Tod’s: Walter Chiapponi makes menswear debut
"I wanted to restore Italian buon gusto," explained Walter Chiapponi, the new creative director of Todʼs, using the local term for good taste, as he unveiled his first ideas for the brand.
Presented in an elaborate mock-up of a 1960s grand hotel bar, his presentation was an homage to Italian modern classicism, from Gio Ponti to Luchino Visconti.
"I began by studying the archives of this special house, though in a very real way my biggest inspiration was signor Diego Della Valle. A man of taste with a great collection of art and fine objects," explained Chiapponi, after giving a score of menswear editors a tour of his first ideas.
Ten youths posed at the bar of this T Club, attired in the chic casual style one associates with young men on this peninsula. The big news was the careful volume and graceful pants, worn with sleek T logo buckle belts, and the lightly faded royal blue jeans, which Chiapponi himself wore.
One had also to admire the reverse sheepskin blousons, unadorned blue blazers and, above all, a quartet of very attractive car coats. Made in English grouse hunting green wool or ecru suede, and finished with contrast patch elbows they looked ideal for driving and shopping in an urban or rural context.
In a word, a highly competent display by Chiapponi, who joined Todʼs from Bottega Veneta. In his new position he will work in tandem with another BV alumni, marketing maestro, Carlo Alberto Beretta, who also joined Todʼs last February as general manager.
Ever since the departure of designer Alessandra Facchinetti in 2016, Todʼs womenswear has been designed by a committee. Never the best of ideas in the long term.
The real acid test will therefore come in February, when Chiapponi stages his first women’s ready-to-wear show in Milan. One suspects he will need to take far more risks with that collection for Todʼs, a great Italian brand that has never had a major league womenswear hit.
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