Massimo Giorgetti on 15 years of MSGM: ‘the energy is still exactly the same’

As MSGM celebrates a decade and a half in business with a celebratory runway show at Milan Fashion Week Men’s, its founder Massimo Giorgetti opens up to Scarlett Conlon about keeping the brand’s colourful spirit alive

Massimo Giorgetti of mSGM portrait
MSGM S/S 2025 at Milan Fashion Week Men’s, which marked 15 years of the Milan-based label
(Image credit: Photography by Victor Boyko/WireImage)

On Saturday 20 June 2009, Massimo Giorgetti was putting the final touches to his first MSGM collection that was due to debut at Milan Fashion Week the following day, when he realised something didn’t sit quite right. Taking it all in, ‘it [looked] too traditional, too basic’, he recalls.

Compared to what everyone else was putting out at the time, ‘it definitely wasn’t [either of those things]’, he laughs. But even still, with only hours to go, he called a young artist famed for his Jackson Pollock-style splashes, who arrived and promptly started to throw paint at the collection, rendering Giorgetti’s beautifully perfect clothes, perfectly imperfect. The results scratched Giorgetti’s creative itch; however, he didn’t bank on the clothes still being dripping wet the following day. He presented them to the world’s fashion press anyway to rave reviews. ‘When people arrived they went crazy for it,’ he smiles.

Massimo Giorgetti on 15 years os MSGM

Portrait of Massimo Giorgetti

Massimo Giorgetti

(Image credit: Photography by Piotr Niepsuj)

This snap decision would set the tone for Giorgetti’s unique brand of disrupted Milanese elegance that marked its 15th anniversary this weekend at Milan Fashion Week Men’s S/S 2025. Over the last decade and a half, MSGM – named after himself and his friends Massimo, Simone, Gaia and Maurizio – has carved out an aesthetic that, despite the increasing pressures of external trends, has maintained a consistent signature rooted in youthful spontaneity and undone elegance. It was also a valuable early lesson in trusting his instinct. ‘I start to think that I am on the right track when I have a lot of doubts or when I'm afraid that the people will think [I’m] too much or too loud,’ he says.

Since 2009, Giorgetti has established himself as a main player on the Milan schedule, positioning his brand at the intersection of the city’s art, architecture and music scene through multiple collaborations and creative references in his work. ‘I drink energy from the city and translate it into clothes,’ he says.

He is, however, a beach boy at heart. With the designer having grown up on the Emilia Romagna coast in Rimini and being a frequent visitor to the home his success has bought him in Zoagli on the Italian Riviera, his anniversary collection, ‘The Sea And I’, drew inspiration from his respective homes. ‘I was born on the sea and I lived in front of the beach for 33 years, so the colour, the sun, stripes, and positive energy is quite me and MSGM,’ he says.

Moden on MSGM runway

A look from MSGM’s 15th anniversary show, featuring print by Luke Edward Hall

(Image credit: Courtesy of MSGM)

Combining his menswear and womenswear (the latter makes up 80 per cent of his business), the collection comprised prismatic promenade stripes and knits with crab, dolphin and sailing boat intarsia; coated cotton shorts countered with louche tailoring; illustrated sun-bather motifs by Luke Edward Hall alongside prints of Giorgetti’s beloved Ligurian hideaway shot from off-shore, and all in perfectly sun-kissed shades of red, white and blue with a pop of sunshine yellow.

Much like the 100-plus collections he has presented to date, it was full of the cross-category outfitting that is commonplace now, but new for the Milan Fashion Week schedule in 2009. ‘I think that 15 years ago, in a weird way, I created a new recipe in fashion because I put together Made in Italy tailoring and Made in Italy fabrics with T-shirts, sweatshirts, and logos,’ he says. ‘And I still think, after the streetwear tsunami that has finished and after the quiet luxury moment, it will continue [to be popular] because every one of us wants quality and value for money when we are buying clothes.’

This collection, as with all MSGM product, will be made in the Marche region of Italy, where a 70-person strong team makes Giorgetti’s head count up to around 110, including his team of 35 in Milan. Before and after the Style Capital Group took a 32 per cent stake in MSGM in 2018, Giorgetti remained steadfast in keeping production on home turf, while keeping prices as low as possible to remain democratic to the demographic his clothes appealed to, something he describes as an ‘everyday commitment to find the right compromise’.

MSGM A/W 2024 runway show

A look from MSGM’s A/W 2024 womenswear runway show, which was shown in February

(Image credit: Courtesy of MSGM)

It's a steely determination that has dictated the trajectory of his brand and accounts for one of his three proudest moments over the last 15 years. The first was keeping the menswear category of his business going when his partners mooted folding it (‘I fought, I fought and I fought for that’). The second is when he discovered the legendary late Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani had been buying and wearing his clothes (‘She told me, “Massimo, I was convinced that MSGM was from New York!”’). And the third, keeping that start-out spirit alive within a business now worth north of €50 million with hundreds of stores around the world.

‘The thing that makes me [most] proud is that MSGM has changed a lot, but I think the feeling, the vibes, and the energy are still exactly the same,’ he says.

To bring home the point, at his anniversary show in Milan this weekend, Giorgetti had a group of artists throw paint at white walls as the models walked by in a quasi-re-enactment of that first collection 15 years ago. This time, the paint didn’t touch the models as they walked past, instead acting as a symbolic reminder of how untouchable MSGM has become.

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Scarlett Conlon a freelance journalist and consultant specialising in fashion, design and lifestyle. Before relocating to Italy, she held roles as deputy fashion editor at The Guardian and Observer and news editor at British Vogue in London. She is currently a regular contributor Wallpaper* Magazine among other prominent international fashion and design titles.