Trendy fashion brand born in Milan in 1987 by Claudio Antonioli. In that period, when Milanese fashion stores were mostly focused on offering sartorial classics, the first brand’s store opened in Piazza Lima a shop of a different kind. For the first time, he brought together several Avant-garde brands that were still mostly unknown and hard to find, even in Italy’s fashion capital. This innovative formula proved to be a hit, and over the years, it led to the opening of other Antonioli stores in Ibiza, Turin, and Lugano.
The Launch of the Website and New Openings
Then in 2002, came the launch of Antonioli.eu, one of Italy’s first fashion e-commerce websites. Moreover, after the e-commerce innovation, another store opened in the area of the Navigli, Milan, in 2003. Its merchandise consists of established brands as well as a dynamic group of avant-guard styles. Among them are Dior, McQueen, Ann Demeulemeester, Dolce & Gabbana, Martin Margiela, Antonio Marras, and Haider Ackermann,. Furhtermore, in the same period, a new store opened in Lugano.
In the last three decades, Claudio Antonioli has forged a new definition of the profession of fashion retailer, one with a cultural twist. By systematically representing cutting-edge, emerging brands in his portfolio alongside already established and easy-to-sell labels, he has shown that a fashion store owner, in the manner of a gallerist, can also promote the circulation of new ideas, besides selling mere merchandise. The brand has also blurred the traditionally rigid line between the roles of fashion distributor and producer.
The support of Antonioli to Marcelo Burlon and Off-White
Antonioli decided to give his financial backing right from the start to two of today’s most successful street-inspired luxury labels: County of Milanby Marcelo Burlon and Off-Whiteby Virgil Abloh. The holding company that operates these brands – New Guards Group, which Antonioli co-founded in 2015 with his business partners Davide De Giglio and Marcelo Burlon – was purchased luxury shopping platform Farfetch for the staggering sum of $675 million.
Antonioli X OFF-WHITE
In 2017, OFF-WHITE teamed up with Antonioli for an exclusive collaboration. The seven-piece collaboration featured dark-wash bleach-dipped jeans with the classic OFF-WHITE stripe pattern on the back, a grey graphic T-shirt with the slogan “SILENCE” in bright yellow, and a matching grey hoody with center-aligned minimal “OFF” branding. This collection also includes accessories in the form of socks, sneakers, and a cap. The collaboration variation was from $75 to $728.
Antonioli and Ann Demeulemeester
In 2020, Claudio Antonioli has acquired Antwerp-based Ann Demeulemeester. The designer, who exited her namesake label seven years ago, welcomed the news that the New Guards Group co-founder has taken control and said he’ll bring new energy to the firm. The label had been controlled by CEO Anne Chapelle who was a long-time executive at the firm and acquired a stake in 2005. Also, the deal includes the firm’s Antwerp HQ and flagship, its Paris showroom, and its full archive.