1. I’ll start by reading your social-bio, which includes the interesting concept of “sustainable fashion advocate”. Following you closely, I associate it with a kind of “manifesto” that consists of various points such as the real value of things, durability, selection, awareness and care. How are these values expressed in your work?
In 2013, sustainable fashion in Europe, and especially in Italy, was a topic that was not talked about at all. This was also because the few brands present at the time were inaccessible or uninteresting in terms of design. This made me decide to embark on the path of creating one of Europe’s first sustainable clothing startups: with my background in fashion, I wanted to try to unhinge those preconceptions and bring to market something new, interesting, accessible and in line with my values and vision. Although my experience with the project ended a few years ago, my commitment to sustainability in fashion has remained. I work with independent sustainable brands or large groups, with whom I try to raise awareness on a daily basis for a transition towards a more conscious approach to design and production.
2. Colour is also a central theme in your work. Has it always been so? What is a childhood memory connected with colour?
Colour has certainly always been an important part of my life, but I think it’s the same for everyone: the difference lies in realising it and, in some way, reclaiming the shades that have always accompanied us. I grew up outside the city, near the woods and the mountains. So I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m attracted to natural, desaturated colours at the expense of intense, bright ones.
3. What are 5 Instagram profiles that somehow inspire your work and that we should start following? Why these?
@ma_tt_er, Seetal Solanki, a researcher at the Royal College of Arts, talks about the “re-humanisation” of materials, mapping innovations on a global scale with a specific focus on sustainability;
@earthrise.studio, for its positive and proactive, yet informative and unimpeachable, approach to sustainability issues;
@lidewijedelkoort, the trend forecaster par excellence, the sacred monster for those, like me, who study and analyse trends;
@frecklesnur is always a source of great inspiration for me. The creation of a strong visual identity, the analogue approach to photography, also on Instagram, beauty in all its forms;
@design.emergency, the project by Paola Antonelli and Alice Rawsthorn that investigates the role of design in building a better future.
4. Would you call yourself a creative loner or do you like working in a group? Which activities, big or small, do you like to do strictly on your own? How do you do them?
Although I tend to have a solitary personality, my many years in the company have taught me the importance and beauty of teamwork. In general, I am grateful for the many people I meet through my work, and for the variety of projects, teams and professionals with whom I have the opportunity to measure myself and exchange ideas.
5. Your life outside the office consists of many trips, some of which I imagine inspire you. In this time of restrictions due to the pandemic, what are some alternative sources of inspiration that you have discovered? Can you tell us about them?
Certainly travel, which before Covid-19 took up significant part of my time, was an important and objectively irreplaceable source of inspiration: from trade fairs, to contact with clients, to pure leisure and research for its own sake. As an extremely curious person, however, I admit that I had no great difficulty in finding interesting ideas; the trend research platforms that I use daily for my work, in this sense, are an inexhaustible source of input and content. Then magazines, courses and webinars… And Instagram itself, which I follow and look after assiduously, is still a source of interesting connections and discoveries for me.
6. You have taught the Pattern Design course at IED and given workshops and lectures in various institutions, so you used to being in contact with the younger generation. What will you be looking for from the MM Award contestants?
I will be looking for genuine curiosity, works that explore the contemporary while projecting into the future with freshness and acumen.
7. In your private solitude, what music do you like to listen to? Do you prefer vinyl or Spotify? Low or loud music?
Music is another area in which I am extremely curious, I love to range from our extensive vinyl collection, many bought from around the world, to Spotify playlists and many podcasts. The tracks I’ve been listening to lately are “Please be my third eye” by La sera and “Whisky story time” by Alabaster DePlume. Also, an interesting podcast I recommend is “Solomodasostenibile” from the Create Tomorrow by WGSN channel.
8. In your work I see a constant dialogue between design (and therefore mass production) and craftsmanship. How do these two worlds coexist under your roof?
For many years, I grew up professionally in the company, in the midst of printing machines and colour kitchens of pigments for fabrics. Serial production is important to me, above all because it brings me back to the concept of accessibility, of a project to be experienced and to be included in everyday life, but always reminding me of the enormous craft heritage of our country. I believe in inclusive and non-exclusive design in all fields: the perfect balance between craftsmanship and seriality, in my opinion, is just that.
9. What is an object you are particularly attached to?
The objects I am particularly fond of are photos taken in photo booths around the world and traditional fans taken on various trips.