Who are we designing for?

Fresh out of Fashion School in Rome my classmates and I dreamt of dressing  women who possessed both personality and the right figure. It was the beginning of the 90’s and among a handful of talented young designers  Martin Margiela  and Ann Demeulemeester creations waltzed down the catwalks, leading the way to a new tempo. It was a nouvelle vogue of talent with an unapologetic approach to women making a statement through fashion as rule breakers, and we too wanted to be rule breakers. We all felt it, the fever of a fashion revolt,  a proclaimed integrity in defining concepts and a  new approach of looking at clothes and what they should convey: a new attitude and a reformed silhouette. Some women bought into that idea that would set them free of stereotypes and give way to an intelligent, sophisticated style.

Twenty years on the women that hand picked the key items of the fashion revolution have blazed new trails but somehow  that spirit has not been translated as frequently as we would like to into contemporary design. Who are we designing for?

Mind you, twenty years later I have changed also,  as a designer and as a woman. Realizing that fashion does not belong exclusively to youth and attitude, but to personality and a real body, I 've had to readjust my parameters; thinking form, function and attitude on a real woman and not just on a mannequin have been key words in my approach to designing ever since joining ELM by Matthildur and then MATTHILDUR.

 Since women in their forties and beyond have been claiming a front row in the fashion spectrum now more than ever and not simply as viewers but as muses, its  been an exciting time to be a designer. Women currently keep an eye on their schedules as much as on the mirror while getting dressed in the morning,  fashion thinking has to be more about communicating as much as accepting one’s own figure; and because I feel more than ever the necessity to communicate with  real women like myself, the challenge as a designer has been about taking a smart approach to creativity;  not exactly breaking rules, but making new ones instead.