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“Even when you are an adult, if you are a woman, the world wants you to be a girl,” said Jezabelle Cormio. And not only in terms of aesthetics: in attitude, the world wants you to be quiet and laid back. Cormio leaned into her feminist desire for rebellion by showing at a soccer field on the outskirts of Milan, with blue floors and young female players watching the show sitting down, legs crossed, somewhere between amused and puzzled. Some exchanged a few throws with the braver guests. It was an unusual setting for the fashion system, but not for the mothers present, who joked about finding themselves in the same place where they were last weekend.

Instead of running away from that idea of girliness, the collection embraced it with a sense of humor. It drew from Cormio’s Y2K teenage years and muses like Avril Lavigne and Amy Winehouse, with tributes to their style. There were purple and black pinstripe pants, silver ballerinas and neon hair bands. For Cormio the common thread is always irony. “I wanted to add [embroidered on knitted and lured polo shirts] phrases like “Nice Pair”, clearly born from a diffused sexism, that I found on sweats and T-shirts of the most popular brands from those years,” she said. This was just one example of the designer’s goal to utilize clothes and accessories to unleash her emotions and perceptions, as well as contribute to establishing a more equal society through activism. “While preparing the collection I went to see a young female soccer tournament; the girls were feeling empowered through their sport,” she said. On the male and female models’ feet—the collection was womenswear but included a few looks worn by men—were soccer shoes embellished with safety pins with multi-colored beads. Models carried bags literally made like soccer balls in pink and yellow with contrasting pentagons; some wore goalkeeper’s gloves with glittered middle fingers. A light but determined fighting spirit is an important value to Cormio.