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Maneskin’s Music and Breaking Fashion Rules

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 another.

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 lace halter, tulle veil, and more gloves; while Thomas Raggi (22), wore a long white coat and a top hat.

They 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.) So fashion and rock were 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. Since its inception, Maneskin has been a major force in the music industry. 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.

Its yearlong ubiquity is partly responsible: More than 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, now Mr. Michele has changed his mind. He once described his relationship to Maneskin as “a very special and intimate one”. 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 not surprising that your clothes are such a popular topic?

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.

Do you remember how you looked at 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. We were all ridiculed in high school for dressing up and playing around. 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 a punk/dark gothic phase and then I became very hippie, and then I became very camp and very eccentric. There are many colors and things.

TRStyle came to me very late. I was a normal teenager at the time, wearing a hoodie, pants, and a hat. 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 passionate about sports.

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. They all found that they had so much fun and became more connected as they were all involved. It was like we were all creating an image of who and what our dreams were.

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 who worked 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 access all kinds of crazy costumes. 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?

DDI like simple shapes. 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 4-10 people and four colors: black white brown military green. Nothing else.

ETI like to be naked.

TRMy feelings are directly affected by 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 were able to come up with 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 of this collection. It is only for women. We feel it really relates to what we’re trying to do with our music.

What is the current contractual situation at Gucci?

DD No comment. We can’t talk about our contract!

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 think we are on the verge of change and development. But not in a drastic way. Just day by day, and then when you look back, you’re like, “OK, it was very different then.”

This conversation has been condensed to make it more concise and easier to understand.

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