AndreaCammarosano: There are two different impulses in this collection. There is the abstractness of the prints, in which play with non-figurative patterns. The title, "Invisible Bestfriend", refers to these prints and to everything beautiful and irrational, like fashion. On the other hand, there is a solidity in the cuts, which I would define very present, figurative, because they are classic, sound, very italian, and were partly inspired by historical clothing.
I like the combination of the two things, the abstract and the concrete. In San Francisco, where I live, people tend to think outside the box, you see all these hippy and psychedelic murals which are great because they are so abstract, unreal: it's like fresh air. That's where the marbled prints came from. On the other hand, there is tradition: I developed a strong bond with my Italian manufacturers, which gave me a more traditional approach to clothing. This is the reason why I chose I classic cuts, classic materials and especially simple proportions - with the exception of a cropped blazer, which I found very summery.
A third important aspect of this collection is that has a commercial outlook. I see a lot of things around which are wonderful but not wearable. Im not saying we don't need them, in fact I think they are essential - but this season all I wanted was color and simplicity. I want to provide men with a feasible but original wardrobe.
AC: I love summer cottons, and this was the predominant choice in the collection - together with the leather accessories, realised in collaboration with Scott Tal from Tauro Leather. Once again, this season I wanted to think practical and to use affordable fabrics that are comfortable in the summer.
The accent was not so much on the yarns, but on the different weights, especially the voile juxtaposed to the satin, and the satin to the calico. The main accent was on the prints: I stayed away from digital printing, which I find too common, and tried to find alternatives like the marbled prints.
These designs were patiently made in my laboratory, all by hand, using an old technique traditionally used on paper. Each of them is unique and different from the others. I think these prints will have a great success because they are random, surprising, they carry the hand of the artist, and they tell a whole story. I think customers want to see passion in clothing, and this is what I want to provide.
FM: Who is the hero of this collection?
AC: Probably an Italian hero. I think Italians have a funny way with innovation, for instance designers like Versace and Moschino were groundbreaking but at the same time never cold, never barren, while many people imagine the future sleek and minimal, numb, disenchanted.
Even somebody like Miuccia Prada, who is definitely one of my heroes and is ultra-modern, is never out of reach. Her menswear is sleak, sharp, but always has something warm and counter-intuitive to it. Maybe Italians are burdened with images and history, and the only way they have to innovate is to turn this burden around - I don't know, but I just like that sense of drama and irony, and that's what I put in my work.
I'm not obsessed with hard-wired geographical identity, but living abroad made me aware of things.
I'm reading now the
memoires of Giacomo
Casanova, it's a
work, longer than
and it's amazing.
I love what a charlatan he was, and how brilliant, and how much he traveled - he met Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot, he was absolutely hysterical and modern. He lied, in order to create; he explored, he was classy, enthusiastic. I wish men felt more often like that today, instead the idea is "we know it all". Yes, luckily we know a lot of things, but sometimes you have to pretend you don't know, in order to know better. This kind of man, that pretends to not know; the artist, this is my hero.
FM: What are your plans for the near future?
Many many things. Im starting a series of prints based on Casanova's life and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels - the harsh, original text, not the children version. These will be the prints for my winter collection. I established a collaboration with new Italian manufacturers, which will add knitwear, tailored suits and a line of ties and foulards to my collection.
I will continue my collaboration with Tauro Leather in San Francisco: together we realised awesome accessories this summer, and will carry on doing so in the winter.
I'm setting up my own print laboratory in San Francisco, in order to develop more hand-made techniqus, and Im teaching again at San Francisco's Academy of Arts University, where I coach senior students in branding projects, and in research and development think-tanks. But probably the most exciting thing is that my summer collection will be on sale on Yoox.com starting on September, together with a series of special pieces that I designed exclusively for Yoox.com.
This as a result of the Yoox Award I won in Pitti Immagine - it's a very dynamic and exciting project, because it will give us the possibility to distribute a summer capsule collection six months ahead of schedule and in 150 countries. We will talk about it soon, I can't wait!