Dolce & Gabbana Menswear Spring / Summer 2018 Millennials

The Millennials. Everyone wants a piece of them from high street brands to high luxe conglomerates. How do you capture their hearts? How do you get them to fall in love with your label in order to keep those lucrative cogs turning? Dolce & Gabbana last year cut to the chase and pulled out the big guns: they featured top young influencers on the Milan menswear catwalk – a whole army of them – instead of models. It worked well, and rather than hatching a new plan to top the pure brawn of this commercial endeavour, the designers decided to do more of the same. So out came another legion of Insta-boys and girls on the Spring Summer 2018 runway, looking mighty pleased with themselves. And why wouldn’t they? They clearly have it all. There was nothing subtle about this marketing plan, but then when have Dolce & Gabbana EVER favoured subtlety. Indulgent consumption has always been part of the label’s DNA – just think back to those campaigns featuring spaghetti slurping supermodels or indeed pumped-up/semi-nude men feasting on octopus, parmesan and swordfish. Positively bacchanalian! This year, many of the influencers were famous by family association: the sons or grandsons of hot shot celebrities like Marlon Brando, Isabella Rossellini and Pierce Brosnan as well as Diddy Combs. Even the Stallone sisters got a look in. Nepotism isn’t a dirty word at Dolce & Gabanna – in fact it’s very on-brand given that ‘la bella famiglia’ has always been a central theme of this label. To wit, Dolce & Gabanna has probably featured more babies in its campaigns than any other luxury brand through history, bar those touting actual kidswear. So who were these influencers? What exactly is so great about them. Here we give you the low down on five… We’re skipping Spencer Matthews and Dougie Poynter. Thank f***.

Dolce Gabbana Spring Summer 2018 Millennials

Raury

Dolce Gabbana Spring Summer 2018 Millennials

The Atlanta rapper did the unthinkable and played Dolce & Gabbana at their own game. The designers have received a lot of flack for dressing Melania Trump but Raury’s biggest beef was with the t-shirts the duo created for the show featuring the word #Boycott – a self parodying slogan about their own controversial endeavours. Raury felt that it made a mockery of what real protest is and the motivations behind it. Speaking to GQ he said, “Me, as a young man from Stone Mountain, Georgia, the birthplace of the Klu Klux Klan, I really felt this mockery of boycotting. Who knows, if boycotts didn’t happen, if Rosa Parks and M.L.K. didn’t step up.” At the end of the show he took off his shirt to show slogans of his own, scrawled across his were the words:  PROTEST; DG GIVE ME FREEDOM and I AM NOT YOUR SCAPEGOAT.

Tedua

Dolce Gabbana Spring Summer 2018 Millennials

An Italian rap star. Born in 1994, this young Genoa-born music maverick – whose real name is Mario Molinari – moved to Milan as a child where he was fostered by various families. He remains close to his mother but the experience of moving around at such a young age made him insular and introspective. He claims that rap gave him an outlet and he was particularly influenced by the work of Eminem and 50 Cent as a child. The rapper rose to fame within a group of emerging young Italian rappers called Wild Bandana but the success of his 2017 album Orange County California was key to his appearance on the Dolce & Gabanna catwalk He has 290,000 fans on Instagram, so not the largest star by any means, but an interesting one.

Wang Junkai

Dolce Gabbana Spring Summer 2018 Millennials

Lead singer of popular Chinese boyband TFboys is a megastar in his native China and indeed all across South East Asia. Such is his popularity that when news of his 15th birthday got out on Weibo (China’s answer to Twitter), the message was reposted a record 42.5 million times, landing him a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Ironically on Instagram, the young singer (still only 17) has only 328 followers. However his influence on Chinese teens in unparalleled. CNN reported recently that when Junkai posted a good luck message to students sitting their exams, it has an unprecedented 170 million views on Weibo.

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Diego Boneta

Dolce Gabbana Spring Summer 2018 Millennials

With his dark chiseled looks and enviable head of hair, you can see why Diego was an obvious choice for Domenico and Stefano. The Mexican singer and actor (he’s a soap star) is a household name in Mexico, Chile and Bazil. You may recognise him as the lead guitar dude from the movie Rock of Ages or indeed for his part in teen-gore show Scream Queens. Boneta has just landed the lead role in the biopic of multi-platinum recording artist Luis Miguel. He has over a million followers on Instagram.

Luka Sabbat AKA Mr. Fallback

Dolce Gabbana Spring Summer 2018 Millennials

Luka first hit the runway for Yeezy Season 1 and has since fronted campaigns for Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss. This is his second stint as a Dolce & Gabbana ‘Millennial’ – he walked for them last year too. He and 22 year old Colorado-born photographer Noah Dillon met through Twitter and have since formed their own creative agency known as Hot Mess. The duo recently put together the Off White lookbook– their premise is to find their own influencers on social media and work with them on a variety of platforms from video to creative design. Luka epitomises go-getter fearlessness – he styles, directs and just gets down to business on everything and anything. BTW he’s only just 19. He has been immersed in the fashion since he was a kid: he started modelling as a child when his family relocated to Paris. As a teenager her attended high school back in New York in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Sabbat and Dillon’s first project was Hot Mess, a series of photographs showcased at the Milk Gallery during New York Fashion Week in February; all images were taken in and around various fashion weeks around the world. Mostly the theme centered around the idea capturing people “out of their comfort zone” but nothing with Luka is set in stone, except the name Hot Mess which just stuck.