CONVERSATION

Linda Calugi

The Diary of Linda Calugi, creative director of the independent brand Twins Florence. Welcome to Caleido, an inspirational diary that narrates many stories: about creative people, trends, travels, objects. / Read the Editor’s letter here

 

Diary of: @lindacalugi

caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_1
@lindacalugi
1. Caleido was set up to explore universes we have in common, such as art, architecture, fashion and design. What is the creative process that allows you to connect different worlds, eras and cultural approaches in your collections?

Working with creativity is one of the most special gifts, through your work you are able to permeate your vision of the world and make it more and more defined, clear, unique. Creating is a privileged approach that really allows you to bring all your senses into play and make use of the culture and curiosity that over the years has pushed you to bite and assimilate the most disparate notions. I am culturally omnivorous and my creative process needs me to delve maniacally into a theme in order to really make it my own and rework it. Nature often gives me my first input, the striations of the rocks, the intensity of the earth’s colour, the suggestive shadows in a cave. Then these first suggestions are often followed by research linked to artists (writers, mostly women writers, men, mostly women from different eras who have made a strong plea, have pleaded for causes often linked to social issues). For the most part, aesthetic inputs are linked to cultural and social ones through associations that arise from my pen, it is the words that really open the gap between notions and original creations. I have studied the history of fashion and I find it fundamental, but I voluntarily forget about it during the creative process. I think it is important to consider the contaminations that come from different fields that can really bring new life to fashion itself, which is, first and foremost, a message and communication.

caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_27
@lindacalugi
2. You define the Twins Florence woman as the “contemporary synthesis of androgyny and glamour”. Do you recognise yourself in this description? Can you describe how this identity develops?

I agree with the description, even if the definition of glamour is always a little difficult for me. Let me explain better: the Twins Florence woman is androgynous insofar as she often favours garments which are canonically attributed to the female wardrobe but which have now been naturally made into agender. The glamour of the Twins woman is given by her awareness. I love women, I like to surround myself with the energy they emanate, and I find that glamour often lies in the folds of a life lived intensely and with charisma; the great power of attraction always remains culture and personality which naturally often contaminates the aesthetic/external aspect.

caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_30
@twinsflorenceofficial
caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_13
@twinsflorenceofficial
3. The brand offers a concept of sustainability that has to do with both production ethics and raw material/recovery. What are the main sustainability challenges you have faced/are facing?

Consider that the origin of Twins Florence, dated 2015, is rooted in the decision to use recycled raw materials, especially in the leather sector. This desire, however, initially clashed with the demands of the wholesale sector, which was not yet ready for the concept of the unique piece (or rather, the piece reproduced not faithfully with respect to the sample garment but following guidelines and depending on the material that could be recovered and was available at the time). This concept of sustainability was soon superseded by a more concrete and feasible one in the wholesale market, i.e. the creation of high quality, highly manufactured garments that counteract the policy of disposable garments that are replaced seasonally. It is a small thing, a small step that everyone could and should take to safeguard the common interests of a world less polluted and suffocated by bulky and massive production.

caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_2
Ph. @ilsignormerli
caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_3
@twinsflorenceofficial
4. Italian creative scene in the music sector has recently undergone a strong stylistic evolution, shaking off a somewhat ‘local’ image. I am thinking of figures such as Måneskin, Elodie and Irama: a generation of really cool new celebrities with a strong international appeal. What is one artist you would like to dress? If you had to identify one vinyl that represents you, what would it be?

I really love the work of singer-songwriter Margherita Vicario and I’ve already had the good fortune to dress her on one occasion. I really appreciate her free and direct approach, I like her versatility (actress, singer-songwriter, etc.) and her being real, a bit wrong, just like we all are. “Cheap Thrills by Big Brother & The Holding Company” from 1968 featuring “Piece of my heart” by Janis Joplin, I’m a 70s girl at heart.

caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_22

@twinsflorenceofficial

caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_8
@twinsflorenceofficial
5. Your work as a fashion designer has been joined by a second path, which looks at product/craft design, @amorawstudio. When, why and how did this project come about? What will be the evolution of this project?

