This blog was born to talk about sustainable fashion in its most varied aspects but I do not deny that one of my favorite things is to find out and then write about new brands or brands that have been operating for a while in the sector without finding or having the opportunity to be known to a wider audience. I refer above all to self-produced brands, small companies behind which are designer who are also artisans, because they produce by hand in a limited edition.
Like Carlotta Fiorini, a designer from Bologna who in 2012 created aniMANIli, a garments and accessories brand that in its name already contains the passions and components of her private and professional life: animals, to which she has always felt a deep empathy (and how to give her wrong), the soul, their and her own, the one that also puts in her creations and, obviously, her hands, precious tools of work.
Designer by training, with a specialization in footwear but with a seamstress mom who imprints her already in childhood, Carlotta arrives at her brand after a few years spent as woman shoes designer for labels like Casadei, Diego Dolcini and Gucci and not before having tried, “with infinite difficulties and perhaps prematurely”, as she herself admits, to create and market her own line of vegan shoes.
A seamstress mom, experience in stylistic design and tailoring skills, so why shoes and not, instead, a clothing line? Said done Carlotta founded aniMANIli with the artist Serena Balbo, with whom she collaborates fruitfully for a few years, after which Serena continues her artistic career and Carlotta goes on with the creation of collections that over time maintain certain characteristics such as stylistic research, the sartorial realization, details and excellence of raw materials but above all the belief that fashion can and should take the commitment to be ethical too. Therefore, in addition to the total exclusion of materials of animal origin, also linked to its animal rights and ecological ‘faith’, the designer favors organic fabrics with low environmental impact, innovative microfibers and valuable recovery materials that come from end of series and samples.
The use of ‘recovered’ fabrics thus allows her to offer high quality pieces without reaching prohibitive costs; handmade, the handicraft product already inevitably drives up costs linked to labour and people often does not understand that a piece made entirely by hand has its own cost. It is a delicate subject, and one that maybe we don’t talk about very much, I mean that of costs and how it is still difficult to make people understand the added value that has an artisan product, especially when it is self-produced. I recently discussed it with other designers at the fair ‘Fa’ la cosa giusta! ‘, they themselves pointed out to me how difficult it is to transmit this type of message to the consumer who wants ‘made in Italy’ and quality materials and welcomes sustainability but then complains about costs.
Carlotta’s love for nature, indeed Nature, as she rightly defines it, in all its forms, comes to life in the collections of aniMANIli, Nature which is an infinite source of inspiration, of emotion, so full, so rich, so varied. ‘Differenti Fiori’ is the latest capsule collection that talks about romance and rigor, a stylistic oxymoron that translates into garments that combine delicate hand-painted floral motifs with geometric constructions characterized by folds and pleats. And so here is the lightness of a petal duet with the symmetry of a leaf, the ethereal transparency of a feather contrasts with the geometry of a pleat, all on natural materials ranging from cotton to viscose, from bamboo to organic yarns. Nature is the absolute protagonist, “a purpose to which to pay tribute”.