Italo Zucchelli Introduces New Fabric, New Lingo at CK Men’s

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Boxy jackets from Calvin Klein Men's with designer Italo Zucchelli. Photo: ImaxTree

Did you notice the really cool, boxy, patterned jackets walking down the Calvin Klein Men’s runway today? The ones that looked like they’d come from the future and could have been made of neoprene, the material used for wetsuits? They’re not neoprene, but they are (sort of) from the future. “It’s a new technique,” designer Italo Zucchelli told us after the show. “It’s a technique they use in one place in Italy not for clothes, but to do seats for bikes.”

“I saw it and thought it was very interesting and I wanted to apply it to my clothes. It’s foam inside of it. And I bonded the foam with fabric — wool — and used a heat-molding process to create patterns and those indented stripes. It was a very nice way to express modernism.” Zucchelli said the jackets are actually quite warm and not rigid. He can see it being worn by “guys in cities who are using the regular puffy jacket. It’s very sleek. It looks modern. It looks good. It’s for a younger guy that wants to be different.”

If bike-seat fabric is in, “Ciao,” “arrivederci,” and “grazie” are OUT, even among the Italians. Zucchelli said good-bye to his guests at today’s CK Men’s show with a “xei xei” (pronounced shay shay, meaning “thank you”) and a “zài jiàn” (pronounced za-ay je-an, meaning “good-bye”), both holdovers from a recent trip to China. Xie xie doesn’t quite work in this context, which Zucchelli acknowledged. “But it sounds so good!” he said. “I use it randomly. A lot of people don’t know what I’m saying.” So no more overuse of “ciao,” people. Asian linguistics is where it’s at!