Craftsmanship and Italian tradition are at the centre of all designs for the founder of La Barbera. The London College of Fashion graduate creates luxury products by combining constant research of materials and new techniques. The brand focuses on the analysis of the relationship between objects and people. This intangible affection, this synergy between object and subject as a process of mutual becoming is the core of the research of theirs. In light of his most recent feature as part of our Graduate Talent Programme in the October issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK, we had the pleasure of speaking to the Global Young Talent 2020 about the extraordinary collection that portrays everyday life in its serendipitous moments.
How important to you was it to include Italian heritage and craftsmanship in your pieces and brand ethos?
Being raised in Italy and growing up with a strong perception of the ‘Made in Italy’ as a value to be proud of, it is essential to my brand ethos. I believe it is essential to keep alive Italian heritage and the craft linked to it, that is why this collection is a celebration of craft collaborating with Italian companies and artisans.
"Being raised in Italy and growing up with a strong perception of the ‘Made in Italy’ as a value to be proud of, it is essential to my brand ethos."
How does sustainability play a role in your collections?
I sourced high-quality fabrics that are made in Italy from 100% natural fibres and are completely traceable. Regarding design, it is important to promote durability creating high-quality garments that set aside from current trends and are timeless. Craft is a very powerful tool, it imbues a garment with a deep meaning that can be recognised.
What was the inspiration for the bold and linear shapes in your garments?
The synergy between object and subject as a process of mutual becoming is the core of the research for this collection. It is also an object of investigation through my practice as a designer, nurturing a new definition of materialism based on emotions and affect. I used voyeurism as a practice to study people on the streets and observe how they relate with everyday objects. How they walk and how the garments move. It is about portraying everyday life in its serendipitous moments.
"I sourced high quality fabrics that are made in Italy from 100% natural fibres and are completely traceable."
Was sourcing the right materials a lengthy process to find the correct ones?
It was quite an organic process. It was mostly about finding the right compromise between high quality and suitability.
Do you believe you fully encapsulated your original design idea, or has it changed for the better to receive a different outcome?
I believe a successful designer should be able to convey the idea through the final outcome. This collection is narrating the story I had in mind, but, at the same time, the design process is always unpredictable, in a positive way. That is the beauty of creating a collection, you never know what the outcome will look like until it is done. I like to think that this unpredictable nature of the process is also what makes it genuine and pure. It is not overthought, it just happens.
"This collection is narrating the story I had in mind, but, at the same time, the design process is always unpredictable, in a positive way."
Discover La Barbera's full collection
Words by Reka Sara