It’s been 18 months since Francesco Ragazzi’s last show in New York back in February of 2020. He’s been Zooming from Milan ever since, but despite—or perhaps because of—his label’s streetwear roots, the clothes are really best appreciated in person. A Palm Angels sweatshirt might look relatively classic in a .jpg image, but up close, it’s a super-plush, lofty blend of alpaca and wool—more of a keep-forever investment piece than an impulse buy.
His fall 2021 tracksuits come in silky jacquards with wider, gestural sleeves, styled here with diamanté chains, while his hoodies are shown under haute-looking faux furs. On our call, Ragazzi described his vision for the collection (which arrives in stores this week, including his brand-new outpost in Miami) as upgrading familiar basics and loungewear with ultra-high-grade materials and details. Regardless of COVID restrictions, he’s betting his customers will still want to feel comforted and cozy this fall, particularly those of us who’ve had hedonistic, scantily-clad summers.
We’ve seen plenty of “luxe loungewear” this year, but Ragazzi isn’t just reacting to the moment; he sees this as a long-term shift. That’s why many of his pieces come with a leather patch embossed with the word archive, the suggestion being that they’ll become part of yours. Ragazzi designed them through the lens of timelessness and quality, not hype, and since much of his fabrics are still synthetic—the jacquards are a high-end polyester, for instance—the hope is that he’s also training his customers to buy less and wear their clothes for years to come. That change would arguably be even more impactful than just prioritizing sustainability within his own collections, and could prove influential for other streetwear designers, too.