Milan Men’s Fashion Week: China weighs in

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Running from June 14–18, Milan Men’s Fashion Week brought a laid-back disposition and new creative voices to the forefront this season, including British newcomer Martine Rose and Dunhill’s recently appointed creative director Simon Holloway.

For SS25, luxury stalwarts focused on creating a more casual, relaxed vibe compared to FW24. Short shorts crept up models’ chiseled quads at Gucci, shirts were unbuttoned at Prada, huge quilted jackets hung off shoulders at JW Anderson, and soft leather loafers strolled through a linen-clad runway at Zegna.

Meanwhile, Dolce & Gabbana’s beachy lineup was a far cry from the maison’s sharply tailored Fall presentation in January, and Fendi’s preppy roster of knit rugby sweaters, school blazers, and plaid jackets evoked a playful return to boyhood.

Menswear presentations have been generating more attention over the years, given the industry’s recent injection of exciting talent and stylistic versatility. But who made the most noise on China’s social platforms?

Jing Daily rounds up the highlights below.

Zhang Ruoyun at Fendi SS25. Image: Fendi
Zhang Ruoyun at Fendi SS25. Image: Fendi

Fendi departed from its usual show space at the house’s Via Solari HQ to transport guests to a studio lot on the outskirts of Milan. The new venue lent a grander scale to the presentation, enhanced by enormous mirrored blocks that moved around the runway as if operated by remote control.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Fendi introduced a new crest design featuring four of the house’s motifs, including the renowned double-F emblem, which adorned sweaters and shirts.

The attendance of Chinese actors Zhang Ruoyun and Xu Kai sparked online buzz across China, with netizens reposting paparazzi snaps of the duo onto their socials.

Gucci Men’s SS25. Image: Gucci
Gucci Men’s SS25. Image: Gucci

Snagging the calendar’s finale spot on Monday, creative director Sabato De Sarno held court in Triennale Milano, a 1930s-built design gallery, to unveil his latest vision for Gucci. Inspired by surfing, the looks featured graphic short-and-shirt sets, swim slippers, and luminous wraparound sunglasses, elevating everyday garments through material richness and adornments. On the FROW was Chinese actor Zhou Yiran.

Reactions to the collection were mixed across China, with critics complaining that the clothes were indistinguishable from Prada’s eclectic aesthetic.

“It’s too similar to Prada and a bit out of touch with the previous series,” Xiaohongshu user @shishucheng (是舒城) wrote, while another netizen (@xiuyan岫烟) posed the question, “Are you sure this isn’t Zara?”

Prada Men’s SS25. Image: Prada
Prada Men’s SS25. Image: Prada

To the pulsating soundtrack of Faithless’ “Insomnia,” Prada’s latest collection, described by Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons as a “fairytale ravescape,” saw models glide down the runway in creased, warped, shrunken, and exaggerated silhouettes.

Each piece evoked the lived-in feel of clothes you already own. Trompe l’oeil Breton T-shirts featured warped stripes, while low-slung leather “belts” were integrated into trousers, creating a relaxed yet disoriented look.

The response to the collection was largely positive, but some skeptics noted that the clothes seemed to be designed with only one demographic in mind. “Only those with a good figure and good looks can wear these pants,” one user penned on Xiaohongshu.

Leo Wu attends Zegna SS25 Men’s. Image: Instagram
Leo Wu attends Zegna SS25 Men’s. Image: Instagram

Zegna took guests to the periphery of Milan for its showcase, gathering them on a vast field of linen. The effect, created using featherweight strips of metal, was designed to evoke the coexistence between man and nature.

As for clothes, summer inspiration arrived aplenty in the form of breezy lightweight trousers, languid silhouettes, loose patterned shirts, sharp leather jackets, and oversized duffles.

Chinese actor and global brand ambassador Wu Lei was joined on the FROW by Thai actors Nattawat Jirochtikul (aka Fourth) and Norawit Titicharoenrak (aka Gemini), sparking chatter among their fanbases online.

JW Anderson Men’s SS25. Image: JW Anderson
JW Anderson Men’s SS25. Image: JW Anderson

In true JW Anderson fashion, surrealism and everyday wear were fused to create exaggerated knitwear and supersized silhouettes for SS25. The show featured hand-knit cardigans crafted to resemble chocolate box houses, enormous sleeveless utility gilets, bulbous air bags affixed to otherwise plain T-shirts, and comically oversized ties falling to models’ knees.

Anderson’s distinct vision continues to resonate with Chinese netizens. “JW (Anderson) is such a genius; he amazes me every season,” wrote user @Faust on Xiaohongshu. This sentiment was shared by numerous commentators online.

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