Four days before they arrived in New York, just after their third album release and just before their Grammy’s close-up and the next leg of their world tour, the four members of Maneskin, the Italian band with a Danish name that won global recognition after winning Eurovision in 2021, were marriedRome. To one other.
They wore white: Damiano, the singer, wore a double-breasted, white tuxedo, vest, and hoop earrings; Victoria De Angelis (22), was a bassist; Ethan Torchio (22) was a full skirt with a lace halter, tulle veil, and more gloves; while Thomas Raggi (22) wore a long white coat and a top hat.
All of them carried bouquets filled with blood red roses. Machine Gun Kelly was there, as was Baz Luhrmann, the director.
Alessandro Michele, the former creative director of Gucci, officiated in “the name of Apollo, Elvis and Jimmy Page” — not to mention global promotion for all involved. (They aren’t polyamorous, just best friends.) Thus was fashion and rock’s relationship again consecrated.
To be fair, this was no rush to the altar (even if “Rush!” is the name of Maneskin’s new album). The two industries have been hot ’n’ heavy over each other for decades, but rarely has a young band used fashion to amplify and extend its message with quite as much eye-popping cheer as Maneskin. From the moment it was founded, burst onto the global scene in Rotterdam in metallic burgundy leather lace-up Etro, looking like the love children of Jimi Hendrix and Abba and belting out “Zitti e Buono,” the band has become synonymous with a particularly kind of gleeful rock god get-up.
This is partly due to its year-long ubiquity: more that 6.5 billion streams on Spotify; playing Coachella, “Saturday Night Live” and the #StandUpForUkraine campaign; opening for the Rolling Stones; collaborating with Iggy Pop and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine; contributing a song to the “Elvis” soundtrack; and performing at the MTV Video Music Awards, where the band was nominated for three awards, won one and Ms. De Angelis experienced a wardrobe malfunction during their performance that became something of a viral cause célèbre.
And thanks to working with Mr. Michele, who gave the Maneskin quartet a hot mess of a wardrobe inspired by rock icons past: chaps and leather G-strings, sequins and grommets and dog collars and pearls; velvets and feathers and ’70s flares (and a tendency to take it all off the more heated things become). In a world where the greatest musical image-makers generally sprinkle their favors across the fashion landscape — hello, Beyoncé — they may be the best argument for commitment between brand and band since David Bowie hooked up with Kansai Yamamoto.
However, Mr. Michele, who once described Maneskin’s relationship, has now changed his mind. saying, “When we finally met, it was like when you have sex for the first time with the person you like and you say, ‘It was obvious that we were going to make love in an extraordinary way,’” has departed Gucci. The new album is about the darker side of fame; they know the honeymoon period can’t last forever.
The band, which has been playing together since they were teenagers and still talks like kids lounging around a basement at home, spent some time ruminating on clothes, music and what happens next.
Is it surprising that your clothes are so popular?
Victoria De Angelis What we’re doing is very different from what is the norm in Italy or how Italy is often represented. So I think somehow it’s making a big impact whether people like it or not.
Damiano David Our clothes are like a billboard that says: “We are here. Look at us.” It’s a way to make ourselves and our message more readable and more impactful. We always had the view that to make it, we had to take care of the whole 360 — not just the music but how we look and how we use social media and how we play, what we play, where we play. Our attitude.
You dressed as this right from the beginning.
VA I think it’s something that has helped us develop our personalities as a way to empower ourselves. It was especially important growing up in Rome, the area where we grew. It’s very conservative. Everyone looked at us as freaks in high school because we were crazy and dressed up. If you go to London or Berlin, no one cares what you’re wearing. But in Rome, if you walk on the street, boys wearing makeup or stuff like that, everyone is looking like you’re the Devil.
Thomas Raggi The first time we met Ethan was really hippie, braids, tie-dye, socks, sandals.
Ethan Torchio Rainbows. I enjoyed many rainbows.
VAThere were many phases to my life. I went through phases like a punk or dark gothic period, then I was very hippie and then I was just very camp, very eccentric. A lot of colors and stuff.
TRStyle was something I discovered very late. At the beginning, I was just a normal teenager in a hoodie & pants. But in the last two years, I completely switched in another direction: ’70s suits and stuff like that.
DDBefore joining the band, I played basketball. I was a sports fan.
VA In the beginning I encouraged the guys to be more crazy. I remember the first time we were all together at my house playing, and they were like, “Oh, maybe it would be cool to wear eyeliner, but maybe it’s too crazy.’” And I was like: “No, let’s do it. Who cares?” At first they just needed that courage. Then, as they got more comfortable with the process, they began to have so much fun together. It was almost as if we were all creating this image of ourselves and our goals.
How has it changed over the years?
DD When we were busking on the streets, we had to make ourselves visible, to make ourselves loud, to attract people. So I think that’s sort of where it started.
TR We used to go to vintage shops and buy things and put together as many things as possible. We were like peacocks, working for the crowd. I can still remember the cool leather jacket I found in my closet.
ETVintage shops and the Sunday street market are also available, which starts at 5 a.m.
VA When we went on the Italian “X Factor” in 2017, it was a big change. We had all the access to crazy costumes and clothes. That’s when we started being more daring, with latex, more revealing, even if we had very bad taste at the time. Being conservative has always pissed us off quite a lot. So it was a message saying, “OK, this is who we are, and we don’t care if you’re going to criticize.” Then, when we started working with Gucci, it brought us to another level, and we had the chance to create so many specific looks. We were able really to let our creativity run wild.
What do you look for when you put on your stage clothes?
DDSimple shapes appeal to me. I think it’s mainly because I have to sing, so my chest and belly have to move because otherwise I run out of oxygen. How I dress reflects the kind of person I am because there are more things I don’t like than things I like. And that’s why my wardrobe is just four colors. That’s exactly how I live my life. I like four to ten people and four colors: black white brown military green. Nothing else.
ETI like to be naked.
TRHow I feel is directly related to how I dress. If you play a ballad wearing all this kinky stuff, it’s not going to be very comfortable. I must dress in a certain way if I’m going to write music. I want different vibes.
VAGucci allows us to design our clothes together. We were able to share our inspirations and love of music, so we had many ideas. We wanted to speak up and blend all these lines of what’s considered feminine or masculine, gender norms and stereotypes on the body, especially the woman’s body being so much more sexualized. We played the V.M.A.s, and there was this big scandal for my nipples coming out, even though Damiano’s butt was literally naked and all the boys were shirtless. The best part is when people tell us: “You gave me the courage to dress the way I wanted. Before I was like too ashamed.”
DD It’s about freedom. Gucci broke the rules by wearing this collection for women. We feel it really relates to what we’re trying to do with our music.
What is Gucci’s current situation?
DD No comment.
Do you ever dream of designing your own collection?
VAWe get many requests to make our own collections. This would be a great idea. We also think it’s really nice to give smaller and independent brands the chance to collaborate and do fun stuff with us.
TR Today I want to wear more ’90s inspiration — very baggy suits and trousers.
VAI believe that we are going through a period of change and development. But not anything drastic. Just day by day, and then when you look back, you’re like, “OK, it was very different then.”
This conversation has been condensed for clarity.
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