English, a past as a designer and also as a stylist in London, Lee Wood has been however living since 1998 in Italy, where he arrived to join the design team of Versace. An experience which ended in 2014, when it took shape the desire of the designer to create something more personal. That’s why L72 has born, a project with which Wood has been a finalist at the last edition of the men's 'Who's on Next?'. And just a few days ago during Pitti we met him and he told us more about the project.
My brand, L72, was created very naturally, almost unconsciously. I'd understood that, at forty, it was time to get back in the game, to go out there and take my place in the world. I opened a design studio to offer a consultancy service to other brands – something that my partners and myself continue to do today – but while advertising the studio I decided to start up a number of different projects in a variety of categories: footwear, clothing, bags to liven up the studio's site. Developing these projects resulted in a total, overall look: while if you look at each one, they are still separate projects connected by a common thread. I was so happy with the result that I thought "It's now or never" and I decided to make a press release during Milan's Fashion Week in February. The name L72 is personal, yet neutral. I didn't want people to have any kind of prejudice against the brand, or any preconceived idea of what they'd find there – maybe because they already knew me or the name Lee Wood.
The L72 line plays with minimalism: it is democratic, sensual, sexy, plain and graphic. Sculpted, while exalting the figure of the wearer. Research that starts with analysing a modern "uniform", the idea of a kind of military rigour and the excitement of undiscovered borders. Elements that come from the street and sport, mixed up with Fifties volumes, getting near to the idea of the non-genre.
I have always loved the Fifties, the post-war creative explosion and the volume of the fashion that came from this decade. As I arrived in Italy in 1998, I discovered Milan's Central Station which installed in me a passion for Fascist architecture. My aesthetics are governed by there two themes, I love working in a spatial, graphic and linear way.
No stylist can deny the importance of the "Who Is On Next?" competition. Apart from the fact that over the years this competition has brought forth some important names, it also gives an emerging brand huge visibility. Having the support of Vogue, Pitti and AltaRoma is invaluable.
It also confirms the fact that you are doing something interesting, seeing as how the panel is made up of some important professions dealing in different ambits of the fashion world.
From Pitti Uomo, I remember all the people who came by the stand, the compliments, the interest: it really was incredible and I am honoured to have had this chance.
Any future projects?
Simply to work hard. I have lots of ideas, I would like to expand the collection, adding more and more categories. I would like L72 to become a lifestyle brand.