Flora's Vision: Circular Fashion and Grotesque Relationships - A Conversation with Flora Rabitti

Breaking Fashion Norms, Embracing Circular Fashion, and Challenging Design Boundaries

In an exclusive interview with Flora Rabitti, the visionary founder of Florania, we delve into the inspirations, values, and unique approaches that have shaped the brand's identity in the world of fashion. With a commitment to anti-fashion and genderless designs, Florania has been making waves with its sustainable and inclusive ethos. Flora shares her insights on the importance of breaking away from traditional fashion norms, ensuring sustainability in production, and the challenges faced in creating a closed-loop system. Join us as we explore Florania's journey towards redefining fashion while embracing creativity, social consciousness, and environmental responsibility.

YUGEN: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Florania's designs? How do you decide on the style and aesthetic of each collection?

FloraInspiration is a flow of old and new concepts, historical references, new ‘hot’ topics, visuals and experiments we fill our desks with until the very end of the design process. We let the urgency of what we’d like to be present in the world drive our hands. We have a small and selected production made with the best care and we don’t want to create something that is meaningless in the fashion and creative world.

For example, for this Fw23 collection, called ‘Relazioni Grottesche’ (Grotesque relationships in English), I’ve brought to Milano the spirit of the dark Carnival of New Orleans, with the voodoo and the blues music, to my team in Milano and we’ve discussed how it would be right for the moment we live to bring out monsters and fantasy characters.

YUGEN: Florania takes pride in being anti-fashion and producing mostly genderless clothing. Can you share with us the importance of breaking away from traditional fashion norms and creating sustainable and inclusive fashion?

FloraAfter working for big brands and industries, I’ve found it always frustrating for the designer and the client to be directed in a gender or a physical form by someone else. With fashion, we decide our identity, how the world sees us, and how we see ourselves. I’ve promised myself to commit to a project that manifests a variety of people and let them be the character they’ve chosen.

YUGEN: Maintaining Florania's commitment to being 100% sustainable and vegan can be challenging. Can you share with us how you ensure that all of Florania's products meet this standard? What are some of the challenges that you face in sourcing sustainable materials and natural dyes?

FloraConsequently, having tried many techniques in our business past (Florania was founded in September 2021) we are now planning better ways to provide new and experimental materials with the best quality. We still have to grow our web of suppliers and laboratories but we see a big chance of action in this field: for example, the textile industry in Italy is a fertile place for alternative fibers and dyes!

By now, we personally go to the laboratories and factories and see in real life the condition of workers and the quality of the fabrics. We work with Social Ateliers in Italy, created by retired pattern makers or green entrepreneurs that teach the work of the tailor to various people in peculiar situations, victims of violence or immigrant people.

YUGEN: Could you walk us through your process of creating handmade paintings and moulage directly on the body for your designs?

FloraThe start is always the material. It is anachronistic to work with the classic design flow the students learn at the fashion school: drawing, research of fabric, sewing, trial, and error, etc.

The circle is shorter and we maximize the resources by designing in synchrony with the choice of the fabric (dead stock, vintage garments, new experimental materials). That brings the ideas of moulage, natural dyes, and new print techniques. Of course, we want to have a collection, not separated pieces, and that is where resides the strength of the design team.

YUGEN: You have collaborated with a variety of companies and organizations. Could you tell us more about your best project so far and what makes a great collaboration?

Flora: We’ve worked for Napapjiri for illustrating their 100% recyclable jackets, Uniqlo with their dead stock, both creating new garments for their store in Milano and for an upcycling workshop in Rome. We’ve also created the Venchi ‘Chocoviar’ campaign for their new chocolates with the creation of outfits for each flavor (cream, pistachio, etc). It was very fun! We did also the uniforms for a Michelin-starred restaurant in Duomo (Milano) and for other bars in Milano. Personally, these collaborations remind me of my old jobs for big fashion industries but with the freedom of bringing my young team into them and being faithful to our ‘green’ vision.

YUGEN: We would love to hear more about Florania's listing in Camera della Moda's new talents. What has been the impact of this recognition on the brand and its future plans?

FloraI have to say that Camera della Moda has helped us a lot with the exposing of our ideas and has recognized our effort to be completely made in Italy. Of course, we have to grow by ourselves and with mostly our resources. But, being recognized as a new talent for two seasons in Milano Fashion Week, between a lot of competition, is already a great goal. We’ll see what the future brings!

YUGEN: Finally, how do you see Florania evolving and expanding in the future? Are there any new projects that you're excited to work on?

FloraI would like to expand our production in other selected manufacture poles in Italy, where the richness of the tailors is often sleeping, and to create innovation from the very start of the process to the very last. This means, starting from the new fibers: how can be sure they don’t pollute, how can we produce them in enough quantity to have a competitive price, and are they durable? Do they dissolve in nature? Then, how we create garments, how can we ensure the ethics behind the job are respected, how can we facilitate and enhance the people’s work and expand our brand with conscious productions?

Lastly, how are our things distributed, how to make environmentally friendly clothes that last, what design are we bringing to the world, is it necessary? Is it new? Do people want it? We have a super exciting project of a short movie/fairytale with a creative agency and my team will realize between my hometown Mantua, where the production is, and Milano, in a working-class neighborhood. My team is pullulating with ideas and we are loving the fact of our clothes taking life!

Check out Florania collection available at our website, link bellow:


Related Posts

Leave a comment