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- How would you describe yourself to someone who doesn’t know you?
Creative, distracted, stubborn, insecure, altruistic.
- How did the idea of creating _DENNJ_ come about?
I am originally from the province of Emilia, a small town of a few souls. After some experience in the most different sectors, I met my definitive vocation in the atelier of a local stylist, whom I met just for fun during lunch breaks from my official work. With her, I rediscovered the slow rhythms and learned about the field of sartorial precision, concepts that rhyme with uniqueness. It all started with a t-shirt capsule, then the dream expanded. Thanks to a brief but necessary experience in a fashion school in Milan - a city that became home - I began to learn the language of fashion and the mechanisms of that industry. With this added value, I return to my daily testing ground: the sewing machines. Here I draw, experiment, try, imagine, and realize, acquire manual skills. An exercise in style that I do not skip for a single day.
-Would you like to tell us about your creative process? Each of your garments has been made from recycled fabrics. How do you choose the parts from these, and what technique do you use to assemble your garments?
It's always a surprise! Sometimes I start with an idea and other times with a need. I begin by researching through fashion archives, fashion shows, virtual museum tours, and designer biographies until I get lost in the hundreds of open browser windows. Then I switch to paper, and so on. It can take a day or a week. After all, I am saturated, and the rest of the process is quite technical. Concerning the choice of fabrics, I almost always work with natural second-life microfibres. That has to be washed, ironed, and prototyped. All the fabrics I use are salvaged from flea markets, travel, second-hand, vintage, or donations. Sometimes there is not enough fabric for what I want to create, so I start making matches until I get a color card. And finally, I make the garment, with the pattern and clean fabrics. Once I have finished the whole drop, I can think about the mood board, where I pick up everything I had found in the research phase, elaborate on it, and select and create the digital story for stylists and social.
- What is the perfect occasion to wear one of your garments?
My garments are bold, unique, exclusive, avant-garde, unconventional, and artistic. My customers recognize their quality, preciousness, and consciousness. I dress personalities with strong styles, and identities with exceptional, non-conforming visions, for whom every day is a perfect occasion.
- When and how did you decide to become a designer who supports the concept of circular fashion?
For years we have been overwhelmed by clothes we throw away, without distinction between well-made and fast fashion. We keep producing, buying, and owning and always want to have something new to wear. So I said enough is enough and set some rules. I recycle and transform garments, and I produce a few of them, all unique. The double face is one of my fixed points. I think it is very important giving at least two faces to a garment. I make the garment multifunctional so customers can use it as a chameleon accessory in their wardrobe. And in the same way, I make it wearable in several sizes. Production slows down, certainly, but the finished product is more precise and reasoned. I take solutions and contrivances from the history of fashion (they used to be sustainable!) and bring them to nowadays. The customer should end up with a timeless piece, that will last forever.
- What kind of changes would you like to see in the fashion industry?
I would like to see a slowdown in the whole fashion industry and maybe use time, money, and resources to find solutions for satisfying our desire for something new, without harming the planet.
- What is the best advice someone has given you?
The first tip given to me is still the best. I was talking to Luz Molina, my dear friend and designer, who taught me most of what I know. I asked her where I could start researching for my first collection, and she answered: look into your wardrobe or in your family one. Even looking at your father's shirts can give you ideas; we are creative! I always carry this advice with me, it gives me strength.
- And the worst?
I was told that sometimes I should adapt my product to the market needs. Nothing could be more contrary to my beliefs. Being coherent with oneself is the only way to define a designer's identity in the ocean of fashion.