Harry Styles took top billing at Milan fashion week on Monday with a fashion collection designed in collaboration with Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele.
Called Gucci HA HA HA, a moniker that takes the first initial of its creators, the collection has been billed as the result of the pair’s friendship and individual “peculiarities” conceived over a year of WhatsApp messages.
“It’s something easy, it’s a little experiment I did with Harry, a friend of mine and it belongs to the space we share – the passion for clothes and things,” said Michele.
Styles and Michele are renowned for gender-neutral fashion, and Styles has appeared in Gucci advertising campaigns and stood alongside Michele on the Met Ball red carpet. “There is a different way to be a man, always,” Michele said of the collaboration, adding that traditional tropes of sartorial masculinity were less about item and more about attitude. “I put suits on [Harry] for years and he was the most eccentric and free guy on earth. That’s why we worked in a very free way – not because [we want] people to think we are trying to be free, we just are free.” Michele said Styles “does what he wants without judgment. It’s a new way to be on the playground with no rules. It’s interesting to be authentic.”
Unveiled at Milan’s legendary vintage store Cavalli e Nastri Uomo, the collection stems from the same playful nostalgia for 1970s bohemia that has come to define Michele’s tenure and made Styles a trendsetter. Flared suiting was a nod to “the image of English lords and eccentric people we love”, Michele said, while silk pyjama sets appear with elephant, squirrel and “grumpy bear” motifs designed to be “symbols that make you feel forever young and keep you connected to the things that made you feel free as a kid”.