Launched as a collaboration between designer Edward Buchanan and SPRAI srl, a luxury knitwear manufacturer for brands from Gucci to Albino, Sansovino 6 is an Italian knitwear label with enduring appeal. Buchanan first worked with owner and knitwear specialist Silvana Galbusera during a stint as creative director for Bottega Veneta in the late ’90s, but they joined forces again in 2004 to produce a promotional range under the Sansovino 6 name, a cause they took up again this year.
Spurred on by the changing market, Buchanan and Galbusera decided to relaunch the label. “When the crisis hit, clients only wanted samples and then did their manufacturing in the Far East,” Buchanan explained. But with this new business outlook, the designer also decided to take a new aesthetic approach. “This collection is very personal—a collection that I feel comfortable with, a collection that me and my friends want to wear.”
“The idea was to take polls with friends as to what’s missing from their closet and also what their favorite things are. There was a lot of overlap: basic v-neck t-shirts, jeans and tailored jackets were some of the pieces that came up over and over again. They were basic local shapes and from a lot of the same brands. Rick Owens and Helmut Lang were two brands that kept turning up.”
Buchanan reinterpreted these personal favorites to create a collection of feather light knitwear items, appropriately titled “Relax.” The well tailored, soft and easy designs are the kinds of pieces that instantly go into heavy rotation in your wardrobe—a double tailored jacket can become a soft fine gauge cardigan, a pleated dress trouser can become a pajama type pant to wear in the day and the versatility of options goes on.
Items from “Relax” were sold at Public Image showroom in Paris earlier this month. Friends of the label turned out in support, placing personal orders that rivaled store orders—a doable proposition since the luxury knitwear is offered at contemporary prices. Fine gauge linen military vest, linen boxer shorts and drop crotched drawstring sweatpants in very tight neutrals (black, beige, range of grays and pink palette) are just some of the unisex looks that had everyone calling it the collection of the season. As for future retail options, Antonioli sells Sansovino 6 exclusively in Italy as does The Apartment in Germany and H.P. France in Japan have all picked up the line.