I always liked designing clothes, since I was a kid but growing up in a small village made my approach to fashion quite slow. I knew I liked to design clothes but I had no idea what fashion actually meant or what it entailed. Then soon after college, I moved to Milan to attend a four-year fashion design course at Istituto Marangoni where I finally started to understand fashion at 360 degrees.
How do you set your designs apart from other designers?
I like to keep things simple and comfortable to wear, but my signature is to deliver a timeless and well-made piece. Simple, different and comfortable. A big challenge actually, as it’s not always easy to merge all those things together. I don’t follow fashion, I like to create something that can still look new even after 10 years.
At what point in your career did you begin to gain recognition in the fashion industry?
It started very fast actually. I produced my very first collection just to enter a competition and didn’t even think I would pass the first selection. Blow PR in London noticed me which kick-started the brand awareness of Claudia Ligari to the London fashion pack. However, I believe the recognition I am looking for hasn’t happened yet and I am working hard hoping that it will come along one day.
What is the best way for emerging designers to get their name out there?
Always follow your instinct and not what other people are telling you to do and at the same time, keep focus. You will come across a hell of a lot of proposals and maybe involve the label into things that can lead to nothing at the end. Be selective and think about every decision you make more than once. Even if you really want to do something, sometimes you have to be ready to let it go if you know it won’t be worth it. This is your business, so think like an entrepreneur, which is the most difficult thing to do for a designer!
What is the inspiration behind your Spring/Summer 2014 collection?
When I think of a collection, I never really have a precise starting point. The whole thing comes together at the end of the process. All I wanted was a capsule collection made of pieces that can be interchangeable and worn with each other. I wanted the shapes to be clean, comfortable and light, so this is why the whole collection is made out of silk and cotton. I always use black or white and this time I went for a blue palette as an “extension” of black as I believe blue is still one of the most elegant colours one can wear. The collection is true to my signature, masculine and minimal with that touch of femininity done my own way.
What was it like to be a finalist in the MUUSE X Vogue Talents competition and be featured in Vogue Italia’s “Vogue Talents”?
It was a great experience, great exposure and a great feeling. It’s good to receive such recognition from one of the pillars of fashion.
How is your move from London to Milan helping you as an emerging designer?
Well, starting from the most practical things like I now have much more working space and a bigger studio. Secondly, but not less important, I will finally have the opportunity to work with the most amazing fabrics and tailors to take the collection to a different level, like I always wanted. Here I will have more time to focus on things and receive a different service in terms of production and fabrications. Also, life here is not as stressful, so I am hoping that this will give me more time to focus on the creative side. I want to be more proactive and productive but in a smarter and more “human” way. I am Italian and I always wanted to support my country in my own little way. So, here I am, hoping that my country will do the same for me. We are really good at doing lots of things and I want to prove it!