, playful lens.
First off, could you introduce yourself to our audience?
Hi, guys! My name is Domenico Formichetti. I was born in a small city between the mountains and the sea in the centre of Italy. I moved to Milan almost eleven years ago, and that's where everything started. My life has always revolved around music, design, fashion, and extreme sports.
Moving from that “small city between the mountains and the sea in the centre of Italy,” as you say, how was your arrival in Milan? How did your experience at Brera Academy shape the person and the fashion designer you’ve become?
Damn, if I think about the first day in Milan… I felt really lost. I used to live in a small city that was very close-minded, where everyone knew each other. I had my group of friends, and we would just hang out and waste time. But I'm lucky to have a very extroverted personality, so I started to meet people around quickly. To tell you the truth, I'm not a good student. I see school as a huge yard with all different people to know and learn from. I've learned more from people and life than from school. But yeah, I really like Brera. I felt free to express myself there, but what I am today is solely the result of my own work.
In your free time, you practice snowboarding and extreme sports. Does this side of your life factor into your work? How does it inspire your fashion design?
Man, I love extreme sports. If there's something that gives me adrenaline, I want to do it straight away. I have tried lots of them; the only one I'm missing is surfing – I'm too scared of sharks! But yeah, I get lots of inspiration from sports. Every sport has something to offer; they are unique, and I like to translate them into fashion.
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 13.jpg
Your new S/S 2024 collection made its debut at Paris Fashion Week. I absolutely adore the fun and youthful flare of your designs! Can you walk us through the main ideas behind this collection?
Everything started when I was in New York watching Grease at my friend's house, and I just thought… Wow, I always dreamed about going to an American high school like the ones I've always watched in the movies, where you can find all these different people and groups characterised by their way of dressing. So I made it my vision.
So in this collection, you’ve imagined what it would be like to create your own ideal school tribe with different personalities mirrored in their fashion choices. What inspired this journey back to your formative years?
My biggest inspirations always come from music videos, in this specific case, Gwen Stefani or Christina Aguilera, and movies
You were a teenager in the early 2000s. What iconic fashion items can you remember from that period? Any favourites?
Mmm, sto arrivando! Too many items, but the one that I actually preferred was the iPod. I remember listening to music with CD-ROMs. It was cool but pretty annoying.
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 6.jpg
Your collection is accompanied by the motto ‘If it already exists, it’s not necessary’. What drives you towards innovation? How do you make sure your designs stay original?
I am a big shopping addict, so I just watch clothing all day in shops or marketplaces, and I try to create something that I really want and can't find in the market.
Streetwear seems to be where your heart is at. How would you describe streetwear in Italy, and in Milan specifically?
I don't like the label streetwear. I think the best way to describe it is clothing that you can wear every day in your daily life and look amazing. Culture in Italy is way behind every other country. People like to follow mainstream stuff and not pay attention to new stuff, even if it's cool. But you know, over time.
How do your designs differ from what you would normally see in the streets of Milan?
My design is pretty different from what I see around Milan. I usually travel, so I get really inspired by so many different places. I'm trying to bring something that is not already in Italy; something new.
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 15.jpg
How do you make sure the clothes you design are couture and relatable at the same time?
I think it's the way you showcase the collection more than the design itself, how you present it and what you want to communicate.
You have designed for Italian popstars and rappers such as Tyga, Sfera, Dark Polo Gang – that’s quite the achievement! What’s the best commission you’ve received? Did their music and personalities inspire your designs?
The best one is still ongoing; I can't say anything right now. But yeah, I really try to express their personality and the mood in the design.
Your fashion brand has been described as ‘genderless’. As a fellow Italian, I know Italy can still be quite strict in terms of gender norms and binaries. How do you approach this challenge? What made you want to opt for a genderless line of clothing?
I think everything is fluid. I usually wear women's clothes, and girls always wear men's clothing. It's just how a person feels. I don't even think about gender when I'm designing; it just goes with the flow. People think too much. We could just be without stress and paranoia if we could accept what another person feels and thinks without judging.
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 2.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 4.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 7.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 3.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 8.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 9.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 11.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 10.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 18.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 17.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 20.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 19.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 14.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 22.jpg
Domenico Formichetti Metalmagazine 5.jpg