Filippo Scuffi / Daks

Calm and reserved, deeply sentimental, with DAKS he’s entered the olympus of talented designers, with an elegance born of poetry and art..

Fashion as an exercise in subtraction. The suit, released from its sartorial origins and the subjection to the body and fashion it has always suffered to reach a compromise between function and poetic, anatomy and geometry, object and symbol. What remains, if we cut out all the trimmings? The answer comes from the simple beauty of Filippo Scuffi’s creations for Daks. Just observing them gives you an insight into what really matters in a model: the weave of the cloth, the stitching that defines a structure, a cut of sartorial precision, the absolute purity of lean forms. One of the most promising of Italy’s new generation of designers, Scuffi was born in 1971 in Cecina, province of Livorno. Calm, reserved, and extraordinarily well-mannered, without particular emphasis he recounts the evolution of his extraordinary career. “My career – he says – developed naturally, as if drawn by the current. Every decision has been a normal development of what I am. I’ve got to this point simply doing what was natural for me”. Stubborn and strict if ever there was one, he studied at a classical high school in Milan before moving on to the School of Fashion Psychology at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology, where he took a Masters Degree in fashion psychology.

Still in the United States, he worked one the men and women’s collections for two prestigious American brands. On his return to Italy in the ‘nineties he worked on the classic part of the Louis Vuitton and Jil Sander men’s collections, taught fashion psychology for two years at the European Design Institute in Rome, and worked on developing the men’s knitwear collections for Hermès.

Then DAKS called him to London to be the brand’s new creative director. And under his guidance DAKS has returned to the runways, to Milan for the men’s and London for the women’s collections, to great public and press acclaim.

The show on 19 June 2016 was the demonstration that the DAKS man by Filippo Scuffi has the same elegant and refined, but essential style of its creator. Concrete to the core and convinced that the secret to his success lies in meetings with the people he works with and with whom he builds the future with day by day. About the show at the Saloni dei Tessuti in via San Gregorio, Milan, he says: “Showing in that place was a risky move, you had to have a collection of a certain level to handle that kind of space”. It goes without saying that his handled the space perfectly, and certainly gave the impression of being of a superior level, playing as it did on the relaxed, sophisticated style of items drawn from the sojourn of a well-mannered, well-to-do man in India, ever elegant, who in his refinedness chooses garments enriched by the suggestions of the places he visits, with interesting choices of colour drawn from the mixing of East and West. Precious fibres blend in the Madras, transforming it into an artist’s canvas with ruby glints. Just as the light grey shifts to white, black and the browns of the earth and on to beige and greens, petroleum and emerald.

“ At the base of my collections – he tells us – there’s an aesthetic choice that leans toward rationalism and classical art, ‘fifties design and the Renaissance, a rich and variegated universe of symbols. Then I let myself be guided by the everyday, always seeking out utility to give every suit that freedom of interpretation and movement I find indispensable. I’m convinced that a suit has to make its wearer feel good”. A lover of classical music and opera, art and interior design in general, Scuffi declares to be inspired by Milan, his city of adoption and which he loves, and London, home to Daks, the British fashion house established in the late nineteenth century characterised by the celebrated square logo synonymous of British Style. The Royal Household, which the brand serves exclusively, has bestowed three honours on it. “The first thing I did was to minimise the logo. It always had to be there, but since it was part of the brand’s soul, it didn’t always have to be seen. So I put it on the linings and interiors. I wanted to test myself without the protection of the brand’s characteristic symbol, and the owners were happy with that”. Since 1991 the Brand has been under the wing of the Sankyo Seiko Company, the Japanese colossus that has held the license for Daks in Japan for the last two decades, to the point of generating a turnover touching on a billion Euro with the Daks Simpson Group, with over 2 thousand wholesale customers a global level. Inevitable, at this point, to ask for a few hints about the women’s summer collection scheduled to show in London in September. “I’m trying to organise a different set-up to the men’s one because it’s a different location, but there’s the same underlying theme linked with the warm atmospheres of India”.  In his conversation he often uses the same two words: “natural” and “freedom”. And when he confesses his real desires for the future he says: “ I want to be free to pursue my course while remaining coherent with what I am”.