The challenge facing any new designer installed at a heritage house is how to evolve the brand’s offerings while staying true to its core ethos and loyal customers—a tall order for even the most seasoned designer. So, the expectations were high when, this past January, the relatively unknown Guillaume Meilland presented his first collection as men’s design director for Salvatore Ferragamo. But Meilland, who began his career designing men’s sportswear for Yves Saint Laurent and most recently was the senior designer for Lanvin’s menswear, did not disappoint.
The fall collection, which is fully stocked in the brand’s boutiques now, elegantly toed the line between reverence for Ferragamo’s history of exceptional craftsmanship and a decidedly modern vision of what real men want to wear today. “Ferragamo’s commitment to innovation and quality is particularly palpable,” says Meilland. “The notion of ‘Made in Italy’ feels like an exciting responsibility.” A native Frenchman, Meilland brought a streetwise Parisian cool to traditional Italian tailoring with pieces like a cropped, peaked-lapel jacket in charcoal pinstripes and a sleek wool suit worn atop a mock-neck sweater. The palette, too, was undeniably rive gauche—a medley of moody grays, from mist to iron, punctuated with camel, navy, and white.
The undeniable must-have from Meilland’s debut is any one of the lust-worthy coats: An oversized balmacaan in windowpane checks, a single-breasted, white wool topcoat with black shearling lining, and a graphic black-and-white-striped trench are all standouts. As you ponder refreshing your own wardrobe this fall, Ferragamo’s new look is a prime place to start.