This is my story; and wrote it was the most difficult thing I ever made.
But I believe that if you don't know where I came from, where I grown up, you will know only a quarter of my brand...
I hope you will enjoy the voyage on my childhood...
" I was born and raised in a town near Venice, which is nestled between the Venetia Lagoon and the Brenta River.
My house stands on the ancient riverbed of the Brenta River. It is protected from the wind by its bank and century ago transformed into a street; the other, the lowest bank, see a local railway pass which connects Bojon in Venice approximately every hour every day.
My childhood was happy.
I had parents who were close to me. They never made me miss anything and taught me the importance of valuing friendships people.
The most important people for my childhood and growth, however, were my grandparents.
I spent whole afternoons with them and at their home. When I came home from school, waiting for my mother to pick me up after school. She is a teacher and often had returns and meetings after!
I remember that while I was doing my homework I liked to watch my grandmother, Elsa, wash the dishes or hang the clothes, I learned how to make my first coffee from her.
Grandma also taught me the love for other people and for animals.
She taught me education and etiquette, she told me that education and respect for older people than me were essential to making a good impression, both in private life and at work.
Despite demanding that I always behave well, she never made me miss her love for a single day. I could feel it in the cuddles, her small gestures of encouragement - and the sweet words she said to me before go to bed; something she proclaimed all the hours she spent by my side when I was sick. Even if she is gone now, but the affection and love I feel for her are unchanged.
My grandfather's Aronne memories are all concentrated in his shop next to the garage, where he worked wood as a hobby. I spent hours in that room fascinated by the movements of his hands and arms, how my grandfather was able to create statues and furniture using a plane and a carpenter's chisel.
The scent of freshly cut wood, of curled shavings falling to the floor, carried me to a world made of fairies and elves of the woods, where everything is in peace and harmony.
I believe that the passion for manual work derives from my observing and watching him while he worked.
Even today, when I smell the scent of freshly cut wood, my mind flies to the happy times I spent with my grandfather.
During the summer, I also went to visit other grandparents, my grandmother Ila was seamstress, from whom I learned to sew, and my grandfather Amedeo was a blacksmith.
I still remember the hot summer days, when my grandmother let me stay in her atelier and watch her create clothes for her clients.
I have always found her ability to transform a rectangle of fabric into a creation that was then worn magical, I was enchanted to watch her skilled hands making the buttonholes of the jackets with the silk thread, or the microscopic stitches she made in the invisible hems.
I think the first thing she taught me was the invisible hand hems.
It was so exciting for me to help my grandmother (I only later found out that the patches she gave me were clippings from her work), I remember getting mad because I wasn't as fast as she was, and so I spent hours and hours practicing to become good and precise as she is.
Now that I'm an adult, I realize that her teaching was a ploy to keep me calm while she worked, but for this I will always be grateful, because with these tricks of hers I approached and passionate about sewing and the world of fashion.
When, after graduation, I told her that I had been accepted to the Master in Fashion product and Programme Management in Milan, she told me that I had made her proud and that she was the happiest person in the world, because I would follow in her footsteps.
I think it was the first time I saw her cry in my entire life, but they were tears of joy and they made me realize how much she loved me and how much she cared about me.
Instead, the time I spent in my grandfather's blacksmith shop was the time of play and fun with my cousins. The workshop was located on the family farm, so there was plenty of space to run and play and get sick.
Although the workshop was off limits to us children, many times we sat just outside the large doors to watch our grandfather and uncles working the iron.
It was fascinating to see how they heated the piece of iron, beat it on the anvil with the hammer, worked following a precise rhythm, which was almost a melody, to give the right angle and shape to the iron, then it was cooled by immersing it in water and they left to rest.
When they had to weld the various elements together, they forced us to stay very far away, so as to protect us from the incandescent sparks that the iron gave off, but it was still nice to see how the artistic gates took shape slowly, one piece at a time.
Looking at them, I understood and learned the value of handcrafted things and how precious time is.
If the iron was not hot at the right point, with the first hammer it would have broken, while if you did not wait for the time necessary for complete cooling after giving it the shape, it would have broken at the first press.
