From Italy, all the way to the capital of China during the Yuan Dynasty, Marco Polo’s travels are an evocative and passionate account of an adventurous journey across mountains and rivers, nations and cultures, where the East and the West meet and mingle in a fascinating way. Hundred years later, this romantic and mysterious journey is still full of attraction, calling on the current generation to take it as inspiration and accomplishing brand-new story.
Canali, a luxury Italian menswear brand with over 85 years of history, has teamed up with 8ON8, an up-and-coming Chinese designer brand, to take this journey across Eurasia as the core inspiration and aesthetic origin of the capsule collection, bringing Canali’s renowned refined tailoring heritage and 8ON8’s retro-futuristic aesthetics into a cultural infusion, achieving a sophisticated combination of the two and creating Canali Travels with 8ON8 capsule collection. The co-capsule collection illustrates the elegant spirit of modern world while expressing their individual identities.
The designer, Gong Li, draws inspiration from Canali’s historical archives and 8ON8’s iconic elements, imaginatively combining Cafra Cat (a symbol that has donned iconic Canali creations in the fifties), shooting stars and other core design motifs while adding colour touches of grass green, camel brown and washed blue to interpret a new design method. The co-existence of Chinese and Italian cultures on our fashion garments is interpreted through luxurious fabrics, such as wool and silk, in a contemporary way.
The capsule collection consists of 11 looks, with silhouette suits and jackets as the core items, together with hoodies, sweatshirts, embroidered knitwear, jeans and other stylish items, presenting modern gentlemen a series of fashionable looks with spirit of freedom and adventurous travel attitude. The polo, 3-in-1 parka and oversized green down jacket are all embroidered with the CANALI TRAVELS WITH 8ON8 logo, highlighting the extraordinary origins of the pieces; loafers with transparent soles and multi-coloured sneakers, as well as accessories such as travel luggage and messenger bags, enriched the styling possibilities. The most impressive feature of the collection is the innovative expression of traditional Chinese aesthetics: Cafra Cat is transformed into a modern “Marco Polo”, riding a horse, taking a boat or driving a car, traveling through the vast Chinese mountains and rivers, this figure appears on an appliquéd crew neck knitted sweater, an embroidered crew neck T-shirt and knitted polo, as well as an all-over printed silk pajama-style suit.
The capsule collection’s fashionable attitude is pushed to the limit with a baseball cap inspired by the beaded details of a Yuan Dynasty official’s hat and a leather-trimmed, drawstring silk bag that refers to an ancient monetary pouch, presenting a rich visual narrative of Chinese and Italian cultural interplay.
Stefano Canali, President and CEO, third generation of the Canali family, said: “We are extremely pleased to announce this collaboration as is the first designer collection for Canali and the first case of its kind between international luxury menswear brands and Chinese fashion forces, thus making it an exciting brand moment. This collection connects different cultures in two worlds embracing a confident, creative, and modern consumer with a self-expressive attitude. Our goals were to increase brand awareness in China, appeal [to] Chinese millennial and Gen Z consumers, and strengthen the cultural bridge between Canali and China. The key was to blend harmoniously a contemporary approach with innovation and style, without compromising the elegance of a well-cut silhouette in order to maintain our brand sartorial DNA.”