Contemporary creativity: interview with Francesca Liberatore

Once, the cities of fashion and transgression were Paris, Milan, and London. There you would find the finest Haute couture and prêt-à-porter. Today this powerful industry, that is continuously evolving, has opened doors for hundreds of fashion weeks in nearly every country in the world. Fashion is a manufacturing business, not just a social, artistic and artisanal phenomenon. New markets with the likes of New York are taking over Paris. Gareth Pugh is yet another renowned name leading the charge. In September he will open a show in America rather than France. If “success in America is measured in earnings and celebrity” wisdom words by Yissey Yamamoto, when she spoke regarding the future of fashion.  New York is certainly the place to be thanks to the significant presence of serious and structural buyers. 

Francesca Liberatore is a young fashion designer from Rome who, through the contest “DHL Exported” was selected to present a collection, the following September, during the New York Fashion Week. She represents the ideal image of contemporary creativity: an international education via St. Martin School in London, the experience with famous brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Viktor&Rolf and Brioni, but above all a strong cultural root as the daughter of an artist. She works in Rome, in a space carved from her father’s sculpture studio, as well as in Paris, London and Milan. She teaches at Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. A rather well accomplished 30yr old designer.
 

 

 

Q: How did you come to present a collection in New York?

A:  A telephone call from Cameramoda to inform me of the event, two weeks of filling out application forms to fulfill innumerable prerequisites, around a month of waiting for the finalists and then a few weeks of suspense for the winners. It was the chance of a lifetime, applied for by so many, and in New York – the most competitive, and I thought most unreachable place. But everything was offered to me by Destiny on that famous silver platter; I told myself that at 30 I would have jumped forward, that the first time I’d set foot in N.Y. would be for my work and that’s what happened.

So I’m setting foot in the capital of ready-to-wear as a winner, supported by professionals that have had the foresight to give this chance to selected talent. I was happy and honored to enter this contest for two reasons: firstly, because it is judged by an American commission as well as impartial international parties, and secondly because I got to the final with a friend; a great artist I respect both professionally and personally. I think this is one of the few real contest opportunities, healthy competition with other strong international stylists, and the possibility to attract big names in the fashion market. Also, to work, learn and explore a world of professionals that always seem like so detached from reality but have the enthusiasm and dynamism just like the DHL team that made the impossible possible!

 

Q: Do you think your brand is international enough to take on another continent?

A: I’d say the style is international, because of my education at the Central Saint Martins in London, Amsterdam with Viktor&Rolf and Paris with Jean Paul Gaultier, but with a strong background of Italian culture. This comes through in my work, being entirely an artisanal Made in Italy product, something I picked up working with the superfine tailoring of ‘old’ Brioni and now developed with the majesty of the Sartoria Napoletana which I’ve had the pleasure to work with recently.

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More : ANTINORI, A GROUNDBREAKING $100 MILLION WINER by Claude Forthomme
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Q: Many important names have left Paris for N.Y. Why do you think that is?                                                          

A: I think it depends on the type of product. Paris is the dream; the magic of fashion has always included inherent characteristics of couture, with the refinement of an entirely French history that knows how to evolve but is stable and steady. For a foreigner it is a point of arrival, not a moment of evolution and experimentation. Personally, what I’d ideally like to pursue is to glean some of London’s underground creativity, consolidate the product in Milan, present it internationally in the capital of marketing and ready to wear, to obtain the keys and eventually arrive in Paris with the competitive image and supported by a well known brand.

 

Q: What do you expect from New York?

A: To be able to take advantage of this opportunity and open up new markets; firstly, for my career and secondly to astound all those who have given me this chance! It’s the realization of the umpteenth fundamental career step, which other than the gratification of the work done up to today is the confirmation of the veracity of the fact that a genuinely good artist will find success despite of being difficult to get into the industry with no external help.

Of course, I want to push my female line to the limit, supported also by leather bags, as well as a male line thanks to a magnificent collaboration with the Sartoria Napoletana and Tommaso Occhiello, who showed me the savoir fare of the Neopolitan tradition, the experience of excellent professionals and their passion for artisanal products. Anyway, the creation of new projects as well as the continuing of the current ones.

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