Over the years, I realized that all these crafts that my grandparents did, were closely linked to time, nothing had to be done in a hurry, you had to respect the time of the materials that were used, you could not force them to being faster, the risk of losing all your work was too high.
I learned the art of patience and waiting from them and their life experiences.
All my grandparents were born between the two World Wars, and they were teenagers or young people when World War II broke into their lives.
From their stories of that time, I learned that you know who it was on the front and who it was at home, the important thing was to learn to wait: wait for the right time to go out, wait for the bombing to end, know when it was time to to speak and when to be silent. All of them made the Resistance against the Nazi-Fascism here in Italy, and in that period they learned well the value of unions and bonds between people, they created friendships that were almost fraternal, there they learned what it means to be loyal and in solidarity with their fellow men, and all these values have passed on to my parents and also to me.
Even my parents, who grew up with the values taught to them by my grandparents, educated me and raised me in the wake of respect for others and human rights, they taught me with their example to share my ideas, and that decisions are made together.
With my parents we have always discussed everything, they taught me to think with my head but not to talk nonsense.
Before expressing a concept or my idea about a certain topic, they taught me, lovingly but firmly, to inform myself from multiple sources and if I did not understand something, to deepen until it was clear to me what it meant; only then could I express my idea so it would be clear to everyone and there would be no possibility of wrong interpretations.
The first exercises on exchanging ideas and comparisons I had with my brother Carlo, he is younger than me, but he is stubborn and determined like me, so we inevitably had verbal confrontations, even heated ones.
Despite our quarrels, our relationship is strong and solid, for all we are a positive example of brotherhood, we support each other, we talk every day, we laugh and joke together even if we are far away.
Even today we sometimes have divergent points of view, and sometimes we still argue, but the bond that unites us is unique, we both know that whatever happens we are there for each other, and if one of us in difficulty, the there will always be more to defend and help him.
Every summer we used to go to the mountains in the Alps, and there, although I didn't like walking because I'm very lazy, we went into the woods looking for mushrooms.
Over the years I have learned to recognize them, also thanks to the local elders, who checked them for us, so as to be sure they were edible and not poisonous.
Although years have passed, I understood what my father and my mother meant by "when you don't know something, study".
They realized that their limited knowledge of mushrooms had put all of us at risk, so they sat in the kitchen, studying mycology books to avoid the same mistake in the future.
My father has always been passionate about astrology and computer science, so since childhood he taught me to use the computer, it was a computer from the 80s with the MS-DOS system.
I think my literacy started on that keyboard, because to launch the games I had to use strings with codes, so either I learned the letters or I would never be able to play or draw with the computer.
During the months we spent in the mountains, dad took the opportunity in the evening to show me the constellations and their movements in the sky, we were able to do these things only there, because in the plains where we lived there was, already in those years, too much light pollution and stars they didn't see each other well.
Now that I live in England, when in the evening I raise my eyes to the sky, and see the chariot Major, the chariot Minor or Venus, even if they are in different positions than how I saw them in Italy, it is as if I had my dad close to me. points to the stars and tells me their names.
Perhaps it is for this reason, that wherever I am in the world, when I am worried or very stressed, I raise my eyes to the night sky and calm down, because it reminds me of moments of calm and serenity spent with my family, especially with my father who is my wolf protector.
My mother Donatella, as already mentioned, is a primary school teacher, but she has never been a teacher with me, she has been always and only my mother, the one who taught me to behave well, who taught me to read and transmitted to me the passion for reading. I owe my love for books to her, books since I was a child have always taken me to other worlds, some beautiful, others less, but thanks to her encouraging to read anything, she made me know the feelings and nuances of life.
I have learned that there are good people who work for others, and others who are negative, who do things for calculation and for personal gain, mom taught me to distinguish them, to recognize them and to avoid them, or as she says to stay far away.
Mum is also a very good embroiderer, I loved sitting next to her, when we were in the mountains, watching her embroider cardigans, tablecloths and curtains. She made such fine and elegant stitches that she made embroideries that looked like paintings, sometimes it took her months and months to finish a single embroidery, it was painstaking work.
It was fascinating to see how she counted the stitches, passed the thread, counted other stitches and then passed the thread again. I still haven't figured out how she managed to turn the work inside out to cut the threads without ruining everything.
