Marcelo Burlon’s label has evolved immensely within the last few years.
After starting out as a company that focused strictly on graphic tees, the brand has since evolved into a highly respectable label with full runway collections for both men and women. And we can’t forget how County of Milan was one of the first high-end streetwear brands to present at Pitti Uomo, an event typically reserved for traditional menswear.
“We’re growing up,” Burlon told Style.com. “The buyers are asking every season for more and more, because, you know, we create big traffic for their stores.”
Today, County of Milan racks in about 20 million euros a year and has over 450 stockists worldwide. Clearly, Burlon’s hard work has paid off, and he has recently launched a new initiative to give back to brands with a similar aesthetic and ethos.
In December of 2014, Burlon, along with partners Claudio Antonioli and Davide de Giglio, opened the New Guards Group, a Milan-based production and distribution company that aims to make high-quality garments equal to those of big-name Italian fashion houses.
As of now, four brands are working in 1,000-plus-square-meter atelier, which include County of Milan; Virgil Abloh’s Off-White; and Shayne Oliver’s Hood by Air.
“It’s a big movement,” Burlon says. “It’s not just clothes. There is music behind it, there is a party scene. And we all kind of are related one to each other. Virgil, Shayne, me, we kind of talk the same language. We’re not part of the system, and we don’t want to be. I’m talking for myself—I don’t want to be part of the system. The Camera della Moda, which is the fashion council of Milan, they tried to get me many times, but at the end of the day they decide for you what to do, which day you have to show, if you can do a party or not. And then you know what? I said, ‘Fuck off, you weren’t there when I needed it, you’re not there when the young people need you, so I’m going to keep my thing and do my stuff.’ This is a totally new era.”
It’s also important to note that each brand has remained under separate ownership, and is not obligated to adopt new creative processes.
“Everyone has their own team. And there is no mix,” Burlon says. “I see what they do and they come to see what I do. There is only so much respect.”