EXCLUSIVE: Filippo Grazioli Explores Cultural Beauty in His Vacation to the Philippines

EXCLUSIVE: Filippo Grazioli Explores Cultural Beauty in His Vacation to the Philippines


Fashion designer and creative director of Missoni Filippo Grazioli reflects on his passions, the palette of Palawan’s nature, and the potential for collaborative creativity with Filipino designers

Knitwear mirrors the complexity of human existence. The stitches, whether firmly woven or loosely knit, represent the ups and downs of our journey—the moments of tenacity and the times when we gently unravel. Filippo Grazioli’s life is a warp and weft of creativity, familial influence, and a life-long love for fashion, leading him to become the creative director of a historic Italian fashion house known for its knits. The Missoni Creative Director’s journey unfurls new yarns, each thread steeped in shades of inspiration; one that brings him to the Philippines. In his holiday visit to Palawan, Grazioli allows the tropical backdrop and rich culture to be a front of unexplored creativity.

Dark green jacket by MISSONI and Pants by BOTTEGA VENETA

Knitting dreams with diverse dimensions

It began with the gentle hum of sewing machines and the click-clack of knitting needles. “My mom was sewing and my grandmother crafted her own knits. Fashion is in my blood,” Filippo shares, reminiscing about his early days. Growing up in a conservative environment, he discovered the liberating power of fashion as a teenager, a means to express himself in a world that was, at times, rigid.

Filippo left Marche for Milan, where he enrolled in the Istituto Europeo di Design. “It was a magical moment where I could work with professionals in the industry and understand that fashion was not just art, but also a business,” he notes.

White button up shirt by PRADA and White cardigan by MISSONI

His design philosophy highlights the desire for real garments that resonate with people. “I like to create collections that can be worn for multiple seasons and reinterpret the classics,” he explains. His tenure at Burberry and Givenchy under the creative direction of Riccardo Tisci added diverse dimensions to his style.

Working with Tisci, Grazioli discovered the strength and power of femininity, a departure from the structured and classic styles he was accustomed to. “The contrast between structured pieces and feminine elements is what I love the most. It’s a mix that defines my style,” he elaborates.

Reflecting on challenges faced in the industry, he emphasizes resilience. “Working in fashion is not easy, especially in Europe. You have to be strong and sure about yourself,” he asserts. Adapting to change and using challenging moments as stepping stones has been a guiding principle in his career.

Dark green jacket by MISSONI and Pants by BOTTEGA VENETA

After the conversation, in the midst of the photoshoot, Grazioli navigates the whirlwind of dress changes and artistic layouts when his phone buzzes with an alert. To his astonishment, the legendary superstar, Beyoncé, makes an impromptu appearance on his screen. Dressed in a Missoni-patterned dress adorned with glistening stones that shimmer under the lights, the outfit embraces her silhouette with confidence. It’s a moment where cosmic alignments, or rather, the sparkle of gems, infuse the shoot with an energy that will never be diminished.

Palawan’s palette amidst nature’s splendor

Filippo’s recent escapade to the Philippines with its archipelagic splendor, particularly Palawan, adds a new layer to his cultural exploration. “I’m extremely surprised about the Philippines because it’s something that I didn’t expect,” he confessed, the excitement palpable in his words. The breathtaking beauty of Palawan, with its crystal-clear waters and lush landscapes, became a source of inspiration that exceeded his expectations.

Dark green jacket by MISSONI and Pants by BOTTEGA VENETA

It was a plunge into the unknown, an exploration of a tropical haven. Touching down on the emerald landscapes of Palawan, the designer found himself in a place where nature’s palette was in full bloom. Greens range from the deep richness of the rainforest to the soft tendrils of mangroves. Blue skies above mirrored the waters below, where the ocean met the shore in a transition of cerulean and turquoise. Coral reefs beneath the surface puffed a display of colors—from the electric blues of neon damselfish to the fiery reds of barrel sponges. Sunsets painted oranges, pinks, and purples, burst like nature’s own fireworks.

Black sweater and pants by MISSONI

His fascination with Palawan’s environmental conservation aligns seamlessly with his commitment to sustainable fashion. “It pushes me to do better in this direction,” he reflects, acknowledging the influence of eco-conscious destinations on his creative mindset.

Bridging styles across the seas

The Philippines stands as more than a picturesque backdrop; rather, a treasure trove of richness to those eager to delve into its cultural depths. The essence lies not in something awaiting discovery, but in the acknowledgment that gold is already here, an existing reservoir of creativity that deserves recognition and exploration. 

Because of this, for Grazioli, the delicate weaving of indigenous fabrics, the colorful patterns in local craftsmanship, and the refined aesthetics of Filipino design compel him to immerse himself in a deeper cultural interaction. He’d love to work with Filipino designers and artisans. “Why not?”

White button up shirt by PRADA and White cardigan by MISSONI

He affirms, “I’ll gladly collaborate, especially because I want to discover more about the culture and want to discover more about the potential that the Philippines has.” This initiative to participate in the local creative community demonstrates a real desire to learn, absorb, and eventually merge his design skills with the varied history of Filipino art. In his words, there was a recognition of wealth that exists within the Filipino design landscape.

​​Fashion, in this context, becomes a conduit for cultural exchange—a platform where diverse aesthetics converge and give rise to something uniquely beautiful. It’s a relationship that could see traditional Filipino craftsmanship elevated to global recognition, while Grazioli gains fresh perspectives and novel inspirations.

Black sweater and pants by MISSONI

Grazioli stands tall

As for the future of fashion, Grazioli acknowledges the constant ebb and flow of trends. “The ability to be aware of what’s happening and staying updated is crucial,” he notes. While the future can’t be predicted, he promises to embrace change and keep his designs in tune with the evolving industry.

Joining Missoni, a brand steeped in a 70-year history, the creative director sees it as a golden opportunity to bring the essence of Italian style into 2024. “My mission for Missoni is to take the DNA, take the heritage, and lead it to 2024, making it desirable today,” he envisions. And perhaps with newfound friends, add some Filipino flavor.

Dark green jacket by MISSONI and Pants by BOTTEGA VENETA

Knitwear embodies the spirit of transformation. Much like the way we knit our dreams and aspirations into the fabric of our existence, each stitch contributes to the unfolding story of who we are and who we aspire to become. As the designer embraces the Philippines, the prospect of collaborating global aesthetics with Filipino identity is on the horizon.

Filippo Grazioli reflects on the Palawan beach, enamored by its beauty, where the ocean’s surface glitter, the sun’s rays shine, and the limestone cliffs stand tall, holding stories of centuries past. The yarn is yet to be unfolded as he looks to the future.

Stylist BANG PINEDA assisted by HARLEY GRAJO
Sittings Editors MIA CASTRO and LAURD SALEN

Videographer LORENZO CORRO
Social Media Representative TYRA SANCHEZ
Shoot Coordination JOANA FERNANDO
Shot on location EDSA SHANGRI-LA, MANILA

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