She was, and still is, my pillar, my North: when I feel that I am getting lost just call or think of it, and I feel better, I find my inner balance, when we hug I feel a sweet rain of stillness and serenity descend on me.I would have many other things to say about my mom, but I will only add that I am lucky and grateful to have such a relationship with my mother, she has never made me miss anything, neither from a material point of view, but above all from an emotional point of view, I she always brought her love to me, even when as a teenager I was intractable and angry with the whole world.
Obviously as a teenager, I hated everything and everyone, but in truth they were the best years of my life.
I made friends that today I count among my closest and dearest friends, they were years of great training, not only at school but also personal.
I attended the Liceo Artistico Statale in Venice, a school that, despite everyone saying that nothing was done, made me stay in a historic building on the bank of a canal, for forty hours a week.
At school I learned to draw, to paint, to create works in clay and then in plaster, from classical bas-reliefs to interior design works with various materials (from metal to wood, to recycled plastic) but above all, I found an environment which gave me the opportunity to express my creative potential to the maximum, they did not set us limits as regards the artistic field.
The professors pushed us to create our own style, I realize now that we were modeling clay, and their job was to help us forge our personalities, without ever interfering heavily on our work, rightly correcting the technical gaps, but never contesting the concept that was the basis of our work, indeed, often encouraged us to dig deeper into the idea to improve it and know how to explain it to the rest of the world.
These were the years in which we made sketches inspired by the marine world, and then they were made in glass, in the forges of Murano, to then be exhibited throughout Europe in a traveling exhibition as part of European school projects on the birth of 'European Union.
Our teacher of Painting Decoration and Human Figure taught us that in our life we had to combine knowledge with know-how.
At the time it seemed like a boring and repetitive thing, but over time I and all my high school mates, we realized that this mantra gave us an extra boost compared to the others; it is normal for us to do something manual, but before we study it and understand how to do it best.
During my university years, I didn’t have the chance to use this skills, because I studied, in the prestigious and ancient University of Padua, International Relation and Humar Right, it was so big and extensive that I had time for nothing else.
After graduation, during a holiday trip from work in Arizona, something change in me.
I was on the top of a Indian sacred mountain in Sedona, looking the amazing red rocks landscape in front of me, and a tought struck me: “ Why I am wasting my time doing invoices in a factory, when my real desire and my dream since I was six it is be a fashion designer, create my own collection and my dresses?”
So, when I went back to the mountain, I stopped in a grocery store and I bought pencils and a sketch pad.
It was the 14th August 2008, after eight years I started to draw again, and in that moment I realized how much I had missed drawing. As I proceeded with the drawing, I felt more and more free and my mind seemed to flourish again, as if it were returning to life.
As I continued to draw, sitting on the edge of that beautiful pool surrounded by palm trees, I felt a peace and calm that I haven't felt in years.
There, in that moment, I realized that I could not do any other work other than the creator of clothes and paintings.
When the inspirational moment gave way to rationality, I decided to try to access a very selective Master at the Accademia del Lusso in Milan.
After returning from my trip, I talked about it with my family, and we decided that trying to log in was a good idea, at most they would reject me.
After a long series of tests and interviews, I was accepted to the Master in Fashion Product and Program Management course, there were six places available in total, four of us were selected from all over the world.
During my studies in the field of fashion, I applied the fundamental given to me at the Liceum: combine knowledge with know-how.
Especially when my collection teacher during the Master, to my question "But how do we know if the garment I'm designing is feasible or not?"
He replied “You don't have to take care of this, the pattern makers will take care of that. You just have to do the drawing ",
So, after calling my family, telling them what I was told, we decided that after finishing this theoretical master, I would go to a Fashion Professional school to learn how to make paper models, cut and sew, otherwise any garment or collection I would have made in the future they would have been beautiful designs in the hands of other professionals, who could have modified them as they pleased, and I would not have been able to understand if it was really impossible to make them or just laziness on the part of the supplier.
Today I know that every garment I design is perfectly achievable, precisely because I am a complete stylist.
The person I am today is the summary of a whole life spent seeing my family working in the artisan way, and before doing everything, taking the time to study and think about possible solutions.
Combining knowledge with know-how, even if one of my professors coined it, is truly my family's motto, and mine too."