Past, Present, Future

Guillaume Meilland, Salvatore Ferragamo's new Design Director of Men's Ready-to-Wear, reaffirms the house code with his debut collection.

BY IAN LOH | Oct 17, 2017 | Fashion

As fashion designers engage in yet another round of musical chairs, this season, we witness some notable debuts, such as Raf Simons at Calvin Klein, Haider Ackermann at Berluti and Alessandro Sartori at Ermenegildo Zegna.

While he might be the least well-known of the quartet, at 34, Guillaume Meilland’s résumé reads much older than his age. After graduating from ESMOD Paris, he began his fashion career at Louis Vuitton before joining Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent, where he led the sportswear department. After a short stint, he took the position of Senior Designer of Lanvin Menswear, working alongside Lucas Ossendrijver for about eight years.

Meilland’s appointment as Design Director of Men’s Ready-to-Wear also marks the completion of Ferragamo’s creative overhaul that has seen the recruitment of Paul Andrew as Design Director of Women’s Footwear and Fulvio Rigoni as Design Director of Women’s Ready-to-Wear.

“As a menswear designer, Ferragamo’s commitment to innovation and quality is particularly palpable; indeed, the notion of ‘Made in Italy’ feels like an exciting responsibility, and one I take very seriously as I integrate the experiences and the ideas I’ve accumulated into this latest chapter for the House,” Meilland says in a press statement.

For his debut collection, Meilland offers looks that stay true to the house’s luxury roots yet demonstrate every intention of moving forward. He reworks the tailoring by shortening jacket proportions and narrowing trousers, and experiments with silhouettes by playing with volume and elongating outerwear, with a focus on cashmere knitwear in hazy, muted tones. In a season of logomania, Meilland’s take on the modern Ferragamo man is tasteful and sartorially-polished.  

Taking inspiration from Salvatore Ferragamo himself, Meilland says, “As I discover quite how daring he was throughout his career, my greatest inspiration has been to imagine what forms, techniques, materials and philosophies Salvatore would be developing were he alive today. To honour his legacy feels like a wonderful challenge for someone whose own life has been steeped in both a deep respect for traditional craft and a passion for creating new sartorial expressions for the modern man.”

By fusing the codes of the past with his vision of the future, Meilland’s tenure is off to a solid start.