Interview: Marcelo Burlon

Ahead of the launch of his second collaboration with G-SHOCK, I caught up with jetsetting jack of many trades Marcelo Burlon to talk about how he went from PR and one of fashion’s favourite DJs to Creative Director and global fashion influencer.

RR: Let’s start by going back to the beginning. How did your first collaboration
with Giorgio di Salvo, and the birth of your brand County of Milan, come about?

MB: Giorgio is a close friend of mine. He’s a graffiti artist, in Milan
the fashion kids and graffiti artists came together. We were a big group and we
started a party.

When I wanted to start the label, I went back to Argentina
to do my research. I came back and spoke to Giorgio and he translated by
vision.

He is very important to the creative process. With the
G-SHOCK collaboration, we met and discussed ideas…exchanged information. We used
our design signature, the snake. It’s a power animal.

RR: In the last few years streetwear has gone from the fringes of
fashion to being a key aesthetic. How have you found that it’s evolved in the 4
years since you launched County of Milan?

MB: Streetwear is the new wave. We have great brands like Hood By Air, Off White,
Nasir Mazhar. Now, it’s luxury streetwear and we sell next to the big houses,
it’s like a revolution. I started in PR then putting parties together for these
big designers and now I’m a Creative Director. Virgil [of Off White] comes from
an architecture background. We have lots of space, we’re allowed to create.

Fashion is a mix now, now you see A$AP Rocky in Gucci. Even
Gucci is more street. It’s down to how you style it. We really have to compete
with the big brands, it’s not just about the image and what it looks like, the
product must be high quality as well. I partner with other brands like Off
White on their products; we use the highest quality leather, embroidery,
jersey. The tshirts for County of Milan take 2 hours to print, it’s artisanal.

RR: What was it like showing at Pitti Uomo as a streetwear brand?
MB: It was amazing. Even though the brand was a couple of years old, it was
like a proper debut and everyone knew about it then. Before that, I worked with
designers on parties, I DJed for them. My friends flew in from all over the
world and walked in the show, it was like a celebration, a party. All of the
people I love and were involved in the process were there. Pitti is known for
its suiting and everything is made in Italy so it was special that we were
there.

RR: County of Milan has been seen on the likes of LeBron, Pusha T,
Drake and ASAP Rocky. Who would you love to collaborate with?
MB: I’m really lucky that everyone has actually bought my pieces, we
haven’t gifted anything. We had a lot of support from stylists and personal
shoppers. I’ve worked with great artists – I worked with Future on the creative
direction of his album artwork, I worked on a collection with Pusha T for his
tour and right now, I have a collaboration with Tyga.

But I think real people are more important. My work helps me
to discover new people; that’s how I met Lebron [James] and we ended up
collaborating. In the beginning, when we first started I met a guy at a party
at Opening Ceremony. He worked with some artists and athletes and wanted to
work together, but we just started and we couldn’t gift anything at that time. Then
a few months later I saw Pusha T’s video and he was wearing one of our tshirts.
I knew him from Clipse but I didn’t know him as an individual artist then. He
wore one of my wings tshirts in his video with Fabolous, it was a big moment
for us.



RR: How did your collaboration with G-SHOCK come about?
MB: We first collaborated two years ago. Normally, brands come to me
for collaborations but I actually approached them. We worked on a watch, which
was released in 2014 to the Italian market – we were still a young brand so
they didn’t really believe in us. They know that, you can put that in there. We
only made 500 pieces but they sold out in 4 hours. We had so much press in
Japan.

G-SHOCK wanted to do a second collaboration and it took us 2
years to build it. I worked with Giorgio on the design, it’s snake print but
also kind of camouflage. The watch is 3D printed and our snake print and if you
scratch the strap you can still see the print, it’s printed through the strap
not just on the surface. It’s a really special watch, very luxury for G-SHOCK.



RR: You’re a self-described jack of many trades, where do you get your
inspiration from?

MB: At the basis, I want to share where I come from. I love Argentinean culture
and power animals, like the snake. Most of my designs are a mix of the symbols
of Patagonia and rave/club culture. It’s an unusual mix but it’s my life and
journey.

The G-SHOCK x Marcelo Burlon watch is available to buy on the G-SHOCK website.

 

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Reena Rai

Reena Rai is a 30-something London-based fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger. She has been blogging for 10 years (!), previously at fashiondaydreams.com before launching her self-titled blog.

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