N: Hi Erica, it's a pleasure to have this conversation with you. How are you? Could you provide us with some insights into your background and how you became involved in the world of fashion?
E: Hey, it's a great pleasure for me as well! Let me introduce myself, my name is Erica, and I attended a specialization course in pattern-making and tailoring. After that, I graduated from a three-year course in fashion and arts at IUAV in Venice and, to conclude my studies, I attended a short knitting course in Milan.
N: One aspect that stands out in your work is your meticulous attention to detail, materials, and the tactile experience of your clothes. Can you elaborate on your fabric sourcing process?
E: The study of sensory responses has always been my main design input. A personal sensitivity towards materials took hold from the beginning, as I always wanted to modify the material as a means to influence the personality of the garment.
Initially, I delve into the qualitative character of the material, often seeking fabrics of natural origin. Later, I explore how to embellish it by learning about the various ways it can be manipulated, through experimentation, and finally, how to make it subjective. The result is a chaotic aesthetic of handmade workings and overlapping different materials.
A particular sensitivity towards recycling and its various manifestations has driven my curiosity to investigate how to personalize these themes while connecting them to my aesthetics. The commitment to ecological support has provided the design input to reuse waste material and present it in new forms.
Since waste material has no value, it can only change and grow from its intended use.
N: Your style could be characterized as romantic and feminine. Would you agree with this description? How would you describe your aesthetics to someone unfamiliar with your work?
E: It is the female body, in all its universal and unique forms, which is the true focus and starting point of a creative process that centers on time and its variations. I experiment with production techniques to create objects that transcend the traditional definition of clothing.
N: Navigating the fashion world as a young designer is no easy feat. What is the most significant lesson you've learned since launching your own label?
E: This project began during the COVID pandemic. Since then, I've learned to grow step by step and appreciate small personal and professional growths without necessarily aiming for an endpoint.
N: I think of your brand as part of a broader movement that we could call "slow fashion." It seems we are moving away from the idea that designers must create two collections a year and produce extravagant fashion shows to secure their place in the industry. What are your thoughts on this shift?
E: The frenetic pace of fashion trends has led to garments being consumed for the brief period they are desirable, only to be easily replaced, nullifying their value.
The change now should be in the perception and consumption of clothing, leading to a more personal view and more responsible consumption.
If it's true that slowness adds value to quality, the time spent designing and creating the garment should aim to overcome time barriers. As if the prolonged creation times would extend its consumption and determine the emotional value of the object.
The extension of a garment's life is not only determined by its qualitative value but also by its subjective and emotional value, allowing the garment not to have an expiration date.
N: Thank you, Erica. One last question: where do you see yourself in 5 years?
E: I hope to take further steps forward and delve deeper into all aspects of design and experimentation. Expanding into the global creative scene, I wish for a more conscious reassessment of the system.