“Don’t be afraid to express yourself, be individual! “ Maurice Whittingham …
“You have to find the courage to walk through new routes and leave back the old ones, even if it is only for a short time.“
From the Italian Academy of Art Fashion Design of Florence, she worked her way up to a stylistic studio in Modena then, later on, from the University of Art for Fashion in Berlin she finally found herself in Dallas, USA for one year, working for a luxurious atelier, where she obtained true satisfactions, merit and the launch of a certain career.
“In the months spent in the US, I have noticed that the job market in America is more dynamic compared with the one in Europe, but first of all, I have perceived that in order to establish professional relationships what matters are the merit and the substance. The famous American pragmatism is expressed literally in “Show me what you are able to do” far from the expression “Who send you here?”, often used here in Italy. You have to find the courage to walk through new routes and leave back the old ones, even if it is only for a short time. But mostly, you must work hard because, especially in the States, no one gives you anything, you have to earn it by yourself.”
Dallas became your new home, the reason of this choice?
Dallas offers everything you need, is a large city with a Texan conservative mentality and, in spite of this , still is the most liberal city of Texas, its slogan is “FRIEND”, they are extremely warm and welcoming but, at the same time, individualist. So, during my working experience in a luxurious atelier, I served clients from New York, Los Angeles, I performed also as a personal shopper, providing to the wealthy wives from Dallas Uptown with a personalized shopping experience from the comfort of their home. My boss at the time was Carla Martinengo from Milan, a former model (Armani, Valentino, Jean Paul Gaultier) who choose to move to Dallas 30 years ago, opening a boutique and start the import of all the European brands that nobody could find at that time on the market, was a challenge, she became the main competitor of the biggest name in the market, the Newman Chain.
Why have you decided to come back to Italy, in Modena to be specific?
“Modena is a wonderful city, we should appreciate it more than what we do. I choosed to come back for different reasons; after a lot of trips I needed to stop and look for a stable place to settle down, I could not neglect the call of my origins, this undeniable bond with the well known “BEL PAESE”, a country that make us so angry when we are here but, at the same time, a land that is so incredible and enviable when we are far from it.
After the anguishing loss of my grandmother, I took the final decision to come back, to undertake my fashion business and anchor it not only to a handmade production, but also to the Italian Excellence and sustainability, I personally prefer Italian workshops, I make use of organic fabrics coming from small Italian plantations, I believe and I work for a so called “Ethical fashion” with the intention of exporting all over the world. If one day I’ll go back to Dallas, I would do the same thing, managing my own atelier with an authentic Italian touch.”
What is this Ethical fashion you are talking about?
I am deeply inspired by Ethical Fashion and firmly believe in supporting the sustainability, the recycling, the intent to teach to the new generations the importance of having a critic and ethical attitude, together with handmade and the high craftsmanship level indentified my collections. There is also a great research for fabrics and their origin.
I use organic and certified fabrics coming from small Italian workshops and farms discovered through my ongoing collaboration with fair trade stores. I address my attention to the selection of 100% natural fibers like hemp, bamboo, nettle, bourette silk, satin. I decided to avoid the cotton for an historical and emotional reason. After a trip to New Orleans, the land of Blues and Jazz, I always connect cotton to the labor exploitation of slaves in the cotton plantations. My interest lay not only in the environmental sustainability, by avoiding fabrics which carry pesticides, toxic substances, colorants or produced with an extreme wastefulness of water, I care also about the social sustainability, hence, I believe that any fabric produced by exploiting human labour loses its added value.
What about your favourite fashion designers?
My inspiration derives from fashion designers such as Jil Sander, Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Ferragamo; I prefer a sophisticated style, urban chic, deconstructed with an Asian touch characterized by a high craftsmanship in fashion design.
What would you suggest to the youngest artists?
To start being brave, to bet on themselves, start promoting mutual help, building a collaborative and humanitarian spirit, and last but not the least, working hard. This is the time to go back to get sharp with our hands, heart and head, learning how to communicate with others and never forget that we are in a global world.
Yes, there is a wider world to conquer outside Italy and a large selection of online means at your disposal to reach it.
Visit me at : www.ceciliarinaldi.com/