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The inspirations behind the Marcelo Burlon x Napoli shirt

The history of Italian streetwear from 2014 to today

The inspirations behind the Marcelo Burlon x Napoli shirt The history of Italian streetwear from 2014 to today

After Palace x Juventus in 2019, the collaboration of a few months ago between Juventus x Human Race e AS Roma x Brain DeadNapoli joins a path of contamination between football and fashion thanks to Marcelo Burlon.

This is exactly what Kappa, Napoli and Marcelo Burlon did, mixing the aesthetics of the Azzurri and the aesthetics of Marcelo Burlon who made the history of street fashion first in Milan and then in the world. In the collection designed for the Azzurri - which will officially debut on Sunday against Inter Milan - there are many of the graphic elements that tell the story of Marcelo and County of Milan, but more generally they were an underrated turning point in the relationship between streetwear and high fashion.

It was 2013 when Marcelo Burlon presented the SS14 lookbook - which for the occasion also saw the participation of Pusha-T with the remix of "Number on the boards" - in which the design of the eagle shirt appeared for the first time: a t-shirt with the stylized print of an eagle whose wings spread across the wearer's chest.

At the time Marcelo - who was often called "il conte" in Milanese night circles - was taking his first steps in County of Milan, revolutionizing the way of experiencing fashion in one of the main fashion capitals of Europe. Burlon decided to experiment with a unique format dedicated to all the actors of the fashion business and design of Milan, depriving the premises of the main attraction and establishing super exclusive fashion oriented events that will become the Milanese social event par excellence.

The success in the creation of these parties will take him from the organization of events to the art direction of the parties of the Parisian fashion weeks. Among these there will also be those directed for Givenchy, where he befriends Riccardo Tisci and where it was a formality to attend Courtney Love's improvisation on guitar and immediately stumble upon Kanye West's Jordans.

The connection point with Napoli is precisely the symbol of a bird with outstretched wings, which has always been one of the strengths of Burlon's collections. Having become a bit of the icon of his design idea, he will go from sweatshirts and t-shirts for sale in more than 500 boutiques around the world to the Napoli shirt, in what has been renamed as Kombat Pro Marcelo Burlon Napoli.

If the eagle design is the touch point with Napoli, the link with the city of Naples is deeper and goes from the proximity to the Maradona family to the DJ evenings in Neapolitan clubs - always with the #10 on the shoulders - passing through the its nativity version made in 2016 by the crib masters of the Ferrigno workshop in San Gregorio Armeno. The total devotion to Marcelo's Pibe de Oro can also be found in the last words of Diego Armando Maradona Junior: "I wrote to Marcelo and he told me that for him it's a pride, because he's Argentine and dedicates this shirt to my father".

But the trend of "fractal" patterned T-shirts that launched County of Milan projecting it towards global success was itself inspired by what many consider the inception of the collision between high fashion and streetwear. The author will be Riccardo Tisci, creative director of Givenchy from 2005 to 2017, in FW11 and SS12. The creativity of the Apulian designer has gradually brought to the catwalk what today the fashion world defines as luxe sportwear, in 2011 with items that have made history such as the tee with rottweilers and in 2012 with garments with prints of tropical flowers, crystals and paillettes. Those two shows will allow Tisci to become one of the first star designers of contemporary fashion but above all to clear the sporting style in high fashion.

Among Marcelo Burlon's inspirations is Riccardo Tisci, linked to the Argentine designer by a strong bond born during the events that Marcelo managed for Givenchy. Tisci will have the merit of bringing sporty glamor to a ready-to-wear collection, inspiring the many who will follow the same direction, while Burlon has created what nss sports had only imagined in 2017.