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«Who are the new milanese? It's us»

Years and seasons have passed, offices have changed, staff has increased, but for Massimo Giorgetti, Milan is as beautiful today as it was then. «I disagree with the disillusionment towards Milan», he explains to us in the courtyard of his exhibition space in Porta Romana, Ordet. «It's true that we are experiencing a moment of collapse of the city center myth – but I believe that Milan, in its expansion towards peripheral areas like Brenta or Nolo, remains authentic and is one of the few European cities that, paradoxically, despite inflation, costs, rents, and crazy prices, is still livable - it's a small city, very human-sized.» As the creative director of MSGM points out, when today's Ordet became the brand's first headquarters in 2013, «this part of Porta Romana was not considered downtown.» And for Giorgetti, the beauty is that the situation hasn't changed too much: today Porta Romana is one of the best neighborhoods in Milan, but in the relatively external position where Ordet is located, «I still feel the outskirts beating.» What the designer talks about is the somewhat autonomous status that the different neighborhoods of the city have earned over time, extending the sense of "city center" to areas increasingly further from the historical center understood as the portion of the city within the first circle of ancient walls – the one that stops at the height of Porta Ticinese and Porta Lodovica. «Cities like London or Paris have now become bubbles for rich people,» Giorgetti continues, «while I still find Milan democratic, open, I find that it can still offer a lot in terms of connections. This recent alarmism that has arisen,» the designer continues, referring both to the new wave of Milan haters and to discussions about its progressive social decline, «I'm not saying it's unjustified, on the contrary, but let's defend this city, let's do something. In my own small way, I believe I am doing it.» And the way to do it has been to transform his former offices into a cultural space open to the public like Ordet – a space capable of becoming «a point of reference» for that kind of Milanese café society orbiting around the world of fashion, luxury, culture, and finance.

Ordet was founded in 2019 together with Stefano Cernuschi and Edoardo Bonaspetti who is «the manager» of the space where Giorgetti is, for lack of a better term, the host who remains «behind the scenes» entrusting the two with the curatorship. «I participate a little intrigued, I still feel like an outsider in the world of art,» explains the designer for whom the space, over time, has become «a system of communication, a different, more democratic presentation» where there is «more empathy and humanity» than in fashion, a galaxy where these two values are not lacking, he hastens to clarify, but which is necessarily «more elitist» and «dominated by somewhat different rules.» In this purely cultural place where «we don't necessarily have to sell» and where every exhibition and event is organized «for the pleasure of the artist to be there, the gallerist to do it and for us to host it,» not only can Giorgetti «keep the radar on and antennas up, understand what's happening in the world» but also find «new inputs and have new stimuli» by confronting himself with a world, that of art and design, which he has learned to love in recent years. «Ordet has given me the opportunity to meet very interesting people - because then in fashion the people are always the same,» explained the designer. «Then after a few years you realize that it's a bit like that in art too, but even if the system is very similar to fashion and therefore we talk about budget, marketing, fairs, communication, etc., the nice thing is that 90% of the artists have remained true creatives. It's hard to give them timing, budgets.» A space, therefore, where one can find more genuine human connections than those found in fashion; a space that «is necessary also because I find it necessary precisely for me,» the designer emphasizes again, since «we can't even continue talking about bars and restaurants.»

Doing something to contribute to the city's cultural fabric (that constituted by its historical "third places," such as bars, shops, museums, and so on) has become a mission and a passion for Giorgetti who is one of the most passionate praisers of the city and its post-Expo mythology. «Both my personal and MSGM's storytelling about Milan began in 2014,» the year of preparation for the Expo when spirits in the city were high in front of the new Darsena and the rise of new buildings and areas, «and I didn't communicate Milan until I fell in love with it.» The many local collaborations made through MSGM and above all the fact of having been «perhaps one of the first to talk about it, to make it a narrative and make it also fashion» is a great «source of pride» for the designer – who, however, might not stop here. «One thing I would really like to do again, but there it's almost a personal thing, is to open a venue, open a cocktail bar, a wine bar. I'm in a moment where I only like nature, organic and byodynamic wines – places like Bar Paradiso, Silvano in Nolo…,» explains Giorgetti. His passion for natural wines has unexpectedly become also a key to understanding his audience since the trend of wine bars that has taken the city by storm is for Giorgetti an index of «how the new generations no longer let themselves be fooled, they are attentive consumers. I am obsessed with consumers and I find that the new consumers are much more intelligent than the old ones. The new generations fundamentally seek more authenticity.» Which also has repercussions on Giorgetti's profession since «fashion is facing a structural and systemic problem. The system of early deliveries, the excessive proliferation of collections in every season, the continuous increase in prices and the excessive offering of products have contributed to a progressive disinterest of the new generations towards fashion. These generations prefer to invest their time and money in well-being, food, sports, travel, gym, and even plastic surgery, rather than in the purchase of clothing.»

All experiences, those listed by Giorgetti, that actually represent both opportunities to wear fashion creations and the most beautiful part of life in the city. «In fact, if you think about it, I have linked MSGM a lot to the moment of feeling good,» the designer explains. «I'm interested in enjoying life because culture and art are beautiful anyway but in the end life is one and we have to enjoy it. And then, in my opinion, there is nothing more Milanese than leaving the office and having an aperitif or dinner in a nice place where you feel good. Milan is still a beautiful city to live in.» The last question we ask him, to him who is an expatriate speaking to the expatriates who populate the city, is about who the new Milanese are to him. «The new Milanese?» he asks himself, imagining an answer. «Well, the new Milanese are us.»


Interview: Lorenzo Salamone
Photographer Piotr Niepsuj
MUAH Silvia Mancuso