1. Let’s start with the name Fantabody, which alone sums up a real Manifesto. It has to do with the exaltation of femininity to feel good about oneself (rather than to please others), with the relationship with one’s own body, with self-affirmation and acceptance. How did this name come about? What does it represent for you? What messages do you want to send out?
The name of the brand was born on a hot Milanese day in 2015. I was looking for a nice way to combine the word “Body”, so body but also bodysuit, our flagship product, with another positive word. “Fantastic”, was definitely the most suitable adjective to tell my vision of women. In the beginning, when the project was still in its first step, people did not take the name seriously; I was almost laughed at for this choice and for the logo. The full name of the brand is FANTABODY MADE IN MILANO. Even this combination of English and Italian language was a way for me to arouse some perplexity, in a nice way.
2. You started out as a photographer and your ability to capture the physicality of moments is central to the brand’s storytelling. What do you think have been the most important traits in your artistic journey? How did you come to open a fashion brand? What is the current relationship between Fantabody and photography?
I have been a photographer for almost 15 years, I started working with images at a very early age and my photographic journey has been fundamental in being able to say exactly what I wanted with my brand. They are two realities that coexist, but each follows an independent dynamic. I continue to shoot for other brands and magazines, as well as following all aspects of Fantabody, alongside my right-hand person Sofia. Opening my own brand happened for fun and it’s a way like any other to tell stories and spread messages of inclusivity.
3. When I prepare an interview, I always start with my Instagram bio: just a few lines to summarise an entire creative world, and it’s not easy to be incisive and expressive. You have opted for three adjectives that sum up your Manifesto: “Sustainable, Bodypositive and Made in Italy”. Starting with the first, what does Fantabody’s sustainability consist of?
Speaking of Fantabody’s Bio, the project is defined as sustainable because our impact on the environment is practically zero. We only work with family-run workshops in the Lombardy region, near Milan. Since 2015 we have been using recycled Lycra and we try to avoid the use of plastic in all our packaging or production processes, to avoid waste. We try to avoid waste by reusing waste fabrics, like for the new ESSENTIALS line coming out in a few days. These new basics are made for our e-commerce only, and involve the use of fabrics destined for landfill because they are only a few metres old.
4. I can only continue with the second one: Bodypositive. It has to do with diversity, inclusiveness, freedom, community and personality. Can you tell us about it? How did you come to include these concepts in a fashion brand?
The brand, as with any project, grows together with the creative person who created it, with his or her point of view, experiences and needs. In the case of Fantabody, at the beginning the themes addressed were female sexuality, taboos and things left unsaid by the media. My need, and that of my friends, was to tell the world what we confided in each other during the aperitifs and to encourage women to talk and confront themselves. To have full awareness of their role in society and to support minorities. These are the ideals for which our parents fought and which for years, when we were growing up, were taken for granted. But we felt the need to take another step towards independence, emancipation and awareness: for example, to talk about how a woman is seen at work in the 21st century if she wears a skirt, or how she is forced to dress in certain environments, or her lower salary compared to her male colleagues. These are the issues I somehow wanted to address with the Fantabody project, focusing on “diversity” and acceptance of the body and of oneself, especially in the female world.
5. Before moving on to the third one, I ask you: how did you build such a real and consistent community of Fanta-girls? What do you think are the commonalities between your customers? What products do they appreciate the most?
The most important thing is that the Fantagirls community is so close to the project because they feel represented and embrace the values we promote, but they are not necessarily customers. In fact, the project has such a strong and sincere storytelling (mainly due to the fact that there is no team behind it, but 2/3 people who help each other out) that it goes beyond the product and the marketing of a garment.
6. Made in Italy. Every day at MM Company we investigate and enhance the characteristics of Made in Italy on behalf of the brands we work for. What is one aspect of Made in Italy that you particularly care about, and that is important to Fantabody? How can Made in Italy be told in an appealing (and not nostalgic) way?
For me, the value of Made in Italy is certainly to carry on a tradition for which Italy has always excelled, but, more than anything else, to make sure that the working environment is safe and that production is carried out with respect for its employees.
7. Influential women such as Dua Lipa, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rita Ora, Kylie Jenner have worn Fantabody clothes. If you were to ask them to convey one of your messages, to ideally join and extend your “movement”, what would it be? What do you think is the most urgent issue related to Bodypositive that deserves attention?
“Show yourself for who you are and don’t try to be someone else”. As a big world star maybe I would convey that message.
8. What is your relationship with your body? Since Caleido was conceived as a diary, what is one story that particularly struck you and that you would write down in your cahier?
I have a good relationship with my body, I see its limits but also its merits and potential. I used to be “mocked” by my classmates because I was short and had curly hair. But in high school I stopped having complexes about my appearance when I realised that my role and my path was to create beautiful things, not to be beautiful. I remember being on my lunch break and looking at the reflection of myself in a shop window while eating a focaccia before going back in.
9. What is an object in your home that you would never give up? What is the memory associated with it? Can you send us a photo taken by you?
I would never give up my plants. I like to pick up plant leaves on my travels, then replant them and patiently grow them on my terrace.