Credit: Instagram @marceloburlon

I can’t really define Marcelo; I can’t frame him into a category. He is an artist, a visionary.

Harbouring a large repertoire of talents within the lifestyle and fashion industry, Marcelo Burlon is known for his eponymous label County of Milan and his boundary-pushing perception of the ever-evolving lifestyle sphere.

I didn’t want focus on his next collections, or what inspired him. I wanted to connect the dots to understand his path in order to give to young talents the chance to read and gain knowledgeable inspiration. Nowadays, plenty of new creatives head out into the industry and don’t know how to work their way up in the right way. ICON caught up with artist, DJ, designer and creative director to tell the story of the successful entrepreneur and in so many different fields.

ICON: You are a multi-skilled and talented creative, from music to PR to DJ-ing. What was the key factor that connected all the dots and made who you are today?

Marcelo Burlon: ”The key was always connecting people. I used to throw the best parties without interest just because I loved it, and designers and DJ’s were attending, and I was feeling like a kind of an agency because from my parties these people would connect and would start working together.”

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Gaucho sin sombrero Ph @bratislavtasic

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ICON: Influential people like yourself have a sort of responsibility towards the young generations. In a tough era like social media where everything is smoke and mirrors, what is the message you want to communicate through your vision?

“But most of the people think we are just an object or a character, they walk on the street and they try steal a photo with you for who you represent, not for who you are.”

MB: “We are human beings first, then we became DJ’s or designers. But most of the people think we are just an object or a character, they walk on the street and they try steal a photo with you for who you represent, not for who you are. I didn’t want to be famous I just wanted to do what I love, organising the best parties, producing. Then I became a creative director and an owner of such an important holding and people think you are not a person you are just a character and it’s tricky because sometimes you get bored of these kids not respecting you. The message should be we are all human beings, we are all unique we all have our own story and if they want to be a creative director, they should study. You need to have a purpose, a goal, you need to find your meaning. It’s funny because at the start, I was doing so many things at once that the industry was confused and then the article [from] the New York Times came out and interviewed me, and finally the fashion system recognised me and approved me. Italy was the last one appreciating me.”

ICON: Everything has been done and everything has been said. How do you make a fresh and relatively new impact these days in the fashion industry?

“And it has nothing to do with copying, it is a reinterpretation.”

MB: “That happens in every field though, but nowadays with your vision, with your team and support you create something new. There is always a way to use the heritage to create something contemporary and the clashing that comes from this mix is fantastic. And it has nothing to do with copying, it is a reinterpretation.”

Street Editor Roberto Malizia with Marcelo Burlon / Credit: Supplied
ICON: When did you decide to get into fashion from the nightlife and PR and music? Did you have an exact moment you came to conclusion and said to yourself “ I want to transfer and all this into clothes”?

MB: “There was actually a 20 year gap before I started being interested in fashion. [I] never thought about it. My brand came out in a specific moment where there was a need to see someone making something fresh. I mean, I started in the club scene and everyone was a fashion addict because every week you would need an outfit to wear, if you didn’t have money for Jean Paul Gautier shirts some friends were making reinterpretations themselves of these shirts. Then one day I actually saw JPG on the street and he blinked at me when he saw me wearing his shirt and that was kind of a moment. And of course I came to Milan working from the clubs to styling for a magazine and when you gain so much experience after connecting with so many creatives people you get comfortable.”

ICON: You are your own category. An artist, DJ, designer and creative director. How would you describe yourself? 

MB: “It has nothing to do with being a fashion designer. I drive my team from collections to shows, it is an actual creative direction. I respect fashion designers like crazy. I have my icons like Marginal, Helmut Lang; they left at their top times and I respect that. But the approach of a creative director is different. The way we communicate is different especially now with social media. I  remember just recently, I launched County of Milan and I was selling so well, a friend of mine back at the time was working for a big CEO, and he asked my friend,  ‘What is the secret behind Marcelo? Who is behind him? His strategy? How can we do the same with our company?’ And my friend responded, ‘Marcelo does everything, you cant do what he does because he is his own brand’, and this is true, I am the soul and body of County.”

ICON: What is your biggest fear?

“I’m scared to lose everything, to lose everything I built.”

MB: “I’m scared to lose everything, to lose everything I built. Not for the things or toys but because County of Milan is 20 years of life experience. I just built a house in Patagonia and bought one in Ibiza, and that means that I can lose everything but I would have my safe place. Because today you never know what can happen, I just want to do good for the young generations and to make them understand you have to work hard to build it and harder to maintain it.”

You can follow ICON’s Street Editor, Roberto Malizia on instagram