From the moment I laid eyes upon Manfredi Manara’s shoes on Instagram, it was instant …
“Sometime ago I was forced, for health reasons, to stay locked up in hospitals for a long time and from there I realized the importance of being alive and staying in the open air, watching the colors of a sunrise or a sunset, feel the wind that caresses your face just for a minute and enjoying the scents that only the nature of this land can give you, even from a window.”
Tell us something about you and Isula Design!
My name is Francesca, I live and work in a small seaside village in the district of Sassari (in the North Sardinia). I like everything that has color, form and tradition. I am a nature and animals lover, I live with the fact that I love my dog Sunshine, who taught me to love his world!
I love to walk by the sea as well as in the countryside and I like stars, the moon, the sun, but also rain and melancholy. I consider myself a very (perhaps too) sensitive and emotional person, full of life. I like to smile and the smile on the face of the people I come close to sends me endless positivity! I am a natural and colorful food lover, as fruit and vegetables are. I think that in life there is always a lot to learn from other people, with humility and respect.
I graduated two years ago as a seamstress / modeler at the School of Art and Fashion in Sassari, for me a dream that came true and I want to continue creating with my style “SardAfrican”, because every woman wants externalize what’s inside, being free to feel colors and by being unique!
Can you tell us more about the ISULA PROJECT?
The project Isula design and the choice of the name was born out of this land, Sardinia, that is very close to me. It is my island that commands my heart, which offers different colors and shapes, but also distant Africa, which is also close in a sense!
Where do you find the inspiration?
The design of the clothes like the colors chosen for the fabrics are a reflection of a deep sense of belonging to my island, endless source of my inspiration. In each piece I try to interpret, with great respect and modernity, the ancient traditions of Sardinia and the bright colors and distinctive landscapes that this land gives to me. Mixing my Sardinians immense passion with the ancient soul and freedom of the African continent, the wonderful and colorful countrywomen, my collection becomes a perfect combination of ancient traditions and modernity, memories of deserts and unreachable mountains, open seas and splendid colors.
Each dress is the story of a mood, each color a feeling. Each collection is an old music.
Where was your passion born?
The passion for the art began as a child, growing quickly with a strong aesthetic sense towards clothing. As a teenager, I began to wish for a look that could fully represent my personality. Finding no garment that reflected my desires, exploded in me the urge to create by myself the wardrobe of my dreams.
Without ever having sewn, driven by a lively inspiration, I bought my first piece of cloth and alone, with the sewing machine of a dear friend, I created my first skirt. Driven by this magical inspiration, I created a garment after the other, with no experience, no pattern, just by looking, touching the fabric and getting carried away by instinct. My friends, affected by the visionary forms and evocative colors, asked me to create dresses for commission.
As if I had done nothing all my life long, I began to study by myself all methods to tailor, to improve day by day the quality of my clothes.
The requests came from people like me, who wanted to wear one of my dresses, out from the usual style, and they increase more and more and at some point it came natural the creation of a brand that identifies perfectly with my style.
I had the impression that nature plays a really important role in your world and for your fashion…
Oh yeah, I love to talk and listen to nature! Sometime ago I was forced, for health reasons, to stay locked up in hospitals for a long time and from there I realized the importance of being alive and stay in the open air, watching the colors of a sunrise or a sunset, feel the wind that caresses your face just for a minute and enjoying the scents that only the nature of this land can give you, even from a window. I think there is no better place to take photos for my clothes and feel in tune with it!
What does your logo represents?
The logo represents for me eternal freedom.
In fact the inspiration comes from the Egyptian key of life, which is also known as the Ankh, or the Egyptian cross Ankh. It is a T cross crowned by a circle, an oval and in some representations, by a snake that twists (the serpent is the symbol of wisdom and if chasing its tail forming a circle is a symbol of eternity). The form of the ankh remembers a key and that is also the reason why it is called “Key of Life” or “Key of the Nile”. Symbolic representation of life and survival after death, but it has been interpreted as a free butterfly, with Sardinian spikes.
The message is therefore to feel free, colorful, feminine, rich in tradition, but above all unique and special wearing my dresses!