Graft divergent and converging thoughts to generate an unconventional virtuous circle; adopt “other” points of view to interpret a phenomenon or develop new projects; share new ideas and develop out of the box visions : “Future shape”, a workshop organized by Riccardo Rami Studio for the staff of Tollegno 1900, has led the brand not only to identify new paradigms of value for its development, but also to have confirmation of its avant-garde in various areas. Whether it is welfare, the enhancement of resources, the centrality of the product, Tollegno 1900 has in fact long undertaken a systemic path capable of combining the different souls that define it. If innovation and originality are the beacons of the path, creating unique and impactful products is the diktat. An approach agreed also by Riccardo Rami, “a design worker” as he likes to call himself. “I was born a textile expert, but at the age of 28 I decided to pursue a path in fashion as a freelance designer. Today, with my studio, I deal not only with fashion, but also with graphic and industrial design, of projects ranging from sustainability to circular economy, from the creation of stage costumes for operas and movies to the design of concept life stores. It is not possible to define my role precisely, because in my Studio all projects are realized by several hands and mine are among them. After all, by nature, I have always been a researcher who has never stopped surfing the waves of change, trying to understand what will be the next step that will allow us to have a reason to be here and to define those strong values to use in work as in life.” Supported by the adagio “ the right thing is also the beautiful one…”, Rami has designed for Tollegno 1900 a moment of sharing and discussion with strong added value.
“The meeting – explains Rami – was structured starting from a track made up of topics that, in our opinion were more or less salient, but with a certain power of influence on the future of textile and clothing in general. Facing the different issues, the specific needs of the people attending the meeting usually emerge. Needs that also transpire indirectly from small body language signals.
A process that you have renamed Insight Technology, what is about?
Insight Technology is a technique that we developed internally using 30 years of work and analysis of significant success stories. Thanks to this method, we are able to grasp the essence of a meeting from the beginning, from the opening lines. Grazie a questa metodica siamo in grado di cogliere l’essenza di un incontro fin dall’inizio, dalle battute iniziali. This allow us to develop innovative and surprising solutions, together with the group of people involved in the meeting, that transcend any challenge that may rise. For a few years now we have been developing an approach that we have called Biodynamic Insight®. Inspired by the organic architects, is based on focusing on the harmony and energy of the existing things. We use it both to create our creations (small productions that come to life from meetings with contemporary artisans and the use of alternative techniques and technologies) and to give an “organic” shape to the collaborations with our customers.
On the bases of these assumptions, the meeting can be symbolically compared to the processes of making a tailored suit that makes its strength in tailoring.
Correct: from the flows that are generated during the meeting, various paths unfold that can lead where, initially, one would not have imagined.
Does this fluidity of flows apply to the market? What should we expect in the short-medium term period?
We can ideally expect a further push toward a possible “change of course” with consequent subsequent adjustment. Going beyond fashion an design, and opening a door to the future, we will be able to explore and evolving scenario with prospective vision that reveal profound changes and unexpected revelations, which will put a strain on the choices of all of us. These choices, whether individual, or corporate, in addition to being suspended between Green, Inclusion, Fluid, Sustainability, Electric Mobility, cannot fail to consider or disregard the emergence of independent variables. To make it simple: the decline of the online sales warns us that the future behind us may not follow the forecasts, outlining an unexpected reality.
We must then be ready for a change…
A Chinese proverb says that “When the wind of change blows some build walls, others build windmills”. The east wind, known to bring changes, represents a powerful metaphor to describe the actual evolving situation. We are entering in an era of profound changes, often triggered by the growing awareness that some of the trends recently promoted and widespread global trends are showing signs of slowing down. These signs at the horizon warns us that we may be facing a general tipping point. While phenomenon such as digital detox, the use of “dumb phones” and the decline of the online sales continue to gain momentum, it seems that the real goal is to achieve balance.
How does the balance translate into fashion and design?
In these particular contexts, it could be expressed through the birth of a new era in which personal choices, fashion, and the design of spaces are driven by greater awareness. Simplicity, naturalness, and functionality, will be the pillars of this new vision, together with the use of natural and sustainable materials. We are now facing the “Wind of change”, and it is up to us to decide whether to build walls or windmills to harness its full power and create a new paradigm. It is a time of reflection and action, where we must balance our relationship with digital technology and embrace beauty, harmony, and nature as an integral part of our existence.
On the basis of this reflection, the concept of sustainability becomes and intrinsic value and no longer a plus.
Absolutely. Within our meeting with Tollegno 1900 we brought up the concept of “Unsustainable lightness of sustainability” to identify the need to no longer abuse terms, that, to date, are worn out and that, precisely because they are used to the bitter end, are demeaning for the product, made similar to all the others. If we notice the Top Brands do not use the word sustainable and it seems more than right to me. Things are bought because they are liked, they give an emotion, they solve the day and not because they are sustainable. When we insist too much on words like this, it is because there is neither content nor sufficient added value to qualify the product. And if there were, it would be wiped out.
If you had to express the contents and value of Harmony, Tollegno 1900’s identity product, what factors would you emphasize on?
Even if I don’t know all its expressions, Harmony is one of those products that we can call timeless, always contemporary, and that probably in the future that awaits us will be even more so.
In this direction and with these prospects, how does the Biella brand fit in?
The strength of Tollegno 1900 is the accurate control of the entire production chain, from the raw material to the final product, as well as of every processing phase that takes place directly in the brand’s plants. But it is above all to be a “balanced” company as you can read on the website where it said that “our goal is to maintain a constant balance between green commitment and business, between ethic and market”. And it is the balance indeed, as we have said, the pillar on which to structure our growth. So Tollegno 1900 has its own precise place in the future where balance and harmony – or rather Harmony – will be extremely important.
Every change brings with it critical issues: what are the current ones for the fashion and textile sector?
The danger I see, beyond the complexities visible to all, is that these sectors, characterized by a purposeful creativity, lose their luster in favour of strategic technicalities that risk making sterile a product, that by its nature would be sparkling instead. Let’s think, for example, of some fashion shows recently seen in Milan which, sons of this historical moment, seemed to be designed by an artificial intelligence than by someone with a conscience and stylistic ability capable to touch the emotion of those who will wear the garments presented. To create products that a “style” and “change the life” of those who will buy them, you have to start from here.