Designers Bad Deal

By Stefano Guerrini

The predisposition in telling tales, the bond with writing connected Marina Rubini and Zoow24, she has studied fashion journalism and has worked in the newsrooms of important magazines, he is a well-known street-artist and writer. Together they have created Bad Deal, a brand of street wear, in which each garment, from the personalized denim to the T-shirts, is packed inside a book and accompanied by a fairy tale. It's not the first time that Marina and Zoow24 present their brand at Pitti, in June 2016 they have been the protagonists of an Alternative Set in which a live painting took place, and are now among the 2017 finalists of "Who Is On Next?" . We interviewed them right on the eve of this important chapter in their story.

When did you first approach fashion and when did you realise that it could become your job?
M.: I was introduced to fashion at an early age by my mum, who used to take me with her wherever she went and this meant that I was constantly looking for new ideas. She always let me experiment quite freely: I was the only little girl who wore what she wanted underneath her regulation school pinafore, copying the look of the girl bands famous at that time. At high school I mixed my clothes with those of my brother; the results were not always successful, but in this way I learnt to make the best of all my family’s clothing. In the summer I would fly to London to take the summer courses at St.Martins. They taught me to tack, to use a sewing machine and to make my first paper patterns. I also studied fashion journalism because my dream was to write, so I did my first internship in a publishing office. I owe so much to the magazine Velvet; it was my first contact with the world of real fashion. An experience that gave me the desire to continue along that path. Bad Deal on the other hand was born quite by chance, out of a meeting with Zoow. Two completely different “writers”: me on paper, him on walls and the underground.
Z.: Art what was brought me to fashion. A desire to transport my world made up of canvases and colours into another world that I hadn’t yet explored. I lived more than 10 years on the move, my only goal was painting, today my objective is to make different portions of the same universe dialogue with each other.
Can you tell about your line’s main characteristics? What makes it stand out?
M.: We have described our line like this: an aesthetic accident involving a rose garden and an underground tunnel. Bad Deal is a concentrate of old school and contemporary. Two opposites that merge and speak to each other. It is the language we use to communicate two apparently different worlds. We started our first season with A&W 2016, presenting big jacquard sweaters packaged inside books copied from Treccani encyclopaedias. Each sweater has its own graphics and its own story. A tale written by me that Zoow has then reinterpreted on the wagons of trains around Europe and America. Bad Deal is a story of love from past times, but with times dictated by the era we live in.
Z.: Our strength is that we have real street spirit, the original one of graffiti and underground culture, with a vein of romantic nostalgia. Our graphics are simultaneously vision and perception.
Where does the inspiration for your work come from?
Z.: We are inspired by the all the hidden corners of the city. The coming and going on the underground platforms, waiting for the trains, zebra crossings on asphalt.
M.: And then nature. The Natural History Museum is close to our studio: we go there for an eyeful of colours that we will never manage to copy because nature and animals are inimitable.
Z.: Toys from the eighties also play an important role for us, their shapes and packaging in particular. We in fact dedicated special care and research to the packaging of our items.
Your ideal of elegance?
M.: Elegance for us is sacred and profane parading hand in hand. Elegance is managing to put contrasts together harmoniously. Elegance is a defect enhanced to the level of virtue.
Your ties with Pitti Immagine Uomo. Did you already know this show? Do you have a memory or an anecdote about it?
M.: Pitti Uomo was our first launching pad. The first time we presented our project to the world. For the second collection we were given the opportunity to organise an Alternative Set to tell our story. Seeing the central piazza at the Fortezza packed with people, fully immersed in our universe, was really exciting.
You are Who Is On Next? finalists. Who of the past entrants do you feel closest to and like?
Z.: Carlo Volpi for his flair and creativity.
Dreams and projects for the future?
Z.: To continue to grow and tell our story so that it becomes that of others. With every collection, we give a young talent the chance to put together a capsule of theirs for us. 
M.: We would like to know more and more kids to work with, energetically and with determination to see Bad Deal walk on its own two feet. We hope that others might love Bad Deal as much as we do.