In an interview with Esquire, Li Gong and Stefano Canali discuss their latest collaborative effort in the realm of tailored fashion, using the journey of Marco Polo from Venice to Shangdu as influence.
When asked how this collaboration came togeher, Canali said, "Li Gong was chosen for this collaboration because we felt it was original and relevant at the same time. We considered that key elements in his designs for 8on8 would bring a contemporary update and new perspective to Canali, while staying true to our DNA. As we worked through many Zoom meetings to design the collection, it became evident that we had chosen the right partner. Li Gong explored our world and brought new life to archival Canali designs with his creative artwork interpretations and contemporary silhouettes."
"I first became familiar with Canali when I was studying menswear fashion. The house’s rich history and passion for innovation and culture has always stuck with me, which is why I was thrilled to be approached by Canali for the collaboration. Having always associated Canali with tailor-made Italian luxury, I welcomed the opportunity to blend my perspective with the house’s classic aesthetic to create a refined mix of both brands," added Gong.
"For over 85 years, Canali has stayed at the forefront of the sartorial menswear world, and we believe that tailoring will continue to have a presence in menswear for years to come. However, we are driven by innovation and look forward to continually exploring ways in which our heritage designs and sartorial suits can meet the needs of the modern customer," said Canali about the future of tailored clothing in 2021 and beyond.
When asked how fashion can bring cultures together, Gong said, "Fashion offers a limitless opportunity to celebrate cultures, whether it be using certain fabrics, fits, or design elements that bring attention to a culture’s rich history. For me, this is showcased in the baseball cap beaded detail, inspired by a Yuan Dynasty official’s hat, and the drawstring bag which was inspired by an ancient monetary pouch."
"There are many ways to interpret fashion’s function in crossing over cultural barriers," added Canali. "We hope we can continue to lend our expertise in craftsmanship and quality to emerging designers around the globe to create beautifully constructed garments. But we also hope to learn from our partners, from their culture, expertise, and their way of seeing the world."
Information originally sourced from Esquire.