It’s hard to say who Massimo Piombo is, exactly. In the article below, a person who knows him very well, and who has shared the origins of his unique, irregular path, has sent us a description, which we feel we should share.

Happy reading.

Where is Massimo Piombo hiding?

A guru, a goat-stag, a bizarre genius…Massimo Piombo has been attracting nicknames to himself for years, just like sunlight attracts dust. It is hard to define his age: sometimes he’s like a wise old man, while at others he’s like a kid, teetering along a tightrope to madness. His ideas go well beyond his education and this leads to monsters, to ideas like hurricanes; too many of these opportunities are blown away by this wind for him to use them to the full. And this, until now, would seem to be a good thing.
All Massimo wants to do is dress his brain and the brains of others; maybe that’s why he dislikes the necessary shell that people call clothing and which brings him out in a rash. This is perhaps why his creations move away from him, like an irrevocable repulsive effect moves away from someone who has suffered an insurmountable trauma.
One day Piombo is as famous as an astronaut and the next year, no one knows his name. Then, with amazing ease, he picks himself up and starts from just where he left off. Piombo has no intention of coming to terms with the past, or with the future. His references move along oscillating lines, never looking back, or forwards. This kind of immobility, which we could well call dynamic, means that there are no datable Piombo collections. Massimo in fact obsessively and even happily, has been repeating the same Tibetan mantra for three decades, be it for jacket, shirt or tie: Early to bed, early to rise.
No one could ever ascribe a typical “Piombo” garment, a year of reference, a place or a date to it. A show. Perhaps there’s just a mark, a print, a track, a flash or a polaroid. Wearing Piombo is a dangerous adventure. A distancing effect. A long journey without going anywhere. An endless experience that is both full and empty. To find Piombo, you’d probably need a diviner in the family.

Marco Mottolese – July 2018


Massimo Piombo was born in Liguria, a region that has always inspired both settlers and nomads. In his earlier years, during his education, Massimo Piombo was inspired by the settler side, not leaving the seas of Liguria and applying himself to his passion, architecture, and his hobby, Romantic literature. His first important trip was after the age of 18: Scotland, which for him was a revelation. On his return, an enormous hangar was rented and inside this, coordinated by Massimo, young people began to imagine the Piombo of the future. The first retail stores were opened, Massimo was writing about fashion and life in the press, and his name was becoming more and more well known. Milan became his second home and towards the end of the 90s, Piombo was already a familiar brand with a significant turnover. In the meantime, he continued his frenetic travels in search of his holy grail, his unique idea, of people who could join the project.

Massimo frequented intellectuals and journalists, running from one end of Europe to the other. His jackets were dressing those who counted. New York Barneys called him for his take on their famous store windows. In frenetic sequence Massimo, in the early 90s, published a series of small “cult” books, including “Tagli di Piombo”, written together with Barbara Alberti and Vittorio Sgarbi, and then a series (ultra-rare), “Dettagli di Piombo”, with covers to match the colours of the famous stands at Pitti Immagine. These books are almost impossible to find now, but at the time, they blazed a trail, as recuperated texts and as examples of enlightened marketing. They would be followed by photographic books and inspirational short films. Photograph exhibitions. Always somewhere between business and pleasure. In 2017, a meeting with OVS allowed him to finally imagine dressing those who count: more or less everyone.


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