How exactly did you make the transition from architect to designer?
I cannot say it has been a real transition because I’ve always been involved in more than one field at the same time. When I was working as an architect I was also collaborating with Robert Wilson as a set designer. Previously, during my architecture studies, I had studied set design with Dante Ferretti.
Furthermore fashion is not that different from architecture, they have the same creative and production processes (fashion is just faster)! Each collection is a real project, which is born from an idea that takes shape with sketches and is then transformed into something concrete through the selection of materials, the development of details, the choice of color combinations and prototyping.
In this new project everything has been extremely challenging especially because there is a very limited offering of certified organic fabrics.
How has the use of natural fibers influenced your design?
My design relies heavily on textiles and natural monochromatic combinations. I focus on fabric and play with volumes that give a sculptural quality.
…Sourcing materials goes beyond checking Italian and international textile fairs and we pay particular attention to small niche textile producers. Thanks to this ongoing work we can find unique fabrics such as Ahimsa silk, a non-violent silk I discovered in India. Silkworm cocoons are not boiled as in the usual silk production process, but instead it begins after the complete metamorphosis from cocoon to butterfly. Furthermore it is hand spun with traditional methods that result in very high quality silk.
Now you are known for your good taste when it comes to fashion, but what was your style like when you were in high school?
I’ve never been a fashion victim but I’ve always loved quality clothes. My mother is from Milan and during the 70s she was a model. Her wardrobe has always been inspiring to me and my outfits were, even in high school, a mix and match from my wardrobe and hers. I have to say that elegance is in the Italian blood, since fashion is a National passion, so I think that compared to other countries we have an innate attitude to style.
How would you describe the attitude of the luxury world when it comes to eco-friendly design?
The world of luxury, especially the fashion world, has found its fortune on the sale of a dream, the market has never shown an interest in the real production processes, but now everything is changing because a new kind of attitude has become necessary.
Thinking about how we shape the future is becoming more important. We will all have to be more responsible, both socially and environmentally.
Eco-Friendly luxury is the new status symbol. It seems that the global tide of conspicuous consumption is turning away from traditional status symbols of the past and moving toward products and brands that support sustainability. Protecting the environment, improving healthcare and reducing poverty are the causes that global consumers care about most, and this involves the entire luxury market.
This is why there are always more eco luxury houses and hotels, not to talk about cars. All the American stars are now driving luxury eco cars. Fashion is very much a part of this bigger picture and this is a great sign that things are finally changing. Eco-friendly luxury is one of the last frontiers in terms of living and being.
Your business is growing. Do you think that you can keep it 100% made in Italy?
We believe in and will keep sustaining the 3Ps: profit, people, planet. Our major goal for the future is to keep on combining development, social balance and environmental protection.
That’s why our motto is “Re-fashioning the Planet;” we aim to be the new interpreters of the Made in Italy eco-friendly excellence.
Giulia Rien à Mettre sustains the idea of slow fashion through 100% Made in Italy items. We care about quality more than quantity. With the label, I search for a more significant interaction between designer and producer, producer and product, product and the person who will wear it. It is not just about the production chain, for me it is a link among persons.