The Californian designer is most know as the founder of the LA streetwear brand 'Rokit' and several collaborations with America's A-list celebrities. His new project is promising to be a very personal one.
It looks like there's exciting times ahead for Nico Guardalabene. The designer and co-owner of Rokit prides himself on some impressive achievements and collaborations in the years since launching the LA streetwear brand in 2015. The fashion line with the particular aesthetic has had global success including regular collaborations with major players such as Nike, Converse or DC shoes. NBA superstar Kyrie Irving's Nike Kyrie 5 x Rokit were designed by Guardalabene, and are still a global bestseller.
Though in recent times, the creative entrepreneur has strengthened his connection to his background.
Guardalabene is the 4th generation of a family of Sicilian immigrants, who chose to move their business from Palermo, Italy, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the early 1900s. In fact, his great-great-grandfather was better known as the 'Godfather of Milwaukee'.
Nico Guardalabene, who has chosen a vastly different career path than his early relatives, still carries the family heritage and name with pride. 'Guardalabene', which translates to 'look at her well', is also going to represent the brand that he is looking to launch by next year.
The designer confirms the new venture 'reflects my background, where I am from, what I represent'. We're sure the creative has set his standards and expectations to the highest level, knowing that he chose to carry the torch of his family name into new spheres. A move that could serve as motivation, but also great challenge. We do know one thing though, and that is that we're all for seeing some Sicillian fashion influence in streetwear. What that looks like, we don't know, yet.
Besides the announcement of the brand, the LA-based entrepreneur has kept is mouth closely sealed about the new project. Apparently, we can expect the venture to be revealed in late 2022 or the first half of 2023.
As street wear silhouettes find their place in high fashion more and more, so does the urge for individuality. After almost a decade of rather mono-coloured, straight cuts, we are seeing both designers and and consumers demands meet, when it comes to trying new things, daring again. And whilst it might not always be for everyone, especially those who grew accustomed to the uniform-like fashion of the 2010s, the last couple of years have shown a welcome disruption.
American brands have played a significant part in that, and so have individuals from the entertainment industry. More than ever in the last twenty years have pop-stars, rappers and athletes worked hand in hand with top fashion designers in order to meet their special demands. Always in the spotlight, they set the trends for the rest of the world. It is no coincidence the late American icon Virgil Abloh was given the powerful leading creative positions in LVMH, besides his vision and the talent he held as a creative and designer, his connections to the top of the entertainment industry were of large significance for the large mainstream commercial success of the brands involved.
And in 2022, it was often the American designer's shows that turned into spectacles at Paris Fashion Week.
As with many of them, we can expect an individuality and open-minded approach to design with Nico Guardalabene. After all, it not at last has given Guardalabene the progressive and unique reputation that he holds in the industry. And if we get to see some 'moda' in modern designs, we will not complain.
This article was written in cooperation with Nico Guardalabene