My love for clay came about thanks to a good friendship. A person who knows me well and loves me encouraged me to work with clay, and I haven’t stopped since that time. It is a relatively recent love, but it complements and enriches everything else. I also tried to extract the clay myself during a trip to Fuerteventura and the result was a vase with an unusual colour and an ancestral, minimalist shape that fully represents my vision in this field. Working with clay allows me to explore intimate levels of my person, to go deep while remaining firm. Manual work is a kind of active meditation. I pursue purity and essentiality of form through dedication to the essential, devoting myself to the most tribal minimalism. I make all the pieces slowly and carefully by hand, using mostly white or black refractory clays.

Linda Calugi
Linda Calugi
Linda Calugi
6. Florence, the place where the brand is based, has always been a creative frame, a land of excellence and ancient skills. How can a brand’s identity benefit from the traditional know-how of Italian manufacturing, without being fanatical? How do you bring the concept of Made in Italy into a contemporary/future aesthetic?

Florence and the surrounding area are the production hub of Twins Florence even though the actual headquarters move with me and my time is spent mainly in Milan even though nature, in all its expressions and forms, often welcomes me. The first challenge I took up when I created the brand, in collaboration with my family’s manufacturing company, was precisely that of departing from the classic artisan vision of products made in Florence. We are Italians but citizens of the world and this is what has always guided me, even in my life choices. I am proud to be able to count on expert workers but it was important for me to subvert the aesthetics.

caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_10
@twinsflorenceofficial
Linda Calugi
@twinsflorenceofficial
caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_24
@twinsflorenceofficial
7. You are an architect. Which architectural works would you include in a moodboard made to tell the story of yourself? Have you ever built a building?

I have never built a building, although I have been designing my ideal home in my mind for years. I am a devotee of Bauhaus and rationalist brutalism, and I imagine my dream building amidst nature and raw materials, cement and wood, modernist lines, raw materials and refined details with an eye to modernism and one to the nature that surrounds us. I also admire the organic architecture that has taken hold in Mexico and my ideal would be a house full of natural light and warm materials as opposed to raw concrete and the incursion of the outdoors into the interior (trees in the house, conservatories and greenhouses).

caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_5
@twinsflorenceofficial
caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_6
@twinsflorenceofficial
8. Speaking of travels: what is one trip that has marked you, and that you would recommend your daughter to take (maybe in a few years time, since she is still young)? If you had to give a title to the Cahier de voyage of that trip, what would it be?

San Pedro de Atacama and Easter Island, magical places with a strong vital energy, full of volcanoes and ferment, isolated spaces and a rarefied atmosphere. Title: “Island mind desert.”

caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_25
Ph. @ilsignormerli
Linda Calugi
Ph. @ilsignormerli
9. When I think of you, I think of a sunny and smiling person. What are the activities that reconcile you most with the world? Do you have routines that make you feel good, even in a particularly stressful moment?

Smiling but also meteoropathic, very instinctive and emotional. Over the years I have learnt to accept my personality and to take care of myself. Theatre and my friends from the Animanera theatre company in Milan were the key to reclaiming tools that were part of my language, but which I had never explored until I stepped onto the stage and was directed by Aldo Cassano. Theatre frees you, as do all forms of cultural expression, and for me it was a great gift.

Linda Calugi
Ph. @ilsignormerli
caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_11
Ph. @ilsignormerli
caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_14
Ph. @tomasfalmer @lundlundagency
10. What is one object in your home that you would never give up? What is the memory attached to it? Can you send us a photo of it?

Although I am very attached to the objects that have been part of my life and my daily life, I don’t have one in particular. I have a box containing letters, tickets, receipts and travel souvenirs which I jealously guard and which I sometimes open and consult as if it were a scrapbook, but I must say that, since ceramics have become part of my daily life, I could never give up the vases full of flowers (mostly dried or dehydrated) and my monstroses.

caleidodiary_intervista_lindacalugi_twinsflorence_41
@lindacalugi

No products in the cart.