Made in Le Marche: Italian couture for a new generation
In a region celebrated both nationally and internationally for its local artisans and production of ‘Made in Italy’ fashion items, young designers, following in the footsteps of their forefathers, are carving out their own creative path, giving a new direction to Le Marche’s artisan traditions.
One such creative is Giulia Roselli, founder of Hanami Clothing in Grottammare, Ascoli Piceno province. A boutique and workshop in one, Hanami is the brainchild of Roselli and her sister Flavia, inspired by a love of vintage, fashion history and clothes from the beloved troves of their relatives. Hanami brings together tradition with modernity and, a touch of something unique.
Roselli carved out her initial path in the fashion world at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Macerata where she graduated in Sculpture, followed by a degree in Fashion Creation from The European Design School in Pescara. A shared appreciation from a young age for beautiful quality fashion pieces and unique design, it wasn’t until 2016 that Giulia and Flavia decided to finally bring their sketches and passion to life.
Hanami, which refers to the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers, was born in their home town of Grottammare, bringing a touch of modern artisanal flavour to a well-trodden creative territory.
Back in 2019, in celebration of the launch of the Fall/Winter collection, Isabel Carmichael spoke to Giulia about Le Marche, tradition, her design aesthetic and what’s next on the cards for Hanami Clothing.
Giulia, you are a designer from Grottammare in Le Marche. Do you think being an artisan is in your blood? Nobody in my family has ever been an artisan or designer in the same way that I am, but I do have a love for the artisanal in my blood, which is perhaps thanks to my great grandfather, who was a tanner at the turn of 19th century. My family also has had a clothes shop since 1964, where my grandparents worked their whole lives and where my mum and her siblings grew up. It’s always been and still is, a lovely shop and I’ve always been used to being amongst fashion items and beautiful quality design pieces. That aside, I’d say that being a fashion designer is fundamentally my dream, it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do since I was little.
Do you feel strong ties to the artisan tradition of Le Marche? The artisan traditions of this region are linked to shoe making and leather accessories so in a way I don’t feel hugely tied to it because my background is in something a bit different and I haven’t worked in these areas.
This region has always been internationally recognised as a centre for fashion and this really does come down to its tannery traditions.
How important is fashion in Le Marche today? In my opinion it’s essential. This region has always been internationally recognised as a centre for fashion and this really does come down to its tannery traditions.
Why Grottammare? I like Grottammare, it’s a beautiful small town with a rich history. I feel at home here and this sense of ‘feeling at home’ is what I want people to have when they come and see me in store, which is also my workshop.
What is the biggest inspiration behind your latest collection? When my sister Flavia and I first sketched out our initial ideas, we were inspired by the rebel spirit and determination of the Suffragettes…combined with a touch of the late 1980s, Twin Peaks-style. The collections are always different and each time they offer another interpretation of our vision of what it means to be a woman and moreover, a woman who lives for her passions.
Do you have a favourite item? I always have a couple of things that I like, but more often than not I have an entire outfit in mind! In this season’s collection, one of my favourite outfits is the pink jumper with the tartan miniskirt, biker boots and bowler hat. It makes me think of a latter-day Boy George!
Can you describe your design aesthetic in three words? Head, hands and heart.
How is your brand evolving? Do you plan to expand into other areas of fashion such as men’s clothes? My leanings are definitely towards women’s fashion so thus far we haven’t developed our men’s collection, aside from unisex pieces such as sweatshirts and t-shirts…but that said, in the workshop things are always evolving so watch this space!
We were inspired by the rebel spirit and determination of the Suffragettes…combined with a touch of the late 1980s, Twin Peaks-style. The collections are always different and each time they offer another interpretation of our vision of what it means to be a woman and moreover, a woman who lives for her passions.
Who would you most like to dress and why? If I can aim high – literally to the sky – I’d dress David Bowie. Aside from loving his music, more than anyone, he knew how to go beyond the constraints of fashion, he created a totally unique and unmatchable character.
What do you think of Italian fashion as a whole, is there space for young designers like you? Yes definitely, we talk a lot about young promising designers. Today, even the smallest of businesses are able to create their own shop window via the internet and through social media. It’s a great way of getting yourself out there!
We want to go on a trip in Le Marche, where do you suggest we visit? Well, firstly I’d say go to Grottammare Alta, the old town is so beautiful. You should also go down to the beach, or take a walk along the front, with all its beautiful Liberty villas. This region offers diverse and interesting scenery, here you’ll find ancient old towns, maritime areas such as the Conero Riviera and the rocky part leading down from the Sibillini Mountains. Here you can go on amazing hikes and be entirely immersed in nature.
Outside of your boutique, where can we find you? Do you take Hanami to events in the region? Sometimes along with other local artisans we take part in events. This year for example, we were invited to take part in the Anime Buskers Festival, which took place in Grottammare Alta in July. The main attraction is the local street artists who play music in the streets of the old town. Aside from that, we are always in the workshop!
What’s next on the cards at your atelier? We have loads of ideas and we are trying to develop them as best as we can. Sometime soon we are hoping to be able to organise an event which will bring together fashion and art. We will keep you up to date!
S/S 18 + A/W 19
This article was originally published on cremafritta.com in October 2018.
Translated from Italian by Isabel Carmichael