S.S. Daley FW24 Unites Florence and Britain's Sartorial Legacies

The designer, who revealed after the show that Harry Styles has invested in his company, plans to expand his fashion universe in the long term.

Fashion
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“I love Pitti Uomo because it feels like an extension of Savile Row,” British designer Steven Stokey-Daley told Hypebeast backstage at his Fall/Winter 2024 runway show during the biannual menswear event. “Where Savile Row is maybe not so alive now, it feels like it’s more alive here. It’s a lovely cyclical thing.” In both places, bespoke tailored suiting is the protagonist — and in Daley’s Florentine display, there was a seamless blend of the two regions’ age-old practices on show.

Amidst a legion of Mannerist masterpieces inside the historic Salone dei Cinquecente of Palazzo Vecchino in the Italian city, models traversed through columns that were stuffed to the brim with pillows, referencing the poky living quarters that Oxford University students shared in decades past. “I wanted to transform the set into this abstracted version of a dorm room,” Daley explained. His execution of this inspiration is quite interpretative, thankfully leaving the fashion in the foreground. Nonetheless, here’s to hoping the collection’s academic ensembles are able to squeeze into his conceptual residence hall’s closets.

EM Forster’s 1911 novella The Story of a Panic sits front and center on the mood board. “It’s about a British boy who comes to Italy for the first time and has his cardinal awakening,” said Daley. The story takes place in a fishing village, far away from the “confines of British institutions,” and there, the clothing is much lighter, per the designer. In homage, the line’s hero motif is a fish, which appears enlarged across a white button-down shirt in blue, and a yellow fishing coat satisfies the utilitarian appetite.

“I really wanted Florence to inform the collection and so that’s why you see such incredible tapestries,” said Daley. “They’re hard to find elsewhere.” His affinity for intarsia is obvious, with Rowan yarn blankets transforming into oversized rugby shirts donning classic British iconography, including horse-riding hunters and wildflowers. Here, there’s a fusion between Italian and British design languages that ultimately encapsulate’s the full line’s identity.

Clapping louder for Britain’s sartorial heritage, a playful cardigan houses illustrations of two innocent leaping lambs on either side of the chest. The piece imitates many of those youthful sweaters hanging in the closet of Harry Styles, who Daley has previously (and famously) worked with. Perhaps, though, it was a clue for the headlines that would imminently follow the show’s conclusion: “Harry Styles Invests in UK Fashion Label S.S. Daley.”

“Harry and I have a shared vision for the future of S.S. Daley and we look forward to this new chapter together as we focus on brand longevity and scaling the business into a modern British heritage house,” said Daley, who is looking to expand his direct-to-consumer business through a “sustainable and long-term expansion.” Terms of the deal were not shared; but in any case, Styles’ minority stake is a game-changer for the fast-rising fashioner, who only graduated from the University of Westminster three years ago.

If one had to guess how Daley is sleeping tonight, they’d be smart to point at the lettering on Look 32’s wide-collared sweater: “Snug as a Bug.”

See S.S. Daley’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection in the gallery above.

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