Never like today, fashion unceasingly happens within the fifteen seconds of an Instagram story, making the popular quote by Andy Warhol resound more prophetic than ever. A seductive image is meticulously conceived to jostle against others and be brutally replaced by the following one few instants later in the endlessly reload of each one’s feed, offering the illusion of individuality among countless looks actually pre-constructed by someone else. Indeed, everything revolves around ‘the moment’. Yet, this doesn’t seem to interest Riccardo Moroni and Sabino Iebba at all. Back in 2014, the duo founded Big Uncle, a slow-paced brand that has its roots into the past of the male wardrobe and builds its present on four precise pillars: the quality of the product, a recognizable style, a contemporary touch and refined colors. Convinced that only those garments that have a strong identity can remain in a closet without getting older, they take their inspiration from the experiences of those who travel around the world and intensely live the city, finding amusement in the day by day changes of an urban landscape persistently spreading new ideas.

The name Big Uncle refers to the impact the older generations have on everybody’s style. Who is the older person that affected the way you dress today?

It may sound strange, but we were both influenced by the sophisticated and refined way our uncles dressed, an expression of elegance and fashion taste that seemed modern for their times. Today they would definitely wear our creations. We take the textures of the old fabrics from their wardrobe, the structure and the colors of their clothes and translate them into something contemporary.


How the two of you usually work together?

Riccardo has a more abstract and artistic approach while I tend to be more rational and pay much attention to innovation in terms of fabrics and materials. Our strength is to merge both of these aspects (says Sabino, Ed.). At first, we share the images or the themes that may have struck us and from there we develop volumes and decide on fabrics, colors, and which elements to emphasize. We go through each phase trying to give force to the idea we want the collection to express.

What about the fabrics and the whole production process?

We only choose high-quality Italian fabrics and we work jointly with two trusted manufacturers to research and develop fibers mixes that allow us to achieve unique results. The production is also entirely based in Italy and run by small factories with which we have a daily and direct relationship.


How do you bring modern technology together with traditional craftsmanship?

We do not love mass products but prefer our creations to give a tailor-made feeling to the wearer thanks to their finishes and those elements that can enrich a garment. We are constantly experimenting by combining classic fabrics with innovative ones, incorporating contemporary style solutions without pursuing excesses.

Speaking of the FW17 collection, what is ‘Raw Elegance’ for you?

It is a modern approach to the tradition of menswear where the road and elegance are closely bonded together so that the city’s strokes can enter into the men’s wardrobe and transform the lines of classical male styles. A brief but intense itinerary through an urban atmosphere inspired by the street, with its signs permeating the entire collection.


How did you combine the imperfections of the city to create a perfectly working balance?

The city seen from the edges of the streets, the full and empty areas of its squares and the different colors from the natural ones to the unusual chromatic tones: everything seems crossed by lines, scratches, and carvings. So the road’s imperfections appear as embroideries, plaster cracks draw mosaics, the shadows shorten the lengths and make the shapes stand out more than ever. We worked on breaking elements such as textile piping, jacquard details, and hand embroidery, never forgetting our aesthetical touch.

Which city you feel more attached to and why?

We live in Milan, a city we love for its history and its ongoing dialogue with the contemporary life. It oozes Italian taste and refinement, but can also be a vanguard, catalyze events and foster cultural dialogue.

Is there a particular spot where you go to think and look for new ideas?

We are lucky because our uncles left us two small shelters where to search for inspiration: a house on the sweet hills of Ravello on the Amalfi Coast and another one in Saint-Paul-de-Vence in southeastern France. The calm of these villages helps us to think about fashion and street-style.


Any trip that was particularly significant for you?

Above all Marrakesh, and it also has been one of the most inspiring! The colors, the scents, and the architecture: that city has something magical and unforgettable.

As your style is deeply rooted in the past, how do you imagine the future of menswear?

Fashion is currently living a period of an unbridled quest for eccentric and exaggerated shapes, without any attention to the tones matching, the use of accessories and finishes. All seems dedicated to the excess and superfluity. This is the reason why we believe that fashion will come back to focus on our four ‘pillars’, which allow a man to wear garments that highlight his personality. In other words, we are against the sterile search for the homogeneity.