At the helm of Marni since 2016, Francesco Risso invokes a new, 21st-century Renaissance through the creative misuse of sartorial storytelling. Risso stands out for his preternatural attention to detail, heritage, pattern making and materiality that perfectly bridge the gap between the conceptual and the wearable. The DNA of Italian craftsmanship is evident in every thread (with a heavy dose of Risso’s imagined dreamscape). A designer with a fantastical childhood at sea and an adolescence steeped in the ’90s subculture of Italy, Risso has reinvented Marni as a brand with an ardent fan base.  



Risso grew up as the wallflower of a noisy family, and quickly discovered fashion design as a means of communicating with the world; a lexicon composed of anything he could scavenge from the wardrobes of his grandparents, guests, or sisters. This rebellious streak would prove itself a permanent fixture in his disposition as a designer. At sixteen Francesco ran away to Florence to study fashion at Polimoda. From there, he attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City before receiving an M.A. from the renowned Central Saint Martins in London. After university, Risso worked for several designers, including Anna Molinari at Blumarine, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, and Malo, before joining Prada in 2006 to work on womenswear. Ten years later, he was appointed creative director of Marni.  

While still paying homage to the eccentric roots from which Marni had garnered a cult following, Risso has reinvented experimental fashion by approaching design as a “gesamtkunstwerk”— a total work of art—merging theory, exquisite mastery of technique and naturalistic inclinations. By collaborating with a global community of like-minded peers across mediums, Risso fosters a dialogue between fashion and the arts, celebrating the moment the gown becomes a canvas and the canvas a gown.