Massimo Giorgetti

Occupation: 

Fashion designer

Career breakthrough: 

"Every season I want to propose something new to them. Our 2009 collection, with psychedelic prints generated by computer, earned MSGM immediate success. I think young people are already getting ideas more from social networks. We wanted to create a very contemporary collection."

Advice for aspiring designers: 

"I think new designers should be modest, curious and focused on their objectives."

 

Massimo Giorgetti is not your typical fashion wunderkind, citing rock groups MGMT, The Strokes and Blur as his design inspirations rather than any legendary couturiers.

"Music is my passion," he says. "I like to think that my collections are a material interpretation of the sound - music for your eyes."

The designer's Milan-based label, MSGM, is known for his creative approach using kaleidoscopic prints. So perhaps it was only natural that he was hired last year as creative director for the Italian fashion house Emilio Pucci, which is known as the "Prince of Prints".

Born in Rimini, a scenic Italian city set on the Adriatic Sea, Giorgetti found his passion for fashion early on. As a young accounting student, he eagerly anticipated weekends so he could skip school and go shopping for fashion magazines.

"I was 16 years old and I realised that accounting was the wrong thing for me," he says. "The math books and banking classes were really nightmares. I was only looking forward to Saturdays to buy all the fashion magazines possible. I wanted them all, and I read them all."

A year later, Giorgetti began working as a sales clerk at a friend's fashion boutique in his hometown and was given various opportunities to learn the basics of fashion design. By age 24, he was designing capsule collections for two clothing lines.

Giorgetti says his experience on the sales floor gave him a different perspective on fashion. "It helped a lot," he says. "When I design, I try to visualise [the pieces] first in the showrooms and also in the stores."

His retail intelligence and entrepreneurial spirit led to the creation of MSGM. In 2008, partnered with Paoloni Group, Giorgetti launched his label with an eye towards injecting bold colours and designs into a gloomy market where the economic crisis lingered. His vision was a success. MSGM grew into a US$45 million business and now has over 700 points of sale across the globe, and has also expanded into menswear and accessories.

Giorgetti's designs have been well-received among celebrities and industry critics. In 2010, MSGM was celebrated as one of the best emerging labels by the Who Is On Next contest sponsored by Vogue Italia.

MSGM's network has grown in sync with its commercial success. Last year, MSGM opened a Hong Kong store on Paterson Street in Causeway Bay. It's opening a second store in Pacific Place this May.

While Giorgetti's avid understanding of the fashion market may have brought him quick success, it's his love of music that has continued to pump fresh ideas into his work.

"Music has always influenced my designs, starting from the inspiration for my brand name - the group MGMT."

Having formerly moonlighted as a DJ, Giorgetti enjoys spinning rock tunes while he works.

But he's also inspired by the customers he dresses. "An MSGM girl is fashionable but not a fashion victim," Giorgetti says. "She's courageous and irreverent, and that's who I design for."

Giorgetti is now splitting his time between Milan and Florence to meet his new responsibilities for Pucci. He is bringing about drastic changes to the half-century-old luxury brand, which under the helm of his predecessor, Peter Dundas, oozed sexiness.

Following his debut resort collection in June last year, Giorgetti infused Pucci's spring/summer 2016 collection with his signature street style. His master manipulation of prints and colours seen at MSGM have been translated into a more grown-up version at Pucci, with models sporting goggles dipped in a rainbow of colours adding to the fresh new aesthetic.

The media-savvy designer, who is looking to give a contemporary boost to Pucci, says social media is playing an increasingly important role in fashion design. "Designers should be more sensitive and take new opportunities from the internet," he says.

"MSGM is created for cool fashion lovers who are not slaves to designer labels. Every season, I want to propose something new to them."