The Language of Palm Angels
Palm Angels is Francesco Ragazzi's personal yet inclusive vision of today's youth. Starting in 2011 as a concept, it became a photographic book about the Los Angeles skateboarding scene three years later. By 2015, he expanded this energy into a brand – one that was rooted in Milanese culture while projecting broader, international style. This season, Palm Angels makes its debut at Paris Fashion Week.
How would you describe your evolution as a designer/brand?
I’ve never stopped to think about the future and to build it up based on what I want to shape within my world of references and beliefs for the brand I founded. In this sense, Palm Angels is a kind of platform of values in which people find their place to be whatever they want: the leading key word is freedom.
Why is it important that fashion is always evolving, that it never stays the same?
I have approached my work at Palm Angels in a disciplined manner as I want to be continuously conveying a precise philosophy – a vision based on explicit values that reference a deep sense of belonging expressed by freedom, individuality, and exploration in the broader sense. To me, stimulation is about to having an authentic language based on shared values, in which those who follow the brand recognise themselves. To going forward, my dream is to make the brand language more and more distinctive and distinguishable, a language spoken by Palm Angels communities that can be used also as a sort of adjective: immediately recognisable, offering an accurate meaning when you say à la Palm Angels.
What moment, design or collection marked a turning point for you?
Palm Angels, before being a brand, was born as a photography book featuring black-and-white photography of the Los Angeles skateboard scene that I did as a photographer in 2011 and launched in 2014. Without a doubt, the very start of the brand was the biggest difficult moment, the most challenging one. Palm Angels was not known. I had presented the photography book in Milan one year before the brand was launched and the association was not evident. But I knew that the project I had in mind was authentic. And even if with great difficulty I never gave up. I lived driven by my dream to create a brand where I could express myself, one that people like me could recognise. But I was not just a dreamer. I worked so hard. I built the brand little by little, and at the end, my tenacity has paid off. I was then very lucky too, to meet the right people who believed in me.
What would you like us to know about this collection?
The liberated mindset is the same that fueled Palm Angels from the very beginning, but now the expression gains a French inflection: it is more precious.
The fashion audience is ever evolving. How important is it for you to connect with Generation Z (and how are you doing this)?
I think that the success of Palm Angels is based on its recognisability as a unique and authentic international brand without boundaries. The American footprint we gave to the brand, especially at the beginning, is a specific allure – both in term of values and design recognised by the customers. This led Palm Angels to be a loved brand by a strong community with whom the brand shared the same language based on the freedom of the artistic music and art scene.
It’s 2025, how might you have evolved?
The quest for enhancement, above all, is endless.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.