Which, as it happens, sounds a lot like what Mr. Armani has been doing for nearly 50 years. “I mean, he’s been the king of that,” says Hallin of the Italian lifestyle kingpin, whose relaxed, refined clothes make rather than set trends. His work embodies an innate style, and appeals to men who do the same. “Mr. Armani is my favorite pioneer of classic elegance,” says Nying. “I love his bold and soft silhouettes, his palette of undefined colors, and his bold patterns.” Mr. Armani wasn’t available for comment, but his presence loomed large throughout the collab’s creation. “We’ve said hi to him at the office,” says Hallin. “He works there every day. Big respect. He has such dedication and passion and love for the game.”
Hallin and Nying developed this admiration surprisingly early for two guys who grew up in Jönköping, a city three hours south of the Swedish Capital. But even there, Armani’s name meant something, especially in the ’90s. “When we were young, Armani was really the mark of complete financial success and good taste—something almost unattainable,” Hallin says. By their late teens, they had discovered the other layers of culture where the house operated. They embraced baggy Armani Jeans, and heard Nas name check Armani Exchange. But with its distinctive eagle logo, the youth-oriented Emporio Armani hit the sweet spot. “With Emporio, you got that clash with utility, workwear and early streetwear,” says Nying. “That to me is an essential clash of clothes that I relate to in my own wardrobe.” Hallin readily admits vintage Armani has been a regular presence on the inspiration rails in their office.
The co-founder says the project represents a new level for Our Legacy, which he and Nying launched in 2005. “We’ve been very fortunate to have been treated like the upcoming brand or the new kid on the block kind for, I don’t know, 15 years plus,” he says. “But I think that’s kind of shifted, and we’re becoming more of an established brand now.” Case in point: despite the fact that Our Legacy does tens of millions in yearly revenue compared to the Armani Group’s billions, both brands supplied deadstock fabrics for a healthy chunk of the pieces and split production between their respective factories. “We used their beret factory, obviously,” Hallin says. Armani gave Nying and Hallin full creative freedom over the campaign by legendary fashion photographer Mark Borthwick, and is letting Our Legacy sell it across their stores, website, and Dover Street Market. “It feels like they respect our hustle. They’re like, No, you should be the one selling this. It should be catered to your audience,” says Hallin.