Massimo Mariotti on the journeys of Fashion

Born and raised in Rome which he witnessed become a world center of fashion, Mariotti is today an important figure of Italian craftsmanship. Founder of De Couture, a sur-mesure bag brand, the designer has worked with the biggest names of the industry such as Gianni Versace. Sharing his knowledge during a two hour long conference, Mariotti tackled many principles students should be aware of before starting their career. Providing vivid analogies of what fashion is, he fondly talked about the journey clothing represents. From the studio into shops or as a true process of understanding (how clothes should be built, how ideas can turn into reality, what the people want…), fashion has myriads of meanings and his speech made one thing clear : students should first embark of a journey of understanding what their story can bring to that of fashion. Mariotti’s personal focus is a deeply challenging one : making sure the classic Italian style remains relevant to this day and age. Keeping a perfect balance between classics, trends and innovations is a process few can do yet something the designer seems to have mastered. While he believes creativity is key to owning a fashion business, he acknowledges the importance of cohesion and communication. “No matter how outstanding a collection might be, it means nothing until people know about it,” he declared. Here is our insightful interview with him about what he called the “Art of stitching”. What would be your advice to a designer wanting to start his own label today ? I have to confess starting a new brand in this period is not an easy task. We are still suffering the consequences of Covid-19 and the market has not yet regained its full powers. I would suggest though to try and physically present your collections at fashion weeks, showrooms or markets. Contests such as the LVMH prize or anything that could help you gain visibility is what you should aim for. Building a strong team is also necessary to me if you truly want to succeed. What is your definition of Made in Italy? To me, Made in Italy is different from what we call the “Italian style”. Made in Italy is the art of making things while the latter is a form of natural elegance. Artisans are such a strong part of our culture that when I was younger, you could find a tailor or sartoria (a dressmaker’s shop) in every building of the country. The culture of hand speaking is deeply rooted in Italy- not only are we expressive with our hands while speaking, we speak and express ourselves through the things we make with them. What are your inspirations at the moment? Like many people, the future of sustainability is a huge point of focus for me. Fabric alternatives are something I truly want to dive into to make my legacy a lasting one… Of course, I am also always extremely inspired by the 1980’s. My next collection will focus on the London New Wave and its dark atmosphere

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