Fairplay

Main Image
People, Style

Pitti Uomo 95: Cottweiler for Allegri

By Sofia Celeste 21 December 2018

Still riding high from their last presentation as Pitti Guest designers at Pitti Uomo 91, duo Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell of Cottweiler will return to the 95th edition of the fair. This time they will debut their capsule collection with Italian outerwear label Allegri. The recipients of the 2017 International Woolmark Prize for mens wear, gave us a preview of what is to come and chatted with us about the brand’s trajectory from a social media sensation to a valid luxury mens wear player.

We are so happy to see you again at Pitti this year. Your work is always filled with artistic spirit, emotion and movement. These characteristics seem to be integral facets of all of your collections, no matter what you do. Why is that?

Matthew: When we embark on any collection or presentation for that matter, we tend to focus on something that transcends the fashion world. It’s about giving people something to remember.

Since you started your brand in 2012, social media really helped launch your label. Lately, you have been afforded the opportunity to collaborate with so many big names… Reebok, Mulberry, Woolmark… just to name a few. Why are collaborations so important for your brand at this moment?

Ben: I think that is important to share our creativity with the expertise of others, especially when it comes to technical details that allow us to propel our designers further and end up with a more sophisticated product.

Allegri is a traditional Italian outerwear brand and is, like Cottweiler, upscale. What sort of magic happens when a UK reality mixes with an Italian one?

Matthew: There has, historically, always been a really strong relationship between British brands and the Italian customer. Italians have always had a fascination with British sub-culture and vice versa. There has also always been a special relationship when it comes to making casual wear. When we envisage a collection, we look at a lot of European influences and dress codes. I think in the end, Allegri adds Heritage. It speaks of craftsmanship and quality. British brands are known for that too, but with a slightly different aesthetic.

This upcoming collaboration is inspired by the 1988 Luc Besson film, “The Great Blue” and the marine world. Can you tell us more about this?

Matthew: We wanted to look at all aspects of “The Great Blue” — especially activities that are related to the deep sea, to include deep sea diving and under water sports like spear fishing and free diving. We wanted to keep the collection waterproof and relate it to the iconic rain coat that Allegri has been doing for years. Speaking to sportswear and tailoring is what Cottweiler is all about.

How did the collaboration with Allegri come about?

Ben: We have been building our network in Italy and in particularly in Milan, as we sell out of a showroom in Milan and we enjoy a strong relationship with Pitti. We were really interested in working with an Italian brand and Allegri was really interested in pushing their product to a younger demographic and infusing their outerwear with an avant-garde edge.

What sort of technical elements will be woven into the collection?

Ben: We tried to base each piece on a two-layer system to include a base layer that is highly technical and similar to a wet suit. There is a shell that interlinks with different styles, so one can create various different styles within the range. Sports nylon is more signature of Cottweiler. We played with proportions a lot, whilst staying true to Allegri’s silhouette.

The two of you met while students at University of Bristol. How did you know you were the right fit to design together?

Ben: We met in Bristol in 2005 while studying fashion design. We shared a love for music and we both loved to listen to and support new musicians. We grew up listening to lots of reggae and dance hall. Music drew us together initially and then we began to design things during university, and eventually we started to build an image, as well as a product. What started out as an accidental project (more of an artistic project than a fashionable one) between two friends, turned into a real business.

How did showing at Pitti Uomo 91, boost and shape your brand?

Ben: It really opened up the brand to a new audience. Until then, we were known as an underground London brand, present on the art and fashion scene. It also opened us up to the press and international buyers. At the same time, we were able to change the original impression of the brand, from the original fashion format to something that had more thought and depth to it.

 

 

 

 

Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.

Still riding high from their last presentation as Pitti Guest designers at Pitti Uomo 91, duo Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell of Cottweiler will return to the 95th edition of the fair. This time they will debut their capsule collection with Italian outerwear label Allegri. The recipients of the 2017 International Woolmark Prize for mens wear, gave us a preview of what is to come and chatted with us about the brand’s trajectory from a social media sensation to a valid luxury mens wear player.

We are so happy to see you again at Pitti this year. Your work is always filled with artistic spirit, emotion and movement. These characteristics seem to be integral facets of all of your collections, no matter what you do. Why is that?

Matthew: When we embark on any collection or presentation for that matter, we tend to focus on something that transcends the fashion world. It’s about giving people something to remember.

Since you started your brand in 2012, social media really helped launch your label. Lately, you have been afforded the opportunity to collaborate with so many big names… Reebok, Mulberry, Woolmark… just to name a few. Why are collaborations so important for your brand at this moment?

Ben: I think that is important to share our creativity with the expertise of others, especially when it comes to technical details that allow us to propel our designers further and end up with a more sophisticated product.

Allegri is a traditional Italian outerwear brand and is, like Cottweiler, upscale. What sort of magic happens when a UK reality mixes with an Italian one?

Matthew: There has, historically, always been a really strong relationship between British brands and the Italian customer. Italians have always had a fascination with British sub-culture and vice versa. There has also always been a special relationship when it comes to making casual wear. When we envisage a collection, we look at a lot of European influences and dress codes. I think in the end, Allegri adds Heritage. It speaks of craftsmanship and quality. British brands are known for that too, but with a slightly different aesthetic.

This upcoming collaboration is inspired by the 1988 Luc Besson film, “The Great Blue” and the marine world. Can you tell us more about this?

Matthew: We wanted to look at all aspects of “The Great Blue” — especially activities that are related to the deep sea, to include deep sea diving and under water sports like spear fishing and free diving. We wanted to keep the collection waterproof and relate it to the iconic rain coat that Allegri has been doing for years. Speaking to sportswear and tailoring is what Cottweiler is all about.

How did the collaboration with Allegri come about?

Ben: We have been building our network in Italy and in particularly in Milan, as we sell out of a showroom in Milan and we enjoy a strong relationship with Pitti. We were really interested in working with an Italian brand and Allegri was really interested in pushing their product to a younger demographic and infusing their outerwear with an avant-garde edge.

What sort of technical elements will be woven into the collection?

Ben: We tried to base each piece on a two-layer system to include a base layer that is highly technical and similar to a wet suit. There is a shell that interlinks with different styles, so one can create various different styles within the range. Sports nylon is more signature of Cottweiler. We played with proportions a lot, whilst staying true to Allegri’s silhouette.

The two of you met while students at University of Bristol. How did you know you were the right fit to design together?

Ben: We met in Bristol in 2005 while studying fashion design. We shared a love for music and we both loved to listen to and support new musicians. We grew up listening to lots of reggae and dance hall. Music drew us together initially and then we began to design things during university, and eventually we started to build an image, as well as a product. What started out as an accidental project (more of an artistic project than a fashionable one) between two friends, turned into a real business.

How did showing at Pitti Uomo 91, boost and shape your brand?

Ben: It really opened up the brand to a new audience. Until then, we were known as an underground London brand, present on the art and fashion scene. It also opened us up to the press and international buyers. At the same time, we were able to change the original impression of the brand, from the original fashion format to something that had more thought and depth to it.

 

 

 

 

Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.

Read also...

e-P Summit Maps Out Tech Future

Gucci Supported Diversity Film Debuts

Yoox Unveils Artificial Intelligence Line

An Overview of SS 19 Fashion Weeks’ Impact on Online and Social