If you've been following the prestigious Who is On Next? Uomo competition, then, I'm certain you've come across the name Lucio Vanotti. This scouting project of the Pitti Immagine Uomo, Altaroma and L'Uomo Vogue aims to discover new talents in men's fashion. This annual competition is open to Italians or designers based in Italy. Past winners include Trussardi's Umit Benan and Andrea Pompilio. Anyway, Vanotti was among this year's talented finalists. He's been in the industry for awhile now and I'm glad that he's finally getting the recognition he truly deserves. Vanotti's modern and minimalistic unisex creations vividly epitomize the Van de Rohe tagline - "Less is more". Everyone knows that both my Mom and I swear by that mantra as well. So it is indeed a pleasure to share to my readers this exclusive interview with one of Italy's rising menswear designers. (Yes, you heard him first HERE!)
1. Can you describe your latest collection entitled "Sleepwalker"? What was the idea behind it?
For me, the central cerebral idea is to develop a collection that can float between public and private sphere, a form of stasis between sleeping and waking. Furthermore, dressing according to a basic uniform is an important part of my thought process. Finally, the sleek softness merged with the idea of productive laziness inside one's own house inspired me (to do this collection).
2. Do you happen to sleepwalk yourself, Lucio?
Actually, I am not prone to doing so in real life, but at times I feel like a sleepwalker during the day.
3. What are the primary pieces from this collection?
Key pieces include the more loose-fitting, gentle pieces. If I had to choose one, it would be the constructed pajama trousers.
4. What is the general aesthetic of your brand?
I would define my work along the following words: Purism, concision, intimacy and concreteness.
5. Italy is known for its rich history and culture. Whenever you need inspiration where do you usually go?
Indeed, we Italians are lucky to have all this splendid culture that surrounds us. Personally, I love architecture. Milan, where we are based, happens to be full of fascinating buildings that trigger a rational and aesthetic response. There are plenty of things for me to see, guided by my instinctive urge to always look and explore.
6. There are several celebrated Italian couturiers. Which ones do you look up to?
Personally, I admire Giorgio Armani for his pure aesthetic. His work is essentially Italian. Also, he created a universe filled with consistency. And his success in the field can definitely be attributed for his outstanding managerial capacities.
7. If there's one thing you can change in the fashion industry now what would it be?
For me, it would be about time and the concept of it. If I could change one thing, I would like to design in an era freed from pre-set times for collection conceptions. It would be a natural time evolution like music or art.
8. I've recently read an article about your stand on mass production. You stated that "we should consume less but better". Do you mind elaborating this?
For me, it is important to consume rationally. I think we should return to give a certain dignity to the end-product. I have always found it rather wasteful and useless to produce goods that are not needed, which then end up in sales or outlet. It is a form of unnecessary societal and environmental pollution.
9. If you didn't end up working in the fashion industry where would you be?
I would like to be an interior designer of holiday cottages.
10. If you can pick a female and male muse for your newest collection who would it be and why?
Personally, I am at times inspired by particular persons, but have always felt more drawn to places, situations where people live, for example for this collection I imagined dressing individuals who live in the Villa Malaparte in Capri.
Big thanks to Marlo Saalmink and Lucio Vanotti for making this exclusive interview possible. It's always a pleasure featuring talented designers! I'm absolutely certain we'll be seeing this Italian designer for a long time!