Palm Angels Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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Francesco Ragazzi entitled this collection Welcome To Miami, delivering an irresistible prompt to drop Will Smith in the intro: “flow to this fashion show / Pound for pound anywhere you go / Yo, ain’t no city in the world like this / And if you ask how I know I gots ta plead the fifth.”

Palm Angels has made its significant mark selling Ragazzi’s outsider, Made in Italy-enabled, aesthetic approximation of California skate-luxe on a global scale, but as he observed on a Zoom he’s as much a sucker for Miami’s neon charms as the Fresh Prince. In turn, Miami itself has over the years embraced a fair dose of Italian design sensibility: chiefly the signature of Memphis Milano that continues to act as a signpost for the fleshpots of Florida 40 years on.

There was plenty of Memphis’s brash pastels and angular shapes, mostly in the background, of a collection that studiously, overwhelmingly avoided the obvious references of Grand Theft Auto and Tony Montana. Instead Ragazzi used his photographer’s eye to assemble a series of character studies in clothing via minimalist oversized tailoring, carefully rendered workwear pastiche, and some unavoidable (because when in Miami…) tourist store kitsch. Shark print pants, a Miami Vice-ish font print jersey dress, pastel-palm totes, terry hoodies, and some excellent fine-strapped jelly shoes were all part of this elevated off-duty aesthetic. Especially meta-Miami were the pieces printed with watermarked vintage photographs, of cash, of a terrified face (that eluded reverse-searching) and of a stars-and-stripes muscle boat offshore.

Ragazzi said: “As a passionate photographer—somewhere between committed amateur and semi-pro—Getty Images represents an essence of that passion. That archive, spanning editorial, historic, vintage, everything, is amazing. So I approached them for a collaboration. We wanted to tell part of the story of Miami through their archive images, and it was important to me to maintain those watermarks—as a footprint for the collection—because…”

“Because Getty shots get stolen all the time and posted on social?”

“Exactly!”

Another nod to the digital was evident in the Palm Angels branded inverted waistband of his khaki shorts, a remix of the TikTok trend for twisting Dickies from skate staple to hip-skimming statement piece. Ragazzi’s latest was a balmy remix of wearable codes spiked by that ode to the alchemy of Magic City.



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