He is young – class of '92 – and his S/S 2013 collection was his first, but he has already won the “Who’s on next?” Menswear competition, sponsored by Pitti and L’Uomo Vogue. It is Brescia's Alberto Premi who, a few weeks ago, triumphed at the latest edition of the esteemed competition, sharing first place with designer Tom Lipop. Visitors to the 86th edition of the Florentine fair were impressed by his brightly coloured footwear, his use of high-quality materials and the exclusively Italian artisan tradition he uses to make his pieces. His accessories have real personality, shoes that break away from their classic restraints, but with an innovation and research that reflect the necessary everyday comfort of the garment. We met the designer and asked him to tell us more about his collection.
How did you come about to designing your own brand?
I decided to design my first collection as part of my final degree thesis. I used my name and surname as I wanted to represent my image to the full. From thesis project, the brand quickly became a real marketing project with actual sales points and an online store.
Tell us about your A/W 2014-15 collection.
For my first collection I decided to give my own personal interpretation to the concept of “Street style”, bringing together all the inspirations that strike me in everyday life. I decided for a range of all representations of men's footwear, modifying the classics with soles, leathers and an image of a much sportier persuasion.
And what are the main characteristics of the collection you brought to Pitti for S/S 15?
The mood of the S/S 15 collection, put forward for the competition, has as its main motive the concept of "destructuring". Everything that is part of recent and past memory is analysed, studied, broken up and reproposed in a different way to unite the comfort of sportswear, the whimsicality of futuristic art and classical shapes. A perfect example is the Derby shoe: at first sight it is classic, but if you look more closely you will find it fresh and innovative. The footwear undergoes a metamorphosis and becomes more sporty in appearance, while always maintaining the highest quality of materials.
What are the must-have pieces of the collection?
Without a shadow of a doubt, the must-have pieces of my collection are the all-round innovative sneakers. The design of the soles, specially hand made for this type of product, gives them a strong image, becoming a valuable part of the overall shoe in their own right. The materials used for the uppers have been carefully selected and customised (kevlar, rubber leathers, rubber created from special personalised moulds, iridescent leather) creating something unique in this way.
Where do you get inspiration for your work?
My inspiration can come from anywhere: a film, a song, a painting. I think it is very important that we continue to ask ourselves "why?" about everything so we can go deeper without being superficial. It is important not to have prejudice, but to try and take the best out of everything around us. The world of fashion is mainly based on image, but like the words of a poem, images hide thousands of allegorical meanings that, only through curiosity, distinguish the eyes of those who truly love this line of work.
What will you take with you from WION?
This experience will always have a special place in my heart, as I believe it to be one of the most exciting and meaningful of my life. I was able to fulfil my dream, being in contact with the most important figures of national and international fashion and I was able to get myself, and above all my brand, known.
How important is an exhibition like Pitti for young brands like yours?
For me, Pitti was undoubtedly a launch pad on media and publicity levels, giving me privileged access to the market and expanding my brand's presence more quickly.