Início Tech Antonio Marras Explores New Creative Avenues

Antonio Marras Explores New Creative Avenues

MILAN — Antonio Marras’ creative world already blends history, the visual arts, cinema and literature and the Italian designer is increasingly interested in photography.

So much so that, until July 27, his boutique in Rome’s central luxury shopping street Via Condotti will stage the exhibition “Linea d’Ombra [The Shadow Line].” Inspired by the 1916 Joseph Conrad book of the same title, the exhibit displays Marras’ sketches, together with photos by Nicola Surbera and videos by Giacomo Costa under his artistic direction. The exhibit reflects on time and the journey toward adulthood through 41 works.

“I would definitely like to pursue photography,” said Marras during an interview, revealing he has also been working on a short movie he filmed two years ago but that has not yet been edited.

The Rome boutique was the first to open last year after the acquisition of the brand by Calzedonia Group, now called Oniverse, in 2022, and kicked off a gradual retail expansion for the brand, which until then was distributed through the wholesale channel, aiming at always including artistic and cultural events.

The Linea d’Ombra exhibition in the Antonio Marras boutique in Rome.

Giulio Cafasso

Marras enthused about the “radical change” and acquired visibility for the brand he founded almost three decades ago, crediting Oniverse founder and chairman Sandro Veronesi for his support, which has allowed the designer to restructure and expand his Alghero store in Sardinia, and also open six other stores in a year-and-a-half in the best streets in cities ranging from Turin and Florence to Venice and luxury beach resort town Forte dei Marmi.

The stores are not simply locations where Marras’ designs are available but they are “an extension of my universe,” said the designer, who personally chooses their furniture, all site-specific depending on the space and the atmosphere. “Each is different, nothing is standardized, and it’s all very stimulating and exciting,” he said, adding he also personally keeps an eye on the windows and the displays.

“It’s almost an archeological work, we go into these locations and find traces of those that preceded us, a coffered ceiling from the 18th century in Venice, in Florence we gave new life to a skylight, recovering elements that add distinction to the stores, yet with my ceramics, my objects, sketches and unique vintage furniture they are clearly in line with my brand’s aesthetic and recognizable,” explained Marras.

The Antonio Marras boutique in Florence.

Marras’ talent for scenography is no secret to those who have attended his fashion shows, where the runway is always the stage for his theatrical presentations and personal tales always lie behind his carefully detailed collections and his fanciful and imaginative sets.

Marras, who always sketches as he speaks, is unique in the industry as he continues to live and work in his hometown of Alghero, “an island on the island,” where locals speak Catalan, while regularly also traveling to Milan, home to his showroom and the Nonostante Marras concept store.

He continues to be strongly influenced by the island of Sardinia and its cultural stratification, since it was conquered through the centuries by the Romans, the French, the Spaniards, and others, and its traditions in a region with a deep textile and jewelry heritage.

Marras’ collections are all sewn by hand and embroidered in Sardinia, with embroideries and details comparable to haute couture.

For this reason, Marras once again touted Veronesi’s understanding, as he has been allowing him to maintain his MO, his own pace and artisanal craftsmanship. “He realizes this is our strength, in a sea of brands that produce ready-to-wear,” said Marras, underscoring that he creates his designs starting from work on a mannequin, then turning the looks into sketches, “the opposite way designers generally work.”

Sardinia was a reference for Marras’ resort 2025 collection, where floral prints, botanical patterns and a ‘70s spirit of youthfulness and femininity blended in a romantic lineup.

Antonio Marras Resort 2025

The botanical reference sprouted from Marras’ seasonal female muses: Nobel Prize-winning author Grazia Deledda — whose 1891 debut novel’s title “Fior di Sardegna” [“Flowers of Sardinia”] he used to name the collection and spelled out in details on the clothes — as well as Sardinia-born Eva Mameli Calvino, mother of renowned writer Italo Calvino and the first Italian woman to get a degree in botany and dedicate her life to plants. “Women who have made history” always stimulate the designer’s creativity.

Trenchcoats, billowy dresses and relaxed suits in a delicate print portrayed different botanical species and the theme was reinforced by additional floral patterns nodding to the Sardinian flora, which blossomed on airy chiffon frocks, satin separates and knits.

Based in Verona, the hosiery, innerwear and swimwear group Oniverse includes the CalzedoniaIntimissimi, Tezenis, Falconeri, Atelier Emé and Signorvino brands, as well as yachting firm Cantiere del Pardo. The group last year reported sales of 3.1 billion euros. 

— With contributions from Sandra Salibian

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