Marcelo Burlon is Milan’s cultural Renaissance man. He’s the Editor-in-Chief of Rodeo Magazine, a renowned PR, the founder of much-loved nightclub Pink is Punk, a stylist and consultant for the likes of Versace, Gucci, Prada and Givenchy—oh, and Riccardo Tisci just happens to be one of his best friends. In short, he’s got multitasking down to a science, effortlessly spinning the worlds of fashion, art and music into one meravigliosa mix—but then again, he’s also a DJ.
Elisa Simi: You were born in Patagonia, Argentina. How did you end up in Italy?
Marcelo Burlon: I was born in a small town called El Bolson, an amazing place surrounded by lakes, mountains and incredible rivers. It was like a hippy village mixed with the local gauchos and, of course, the immigrants were first generation, like my grandparents. [They] arrived in the beginning of the century from Lebanon… Because my family roots are in Beirut and Italy, my father decided in 1990 to go back to Italy. He was born in the north and right after the Second World War, he moved with his parents to Buenos Aires. All my family were immigrants, moving around, looking for a new land, a new place to put their roots…So here I am, always in movement, always around…
Elisa: What was your first “fashion job”?
Marcelo: My first real fashion job was doing PR for a designer called Riccardo Tisci. He had just graduated from the St. Martins and was back in Italy to find his way. We met and it was love. I was working with Riccardo for three years at the very beginning of his career, before the whole Givenchy situation. We became best friends straight away.
Elisa: How was it working with him?
Marcelo: Well, working with Riccardo was very tough. He knew already that he would be part of fashion history. He was very young, but he already had an unique and unmistakable vision. It was also very funny because we didn’t have any money, so I was running around with my bike, meeting the stylists—even if I didn’t know them. I was like, ‘Hi, I’m working for a new designer called Riccardo Tisci. He just arrived in Italy after a few years in London studying at St. Martins. He did an internship at McQueen and Berardi; here’s his lookbook…’ (Laughs). The lookbook was shot by Alessandro dal Buoni and the model was Mariacarla [Boscoso]. The stylists and journalists were shocked. The whole concept and Ricky’s history was so interesting that people started to write about him—Vogue UK, V Magazine, Dutch, Marie Claire, Amica… Everything was so fresh, and we were so enthusiastic. Sometimes I wonder where this feeling went…
Elisa: How can you handle being a PR, DJ, Stylist, Event Manager, Magazine Director and sometimes guest contributor, all at the same time?
Marcelo: Yoga. No alcohol. No heavy drugs. I like to have a very simple life. No drama, no stress.
Elisa: Which one of your jobs do you like most?
Marcelo: I like to work for the magazines, actually. My experience at Rodeo Magazine as Editor-in-Chief makes me realize that I love that job. So I would say this is the kind of job I like most.
Elisa: You have a lot of friends who are musicians, artists, designers, top models and many, many people. How can you remember all their names? I’m kidding. I’d like to know which activities you do with each one: Who do you go shopping with?
From left: Riccardo Tisci, Marcelo and Raf Simons
Marcelo: Michael Jordan. It was a job for Nike as a personal shopper… I love Michael, such an amazing man!
Elisa: Who do you go to a concert with?
Marcelo: I would go with Devendra [Banhart], because after the show we could kiss backstage (laughs).
Elisa: To a spa?
Marcelo: With Carmen Consoli and Mariacarla Boscono…They are very similar—such a strong girls—and we could gossip, too!
Elisa: To a fashion show?
Marcelo: Casey Spooner, because every time I am front row between Carla and Suzy! (Laughs)
Elisa: To sleep with?
Marcelo: Magdalena Frackowiak and Richard Nicoll, a threesome!
Elisa: Who do you call first when you have good news?
Marcelo: My best friends: Edward Buchanan, Macs Iotti, Ilaria Norsa, Aluminè Honik and Riccardo Tisci.
Elisa: You’re a close friend of Mariacarla. How is it hanging out with her? Don’t you feel kind of dazed at her side?
Marcelo: Not really. Maria is a very, very simple girl. You see her talking with everyone. We hang the most in Paris and years ago in Milan. Hanging out with her means laughing all night, but also talking and talking for hours—in a very deep way.
Elisa: What is the best thing about her?
Marcelo: Her attitude, her approach toward life and her sense of humor.
Elisa: And your best and worst qualities?
Marcelo: I’m a good PR. I’m like a bridge between people; I like to make connections. I think that’s the best part of me. And the worst? Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you…
Far right: Marcelo with Betony Vernon
Elisa: Now a difficult one: Who’s your favorite designer?
Marcelo: (Laughs) Azzedine Alaïa!!
Elisa: Describe your look.
Marcelo: I look like a Givenchy boy.
Elisa: Are there any accessories or clothes that you’re completely mad about?
Marcelo: Ann Demeulemeester accessories, Raf Simons shoes and ACNE sandals.
Elisa: What’s the next thing you’re buying.?
Marcelo: A new house in Patagonia.
Elisa: Would you give us some style hints? One shop you absolutely need to go when you are in…
Marcelo Milan: Antonioli. London: Dover Street Market. Barcelona: Hamptons. Buenos Aires: Trosman and Felix. Moscow: Solyanka. El Bolson: La Escondida (Lago Puelo).
Elisa: What are three songs from your playlist?
Marcelo: Quedate Luna by Devendra Banhart. False Knight On The Road by Fleet Foxes. La Maza by Mercedes Sosa.
Elisa: Which is the best city to attend Fashion Week?
Elisa: Do you think you’ll always live in Italy or would you like to move? What is your dream city?
Marcelo: I think I’ll move in the next three years. I think that Beirut is my dream city but Buenos Aires, too…
Elisa: You’re now working on a new editorial project. Can you give us some details?
Marcelo: It will be something about people. About you, you and you…
Elisa: What are you doing after this interview?
Marcelo: I’m going to ride my horse here in Patagonia—where I am now—and enjoy the Argentinean summer!