Undoubtedly, the most renowned writer in Italy, Ivano Atzori (aka DUMBO), began his career in the 90s as a young vandal, leaving his tags across the streets of Milan. Growing up in the southwest outskirts of the city, he used graffiti to capture the attention of journalists, the fashion industry, and ordinary people alike.
In 2001, he opened the King Kong store with Federico Sarica, the first place in the city where underground phenomena merged with high fashion. Numerous talents, including Marcelo Burlon and Giorgio di Salvo, had their beginnings at King Kong. Moreover, it was the first store to sell international underground brands like Supreme, Bernhard Willhelm, and P.A.M. Perks and Mini.
Since 2015, Ivano Atzori has been living and working in the southwest of Sardinia, where his creative studio Pretziada is based. MILANO IMPERFECTA, made in collaboration with IUTER, is his first capsule collection.
Founded in 2002, IUTER is an independent brand born and raised in Milan. Its roots can be traced back to the intersection of various street subcultures and action sports: snowboarders, writers, skaters, and other members of urban subcultures who contributed to making IUTER the reference culture brand in Italy, always focused on community and counterculture. Over time, IUTER has honed its production skills, distinguishing itself through the creation of high-quality Made in Italy products. Attitude, languages, culture, but above all, credibility. A community that detests the idea of being a mere audience. A real, concrete, active international community. MILANO IMPERFECTA is a collection of garments that gathers social, cultural, and intellectual friction and manifests it through controversial compositions where elegance converses with destruction, and obsessive vandalism embraces concepts and forms. It's a fusion of seemingly distant worlds but belonging to the same experiences.
"I grew up in a city where luxury, opulence, and the elegance of the city center had little relation to intellectual inertia, cultural absence, and the state of abandonment in the suburbs. This polarization motivated and shaped me. I have always carried with me the good that the outskirts offered me and, often without asking, I seized what the city center could stimulate within me." - Ivano Atzori
MILANO IMPERFECTA is yet another piece that adds to Ivano Atzori's practice and research. It stems from his need to shape, add to, and mold the city in which he grew up and with which he engaged without filters. MILANO IMPERFECTA aims to represent the many voices that cities often tend to ignore because they are considered marginal. It restarts by constructing a horizontal line, going beyond the geographical theme of center-periphery and instead focusing on human relationships and their potential. Forces that modify territories, improve them, make them alive and attractive.
"IUTER had the courage to listen to me and make itself available. IUTER is peripheral to many; for many others, it is the center. IUTER is proof that energy and visions go beyond static geographical concepts that can be dismantled and overcome." - Ivano Atzori
The MILANO IMPERFECTA collection originates from a research process that started with the clothing items worn and accumulated by Ivano Atzori throughout his life and artistic endeavors. Working closely with IUTER's style office, Ivano has reinterpreted both classic and utility garments, imbuing them with authoritative creativity and reflecting his artistic obsession.
The main print used in the collection features a classic "buffed" (erased) Dumbo tag that transforms into a pattern, symbolizing resilience. A historic photo by Lele Saveri, taken on the M2 subway cars, is decontextualized and used as a manifesto photo on a formal dress made of cool wool, digitally printed. Furthermore, lines and marks synonymous with actions seemingly liberally conquer the fabrics used. Take, for example, the trench coat in Japanese twill fabric, altered with black color through a performative movement. Following that, there's a distinctive garment-dyed jumpsuit with multifunctional fit and details, complemented by Japanese twill fabric sleeveless vests, pants, and shorts, all characterized - just like the jumpsuit - by applications simulating human joints on knees and the spine, complete with an integrated balaclava in the front pocket jersey. The shirt, available in black or white versions, uniquely presents itself with a hood and drawstring, stained with a radical spray stroke on the back, screen-printed on finished cotton fabric.
Completing the capsule are a hoodie with details particularly suited for a street life, such as 400g unbrushed jersey, mesh netting on the hood near the ears, and long ribbed cuffs with knuckle protectors, featuring an all-over ice-gray print on black fabric. Additionally, there's a series of four t-shirts with iconic designs, graphics, and proclamatory quotes by the artist. All garments are Made in Italy and feature a special red-on-black MILANO IMPERFECTA jacquard label.
MILANO IMPERFECTA is not just a capsule collection; it is an artistic exploration that delves into the essence of urban life, the interaction between spaces and individuals, and the underlying tensions that shape our experiences. It embodies the spirit of rebellion, creativity, and the power of the periphery to challenge and transform the established norms. Through the collaboration between Ivano Atzori and IUTER, MILANO IMPERFECTA pushes the boundaries of fashion, inviting us to reflect on the complexity of our urban existence and the untapped potential lying beneath the surface of our cities.
Article by Gloria Maria Cappelletti
Images by Alessandro Zuek Simonetti
Styling Anna Carraro
Art Direction Ivano Atzori
Community: Edward Buchanan (creative director), Aurora Marchese (tattoo artist), Carlino Maggiar and Martino Ribeiro (free spirits), Simona Coltello (creative director), Tony Brugnoli (photographer), Gloria Maria Cappelletti (creative director), Williams Obrou (artist), Simone Guzeto (photographer).