MARNIfesto Spring/Summer 21 by Aybuke Barkcin

Dear Shaded Viewers,

‘Love is everywhere’ was Marni’s message to the world as Francesco Risso presented his Spring/Summer 21 collection called Marnifesto. The brand chose to do a digital show portraying a group of non-models as they go with the normal course of their lives; taking the metro, going to band practice, shopping at a convenient store, playing the piano… all in different parts of the world. The result was what seemed to be an experimental short film that tapped into youth culture, un-scripted in some parts, deliberate in others. In an interview before the show, Francesco Risso explained that it was a very ambitious project as all the looks were sent to his friends and family to wear in Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, New York City, London, Milan, Paris, Dakar, Shanghai, and Tokyo.

“After sending each person their looks, we interviewed and explored their lives and narratives — we wanted them to fully express themselves. So it’s a collage of people shot by their children or friends or whoever they can find. It’s a real experiment; we don’t have much control of it.”

As for the fashion, Marni is known for their experimental approach to materials and this collection was no exception. The garments included leather jackets with bold writings and colors that were painted by hand. Francesco Risso explained that due to the conditions during the pandemic, they chose to upcycle leather coats from previous collections to give them a new feeling and used writings he collected around his community to express the Marnifesto, that wrote; Love is everywhere, No stones can withhold me… The collection also included unraveling stripped sweaters and shirts made from knitwear, puffy tulle skirts decorated with bold colors.

The brand is well known for celebrating individuality through creating unique garments, but this time, Marni was about being a community. It was a celebration of being connected and together no matter the conditions.

In the interview, the creative director expressed that, “I’m more inclined toward thinking of this as a work that’s been more collective than ever. It’s devoted to freedom, self-expression, to celebrating the hand that painted all those objects that create the canvas of Marni”.

Personally, I have always loved the aesthetic of Marni, though perhaps this time the collection was too bold for me. But my favourite part throughout was the ending of their video, when all the ‘non-models’ were staring at the camera, walking towards it as the video moved from shot to shot to different cities. It seemed as though, the world was back to normal for a moment.

Aybuke Barkcin

Aybüke Barkçin is an art director, photographer, curator and writer that looks at fashion through the lens of political and societal dynamics. She completed her master's Creative Direction in POLIMODA, Italy and has a background in International Relations and Graphic Design. Her work can be found in her website: