Meet Brigida Aiello first place garment winner in the 2020/21 Italy Student Design Competition. Brigida is a 25 year old fashion student studying a Masters in Fashion Design Womenswear and Fashion Design Menswear at Istituto Marangoni of Milan.
Tell us about your project?
VIRTUS is a project which takes its inspiration from the current situation, in which a small cell with crown shaped faces has transformed our lives. From this absolutely malignant virus, I analyzed the only positive aspect that this element offers: its shape. The proposed leather manipulations retrace the countless textures that it offers, through a careful analysis of the external facades and inner shell of the virus. In this way the virus becomes “virtus”, which in the world of Ancient Rome indicated the individual who was able to resist adversity ,and so manifested his value. The collection explores the versatile characteristics of leather and demonstrates how, starting from different kind of leather, the most varied forms can be created. In the collection, outfits alternate experimental forms with more linear ones. The colours chosen are inspired by the Earth, useful to express the link that the Virus has with nature.
What first attracted you to using leather for your designs?
Leather is a strong and durable material and it offers something that other materials don’t: its natural characteristics. Its uniqueness is given by its own transformation, which, over time, highlights its natural and particular signs.
What does participating in this competition mean to your career as a designer?
This competition allowed me to learn a lot about the leather, because I followed every step, from the idea to the realization. Thanks to the skills I have developed, I currently work in Leather Goods of a brand belonging to the LVMH group.
How do you think leather will adapt to a fashion industry increasingly focused on sustainability?
Leather is a by-product of the food industry, otherwise destined to be an object of disposal techniques that have a great impact on the environment. The tanning industry, on the other hand, recovers it, ennobles it and transforms it into a material with a very high added value and multiple intended use: one of these is precisely the fashion industry. So, in this sense, leather is a material that fully meets the demands of sustainability.
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