In true 2016 style, Arthur Arbesser ascended to his new role as Iceberg creative director as a result of an Instagram exchange with parent company Gilmar CEO and artistic director Paolo Gerani. Gerani recounted the like-comment-switch-to-IRL process to WWD back in the fall of 2015 as Arbesser got set to show his first collection at Milan Fashion Week. “I put a ‘like’ on his Instagram account when he was named among the finalists of the LVMH Prize and he replied with a comment,” Gerani told the publication. “I was already following him, I was intrigued by his sensibility in the use of bold colors, which he combines with a very graphic approach and clean lines.”
Now, the designer has two collections under his belt with Fall 2016 fresh off the runway to a solid stable of critical reviews. What seems to set Arbesser apart from many others is that, while he gets to enjoy the catchy title of being the next Armani, he’s actually forging a singular aesthetic all his own. Arbesser noted that much of the reason he signed on with Iceberg was because of an admiration for Gilmar’s attention and commitment to technological advances, while maintaining the tradition of its family-run status. In kind, the designer, who falls in the very general “minimalist” camp of fashion, can let shine the sheer simplicity and tranquility of non-noisy silhouettes, under whose surfaces undoubtedly lies highly skilled and innovative methods of construction and craftsmanship.
The marriage of fresh talent and a financial foundation with the smarts to let him have creative control resulted in a sharp and lovely Fall 2016 collection. Inspired by Belgian painter Michael Borremans, it diverged from everything else shown at Fashion Week without having to try extremely hard to do so. A bright golden velvet gown in an austere long-sleeved, tent-like silhouette and cartoonish hues of calamine pink and cornflower blue showcase the designer’s whimsy in the face of understatement, as well as his superior skill level that puts him above being typified as your typical minimalist.
The Vienna native and Central St. Martins graduate cites the architecture of his hometown, and the London art scene during his educational years as primary influences on a career whose trajectory has taken him from major fashion house to eponymous line and at this most recent stint with Iceberg. We’ll be watching to see what comes next.