INSPIRED BY HOME
Describing themselves as “simple people,” Stefano and Domenico were a couple for about 20 years, up until 2003. It’s an extraordinary testament to their professionalism that the pair have maintained their working relationship and that they continue to come up with fresh, relevant ideas that are globally celebrated.
“It’s a very collaborative process,” says Stefano of their work routine. “Ninety per cent of the time we work together. Sometimes we work independently and then we meet up and speak to each other about what we think.” Domenico points out, “We are old-style fashion designers; we make exactly what we feel. We take inspiration from everywhere—from a book, from TV, from people we meet, everywhere.” Stefano quickly adds, “The most important one is, of course, Italy, our culture and Sicily. It’s part of our life.” Adds Stefano, “We take our inspiration and transform the idea into a story. It’s not difficult to make a beautiful dress, but it’s very difficult to make a fantastic show. The interpreter is the model, the music, the stage, the ambience. We try to provoke an emotion with the audience, through the campaign, the picture, the fashion show. A designer’s job is to turn fantasy into reality.”
The tale for this spring/summer season is inspired by the wonder of their homeland. “For Italia is Love, we envisioned what it must be like for a foreigner to visit our cities and we painted this picture in our head—and then we began to sketch,” says Domenico. The women’s collection includes prints of images typically seen on vintage postcards. The men’s collection is dominated by Sicilian motifs juxtaposed with chinoiserie inspired by the Chinese Palace in Palermo. Dragons dance with puppet theatre icons, while red lanterns hang next to peacocks.
Beloved around the world, the brand’s relevance crosses international borders. “Clothing is an international language,” says Stefano. “You can say something without words. There is a culture with clothes—and you talk differently with the clothes that you wear.”
“People [in the fashion industry] don’t realise how good they have it,” concludes Stefano. “You should be enjoying every minute if you are doing what you love. We get to work with beautiful fabrics, beautiful people. I love it. I am so lucky to be doing what I love.”