Benetton – United Colors of Ghali
Sorcha Ní Cheallaigh discovers more about the continuing collaboration between creative force Ghali and Benetton
On the opening day of Milan Fashion Week, Benetton presented a unique capsule collection designed and envisioned by 28-year-old Italian-Tunisian rapper, Ghali Amdouni. Now, the first United Colors of Ghali drop is available online and in selected Benetton stores, with a second drop of the highly-anticipated collection announced for November.
As Benetton’s 2021 brand ambassador, Ghali has been the face of the brand’s campaigns and the creative force behind exclusive new content. The artist’s first notable edit came in the form of ‘United Sounds of Benetton,’ a Spotify playlist showcasing an international range of genres and cultures. The launch of Ghali’s twenty-two piece, limited edition varsity jacket followed, as fans scrambled to capture a slice of his hand-signed autobiographical design. Multiculturalism and integration is a shared core value for both Ghali and Benetton: “His style, his ideas, his attitude,” writes Benetton Group CEO Massimo Renon, “it’s as if we have always known each other”.
The United Colors of Ghali collection is likewise a statement of self-celebration, with an inclusive approach to gender, religion, age and fit. Curated for children and adults alike, Ghali strikes a perfect balance between maturity and play, while cementing the multigenerational ethos of Benetton. Style and comfort are equally weighted with layering and ease in mind. Oversized streetwear and relaxed fits refresh traditional Benetton codes, with a range of sweatshirts offered with or without hoods. Co-ords are available, but the carefree nature of the collection demands a more adventurous exploration of the powerful black, red, tobacco and white combos. Accessorising continues this focus with embroidered baseball caps, travel-ready backpacks and striking nylon hijabs available in a series of strong colours. The combined Ghali “G” and Benetton signature features throughout; at moments subtle, then suddenly stylistic and daring. Ghali’s own aesthetic is palpable as the iconic United Colours square is hand drawn and remixed alongside slogans and pop lettering, speaking to the artist’s international yet homegrown hip hop career.
As for Ghali himself? The new frontier of fashion design has only encouraged the artist to expand. “We are the new designers, designing both clothes and music,” he writes, embracing a new form of multidisciplinary practice. With a new album incoming and a Milan Fashion Week presentation realised, Ghali has proven to be the perfect collaborator for the fashion brand. “We are proud” writes Renon. “Blending Benetton’s DNA with Ghali’s creativity was a significant decision”.
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