Many named it the climax event of the 2017 Milan Fashion Week. It is the first edition of the Green Carpet Fashion Awards Italia organized by Eco-Age with the Italian National Chamber of Fashion. Our ECONYL® yarn was present both as the ingredient of a unique green carpet that decorated “Piazza della Scala” on the 24th of September and is also the yarn used by two of the finalists attending the Awards.
One of them is Leo Studio Design. We decided to interview Leo Macina, the founder of Leo Studio Design to discover the philosophy and inspiration behind the brand.
Leo Studio Design started its journey in 2015 with the first collection of shoes and leather objects. The love for leather and for “made in Italy” as a synonym for quality and care came from the close contact that Leo had with Italian artisans who passed their secrets down through generations.
La collezione pret a porter SS2017 amplia la gamma dei prodotti ed ottiene un grande successo ispirandosi a concetti come l’arte e la “joie de vivre” con ironia e freschezza.
Grande attenzione è riservata da Leo ai processi produttivi, alla scelta dei tessuti, dei materiali, dei volumi e delle stampe che costituiscono l’identità forte del brand Leo Studio Design. Lo Studio vuole unire le tradizioni del Made in Italy con la qualità unica dell’artigianato e le più moderne tecnologie. Per questo siamo onorati che abbia scelto di utilizzare il nostro filo rigenerato ECONYL®, un Nylon che viene dai rifiuti come le reti da pesca e i vecchi tappeti e che è rigenerabile infinite volte senza perdita di qualità.
Ecco l’intervista a Leo Macina, Fondatore di Leo Studio Design.
WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO START A CAREER IN FASHION DESIGN?
I decided after I saw my first runway by Valentino.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO PARTICIPATE TO THE GREEN CARPET AWARDS BY ECO-AGE?
Since my first collection, I have put sustainability in the foreground. We want to use eco materials and choose business policies that do not harm our planet. I wanted to take part in the competition so that the brand gains fame and visibility, because only a small percentage of companies can sell eco clothes (which are more expensive than the average).
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEW COLLECTION YOU ARE LAUNCHING?
The new collection is POP / CHIC / MADE IN APULIA/.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOUR CREATIONS? WHO IS YOUR TARGET CONSUMER?
My creations can be found in selected boutiques. My target is young people from 18 to 40 years old that always feel young and daring.
WHAT IS PUSHING YOU TO INCLUDE SUSTAINABILITY IN YOUR CREATIONS?
It’s essential to me. I give life to all my creations in small family labs where exploitation doesn’t exist, and all fabrics are made in Italy, eco-friendly and printed with water-based inks.
REGARDING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY, WHICH DOES YOU THINK ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN THE FASHION WORLD?
The biggest problem in the fashion world is the economics because brands often want to have higher and higher profits which causes them to sometimes sacrifice sustainability in favor of economic interest.
WHY IS TRANSPARENCY SO HARD TO OBTAIN IN THE FASHION WORLD?
Because there are many economic interests.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE MATERIALS? IS SUSTAINABILITY PART OF THIS PROCESS?
I choose materials that mostly come from small companies, or I ask for the needed certifications before buying.
WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR NEW MATERIALS?
I visit industry exhibitions, and I look for them online. I visit companies to check the process from beginning to end.
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT OUR YARN?
I did some research online, and I found the website and social media.
WHAT WAS THE REACTION OF CONSUMERS TO YOUR COLLECTION?
Consumers are very interested in eco-friendly products, but communication and advertising are needed. This is difficult for a small company like mine because significant investments are required to bring, for example, a garment made with ECONYL® yarn to final consumers.
WHAT WAS THE CREATIVE SPARK FOR THE GARMENTS YOU ARE PRESENTING AT THE AWARDS? WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM?
The idea always comes from Apulia, where I get my inspiration.
WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS NORMALLY? WHERE DO YOU GET INSPIRATION FROM, AND WHERE DO YOU START?
It depends. Sometimes I get inspiration from a picture; other times, from walking in the villages or watching a movie or a TV series.
DO YOU HAVE A MODEL DESIGNER OR BRAND?
WHAT SUGGESTIONS WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER THAT WANTS TO START A CAREER IN THE WORLD OF SUSTAINABLE FASHION?
To be committed and never give up. And don’t think about profit.
WHO ARE THE OTHER PEOPLE BEHIND LEO STUDIO DESIGN?
There are many labs – of shoes, leather, tailoring, and embroidery – that supported me from the very beginning. Back then I was only a waste of time to them because behind my brand there are no big investors. We have done it all alone, my partner and I, starting from the ground up.
WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON?
Next season has Miami as a motif, so everything that is connected to this city. Already in this collection are some garments that are eco-friendly, but from the upcoming collection, FW18, there will be a section dedicated to eco-friendly clothes. To create green fashion means a greater attention to many aspects. It is not only a matter of using an eco-friendly fabric. That is on 10% of the product. There is also the prints, applications, embroidery, labels and hangtags, packaging, shipping, and logistics…it’s difficult.
ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON A NEW PROJECT?
Yes, I’m working on the fall/winter collection 2018, and I would love to be able to collaborate with Aquafil and use ECONYL® fiber.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR BRAND IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?
I would love to have my runway at Milano Fashion Week and open a series of flagship stores.
On Sunday 24th of September, at the Teatro La Scala, Leo Studio Design with other four finalists presented their creations for The Franca Sozzani GCC Award for Best Emerging Designer. Naomi Campbell and Sara Sozzani Maino awarded designer Tiziano Guardini.