For SS22, Lawrence Steele offers a cross-generational, genderless, and flexible take on the label’s legacy

Thanks to a potent blend of TikTok style predictions, rose-tinted nostalgia, and the information overload of the internet age – plus fashion brands’ eagerness to cash in on all of the above – it often feels like trend cycles are moving faster than we can keep up. Amid the noise though, Aspesi remains a timeless fixture for those seeking low-key wardrobe staples.

SS22 marked the return of Lawrence Steele at Aspesi, following 13 years as a creative consultant for the Milanese label, which the designer departed for a stint at Marni in 2017. Back in the driver’s seat, Steele aims to stay true to Aspesi’s legacy while updating its garments for a broader, more contemporary demographic.

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Notably, this involves an increased emphasis on sustainability and a new, genderless lens for the label. In fact, Aspesi’s commitment to breaking down the distinctions between menswear and womenswear takes centre stage in its new campaign, which sees models discuss how they share (or steal) clothes from family, friends, and romantic partners. Trading Bob Marley-inspired knitted vests, crisp white shirts, and oversized trousers, each offer their own interpretation on a given item of clothing.

The collection itself also nods to a sense of cross-generational appeal, be it via the archetypal shape of the trench coat – influenced by Steele’s own father, who served in the American Air Force – or patchworked plaid jackets that could have been lifted straight from dad’s closet. Elsewhere a close attention to fabrics, from pinstripe English wools to silky viscose, helps bring new life to individual pieces and adapt them for a range of occasions.

Aspesi was established in 1969, and originally only sold men’s shirts, before becoming synonymous with the kind of subtle staples it offers today. According to Aspesi, though, the forward-facing focus on flexibility and sustainability in its SS22 wardrobe doesn’t exactly mark a break from tradition. “It is the continuation of a story that began some time ago… its evolution,” the label says, embodying principles that “were considered avant-garde” in years gone by, but have since become a necessary part of the clothes we wear.