On the latest issue of Infusion Magazine, we were interviewed by the editor Stu Todd. Here’s how it went 🙂
Q. Starting at the beginning, how did you go from the world of advertising to running a clothing brand?
We are visual communicators before anything. Advertising falls under communication, so does branding, illustration or fashion. So when we started La Come Di, we were very sure that it is something that stems from the same base of our collective experience.
Q. Did you have any experience in this industry prior to setting up La Come Di?
You will be surprised how woven and interconnected the world of art is. Advertising is not like it used to be, and interpreting briefs that came from clients are not limited to one or two ways of expression. One day we were working on a print ad but the next it was a product design or an ambient experience or even a sound piece. So to answer your question, no, we did not have industry experience in the traditional sense, but yes we have experience of what the creative industry is today.
Q. At the planning stage, what did you hope to achieve with the label?
At the planning stage we had the character and the personality of the brand but not yet the product. We started experimenting with different styles, emotions and abstract designs so we get that right before we got to design the collections. That was important for us because once the personality was set, we could adapt it to different products and markets and of course, building the brand into the future. We knew we are going to start small but we also knew we wanted to start globally and that is why we worked heavily on the website, shipping internationally and starting our social presence early.
Q. Looking at your collections and design work there is a stark theme running throughout both, where did the initial ideas come from?
We are glad that you can see that because that means that what we’ve been doing so far is working. Once we figured out the character of La Come Di, we had a huge pool to pull from for both our design work and our collections.
Q. Is the theme of your work a hybrid of each other’s tastes or a common interest? Where do you meet in the middle?
The theme is products of a lot of research and experimentation. It had a little to do with our tastes and interests as individuals, but we also spent a lot of time building and setting up La Come Di and at a certain point it started to dictate what it is and what shape and look it should take.
Q. Is there an artist, designer or other entity that you are both heavily influenced by?
Oh there are lots. We recently posted about our music inspirations when we work on La Come Di which included Tame Impala and Neon Indian. We are creating a story and a lifestyle, so culture inspires us more than another designer or artist.
Q. Paolo Conte is a prominent figure in the history of the brand, why is he so important?
Paolo Conte is an Italian Jazz musician that we both love personally and we saw him in concert two months before we quit our jobs and he wrote a song titled “Come Di”, which inspired the name of our brand. Other than the personal attachment we have to him, he’s been spiritually inspiring us with how he managed to fit into the jazz genre but break out of it at the same time with the unique style he developed. He’s really the Godfather of La Come Di.
Q. How has the first half of the year been for La Come Di? What successes and lessons have you enjoyed?
The first half has been great. We generated a lot of interest with people, we learned a lot about running a business, met new people, built relationships with other brands and companies and all that have been really overwhelming. The biggest lesson though has been patience. It takes a lot of time and effort to start something on your own and it requires a lot paitience and you can’t give up. We are a self funded business and that was important for us to be able to maintain full creative control. Though, even with a lot planning and control, we learned to alway be ready for surprises.
Q. What are you especially proud of regarding your collections?
We’ve been getting a lot of interest in our designs before we even launched which made us really proud. It reminded us that good work speaks for itself.
Q. What do you currently not offer that you would like to feature in your upcoming collections?
We’d like to expand our designs to more than fashion and see the full potential of La Come Di and capture its lifestyle from all angles.
Q. Tell us more about you working with Tommy Hilfiger?
Well it was a surprise for us, but we were on a business trip in Germany when we got an e-mail mentioning their interest in our work. They saw our work on Instagram before we launched and has commissioned us to work on their New Year’s campaign. The work consisted of an illustration that was later going to be adapted globally by their team. It was not taking care of a full collection, but at least we got our foot in the door.
Q. Can we expect more collabs with the American brand?
We cannot confirm or deny that 🙂
Q. What caught your eye at Arab Fashion Week?
Our style would be a huge disruption to what the Arab Fashion Week crowd is used to, so we didn’t follow it closely. But there were great brands such as Ultrachic from Italy that were hard to not notice.
Q. Is this something that you would like to be part of?
We definitely have our eyes on a couple of fashion shows to be part of but unfortunately our style is very different from the brands that participate in that show.
Q. What can we expect from your next collections?
Well you can expect it to be different for sure. Something we’d like to do is to maintain our identity but look into fresh new angles and designs that can keep people interested and keep us sane too as designers. It will always be fresh and new and different every time but it will always be La Come Di.