Learning or doing something new has become a definitive quarantine trend. From knitting and gardening to studying foreign languages and baking bread, many people have been trying to make the most of otherwise idle time at home.
Giuseppe Zanotti is no exception. When Italy went under lockdown in early March as the coronavirus spread across Europe, the legendary footwear designer turned to another fashion category to get outside his own comfort zone. “Despite the tragic moment, it gave me the time to experiment something completely new for me,” the designer told FN. “I found myself wearing tracksuits and comfy clothes, so I thought of a loungewear capsule collection made of essential pieces of the best quality materials and craftsmanship.”
The result is the “Living Room,” a collection comprised of just hoodies, t-shirts and sweatpants — which happen to be all that most people are wearing nowadays.
This isn’t technically the first time the designer has ventured into ready-to-wear, as he’s often added leather outerwear pieces to his collections through the years. But the Living Room is Zanotti’s first cohesive ready-to-wear line.
Instead of his usual flashes of gold hardware or crystal embellishment, he kept the loungewear pieces simple. “Something iconic, you will want to wear time after time,” is how Zanotti described the collection. Each minimalist piece, which comes in black, white or grey, is made of hypoallergenic cotton, with the designer’s signature modestly emblazoned on the upper chest corner.
Zanotti is, of course, known for some of the most opulent footwear out there, and his last celebrity collaboration, with music artist Swae Lee, included heels for men. But the designer acknowledged that the pandemic has forced a lifestyle change for even the most exuberant fashion enthusiasts. “I am (usually) always traveling and it was very weird to be home every day and just wearing comfortable clothes,” he admitted.
While he does believe that fashion, and the rest of the world, will eventually resume the practice of dressing up, he also thinks sweats are here to stay. “We all hope to go to events and dressed-up nights again, but I truly believe that casual dressing is here to stay in the long run,” he said. “The rules have changed throughout the years.”
To introduce the line, Zanotti tapped Los Angeles-based model and skateboarder Evan Mock to model the pieces — and show how sweats can still look luxe. The designer’s t-shirts are available to buy now on his site, while the others will soon be added.
After a few difficult months, much of Italy is reopened and Zanotti is back in his office, working on upcoming collections and a sneaker to go with the Living Room collection. “Things are getting better,” said the designer. “It has been a very challenging time for everyone, it is so nice to be back to the daily routine.”