M140 is the abbreviation of Milano140 and takes shape from the address of the first artisan workshop of the grandfather of Michele Canziani who, despite his young age, is 25, with his friend Stefano Ghidotti, who is 27, has taken in his hands the reins of the textile confectionery company founded in 1961. A family know-how, which translates into a collection, m140, born from the desire to re-invent the classic Italian garments according to the new aesthetic vision of the two designers. A process that leads them to revamp their roots, combining them with inspirational inputs that come from design and art, all with a cure for detail and a love for quality, so the collection get more prestige from the exclusively italian fabrics Italian and a Made in Italy production. Tradition is enriched with the new in a mix that brings m140 to being one of the finalists of the 2017 male edition of "Who Is On Next?". We interviewed Michele right on the eve of the important contest.
When did you start in the fashion business and when did you realise that it could make it your profession?
My family has been working in the clothing industry for three generations, and even though I chose to study architecture my love of fashion has always been extremely strong. I realised that my career could also be my passion last summer when Stefano and I were nominated Best Emerging Designer in New York.
Tell us about the principle features of this range. What distinguishes it?
The m140 brand is presented as a reworking of the classic wardrobe, interpreted through the pyjama and homewear tradition.
Starting from our feelings towards this tradition and the tailoring craft adsorbed from the family company, we have drawn out an easy mood with a focus on attention to detail.
The fit is relaxed and the shapes structured. What emerges is a look that is light and delicate yet precise in its shapes and colour, a result of studying architecture and design.
From the union of these two concepts, which, at first glance, are poles apart, we generate our own personal vision of fashion. m140 is distinctive because it presents an elegant, sophisticated and studied wardrobe, where the ease of use for every garment is the guiding principle we adhere to.
Where does the inspiration for your work come from?
Stefano and I use architecture and design as our base, from the Italian school of Terragni and Giò Ponti, up to constructivism of Aldo Rossi. All masters of immense talent, who have found solutions through the study of forms and a continuous search for new materials and design approach. This is what we try to apply to a different sector, that of fashion.
What is your concept of elegance?
Our concept of glamour is perceived in the use of fabrics combined in an unusual manner and in the deconstruction of classic garments.
For us, it means taking a “precise” garment, with a sophisticated shape and construction and wearing it in a casual manner.
What is your connection with Pitti Immagine Uomo? Did you already know about the trade fair? Do you have any memories or stories linked to it?
For me, has always represented absolute excellence in menswear fashions. The first time I attended Pitti Uomo was about ten years ago, I went as a visitor with my uncle. I was amazed both by the people who looked so unusual to me and by the exhibition’s concept: the opportunity to see so many different people and styles in one location.
You are finalists in the “Who’s On Next?” contest. Out of past participants, who do you like and who do you identify with?
Last season’s Arthur Arbesser is definitely the brand that we would take as an inspiration for our collection, because of its fresh look, the colour combinations and its clean shapes.
What are your feelings and expectations in being WION finalists?
Obviously, it gives us enormous satisfaction. I can’t deny that we are surprised – that said, underneath it all, we have always believed this could happen. Our desire is for people to see our exceptional motivation. This final could be the perfect chance to show our aesthetic vision and the dedication that we pour into everything we do.
What are your dreams and projects for the future?
Our greatest dream is to become established in the fashion world. This statement may seem banal and over-repeated, but our ambition stays the same: to communicate the style vision that sets us apart and to spread our philosophy, even outside the fashion industry. Winning the contest would bring us closer to achieving our dream, even if there is still a long, uphill road ahead.