ABOVE: ITALO ZUCCHELLI. PHOTO COURTESY OF NEIL RASMUS/BFA NYC.
If there’s one man who knows how to connect the dots between high street and high style, it’s Italo Zucchelli, Men’s Creative Director of Calvin Klein Collection. Case in point: among the guests at the label’s Spring/Summer 2016 menswear presentation in New York yesterday afternoon were Los Angeles Laker Nick Young, British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton, Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler, and musician Twin Shadow (wearing a head to toe “Bandaid” look from a recent Calvin Klein Collection), in addition to Victor Cruz, Andy Cohen, Tyson Beckford, Andre Iguodala, and Dre Kirkpatrick.
Although the collection made its original debut only three weeks ago in Milan, as Zucchelli explained, Calvin “is an American brand, so it’s very important to support the return of NYFW:Men’s.”
For Spring 2016, he offered a hyper-focused collection of reinterpreted classic American staples: denim or khaki trousers, and a plain white t-shirt. Except nothing was as it seemed, or seamed. T-shirts were made of a PCV or Tyvek envelope-like fiber, save for a few sheer cotton ones silkscreen-printed on the reverse with an over-scale Ed Ruscha palm tree motif. There were others of the cotton variety as well, finished with thick strips of contrasting material slung over either hip. The effect was both subtle and a cool, two Zucchelli signatures, and perhaps a play on ’90s-style suspenders and overalls worn off of the wearer’s shoulders. Denim, meanwhile, took on a tromp l’oeil effect in the form of stonewashed cotton jacquard. These jackets, smocks, and trousers came cropped and slim, fit for a modern day Tom of Finland man about town.
Each look in the collection, while sober in palette (with the exception of bursts of red and orange “graphic heat wave” patterns peeking from underneath sheer knits), was streamlined and utilitarian in silhouette. Zucchelli’s slyest move, however, was the addition of tonal swaths of Velcro with interchangeable patch and cargo pockets on pants and jackets.
The aforementioned looks were all punctuated with a tinge of #EverydayEuropean (read: socks worn with strappy Velcro sandals). “The sock is almost a shoe itself!” Zucchelli shared. “It’s very dense and sturdy, you almost could walk in it. I wanted to do it for a long time now, and finally I found a way to do it the way I like it.” If Zucchelli’s Midas touch with entertainment’s best and brightest is any indication, Calvin Klein’s new Tevas will seamlessly globetrot from the runways to courtside, international tarmacs, and beyond.