Hi my name is Benedetta Giannessi. I’m 24 years old and I’m from Santa Croce sull’Arno, a small town in the Province of Pisa. Growing up in a small town like Santa Croce has filled me with curiosity about everything that exists outside of a small reality. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always tried to escape and find new places to learn about. Only today I realize that I was always wrong, because it is thanks to the reality and the place where I lived that I was able to find my way. I grew up in my mom’s leather and fur workshop, I spent whole afternoons watching her cut, sew and make patterns, absorbing everything she did.Finally in 2015, after finishing 5 years of high school, I decided that I wanted to take that path too, but in my own way.
I signed up for a Fashion Design course at Polimoda in Florence with great support from my parents, both creative souls. I completed my studies in 2019 collecting satisfactions, connections and wonderful memories that will always be part of me. Today I’m writing to you from Milan, the city that, despite the delicate historical moment, has welcomed me and in which I started my first career path.I’m not going to lie when I say that it is wonderful to live in a city like Milan, because I miss home more and more every day. But I can absolutely say that it is wonderful to have found the right path. I often find myself in front of this question “What will you do next?”: I still don’t know, but I’m very excited because I can’t wait to see what the next step will be.
THE CONCEPT OF YOUR COLLECTION?
The collection is an ode to tradition and has a specific purpose: to change the perception of leather and fur. It all started with a passion I shared with my father: the Nordic countries, their culture and their beautiful traditions. Searching and searching through books and websites, I came across a word that opened up an entire world to me: “nunavut”. The word inuktitut indicates the geographical territory where the Inuit people belong, but it also embodies their home, their traditions and their ties. This term gives off a very deep sense of belonging and pride, which pushed me to explore in depth the traditions of my family. As I had already mentioned, I grew up in my mother’s fur workshop, where she exclusively repairs and renews second-hand garments. My collection was developed on the same principle. All the leather and fur I used came from scraps or old abandoned and forgotten garments. I dyed and cut the collected material into hundreds of small strips and then reassembled it with the traditional technique of furrier’s knitting. My intention was to create an up-cycling with zero waste, zero environmental impact and with the exclusive use of organic recycled material.
Alongside the artisanal world that belongs to me, I became fascinated by ancient Inuit techniques and traditions. The main material they use for clothing is seal fur. Their use of it is fascinating and is a unique example of UPCYCLING. This hunt, which for many seems ruthless, is for them the only source of income and is a tradition practiced in the exclusive respect and preservation of their Earth. In this practice nothing is wasted, what is hunted is used 100%. Unfortunately, such different realities are often not understood, so much so that in 2007 a well-known environmental group declared war on seal hunting, plunging the Inuit community into a serious state of poverty. Only later was the freedom granted to this people to practice their traditions with respect and awareness. I have told you this story because I think it is a manifesto for all those traditions and crafts that have died because of misinformation. Like so many practices, fur farming is being judged, but I believe that it is our job to find ETHICAL solutions so that these traditions of craftsmanship do not disappear.
So my question is: why produce yet another 100% polyester outerwear when there are millions of organic garments with a longer lifespan ready to be reused?
WHAT ARE YOUR LUCIDITY PILLS?
Deﬁning lucidity pills for me is not very easy. I am by nature an anxious person who tends to organize everything. In the last period I have been forced, like everyone else, to let go of my grip, and this has made me incredibly regain some stability. So the advice I feel like giving is this: always find, listen to and respect your own inner time.Things happen and opportunities come even if we don’t chase them like desperate fools.
This, in my opinion, is a good method to reach our goals serenely and “lucidly”.
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