We know all about Stefano Ughetti thanks to his Camo brand and his shows at Pitti in the past, which have become an eagerly-awaited event at the Florentine fair thanks to their retro touch, his great attempts to entertain while presenting his work and also his willingness to work with others. Meanwhile, Matteo Gioli, together with Ilaria and Veronica Cornacchini, is the co-founder of SuperDuper Hats, which won a men’s edition of the prestigious WION competition and contributed significantly to the revival of the hat, an accessory that the younger generations seemed to have forgotten. These two men play an important part in a generational handover within Italian fashion, which has been supported and promoted by Pitti. They have both demonstrated a clear propensity for dialogue with other fashion professionals and a desire to come face to face with other forms of creativity. The duo are set to present an evocatively named project at the next Pitti. “Arrivo” clearly alludes to the world of sport, to the board that lists the winner and the defeated at the end of a competition. But what sport are Ughetti and Gioli referring to and how will it be staged? We try to get hold of a few more details, aware that everything will only be fully revealed in January in Florence!
How did your partnership come about?
S.: I have known and respected Matteo for a long time. I consider him to be one of those very rare people who see the world in a similar way to me. He is one of the designers I respect the most. When we chat, we don’t just talk about work, but also life and plans. Our partnership was a completely natural development.
M.: It is pointless repeating that this respect is mutual. Working on a project together was something that came very naturally. In fact, this naturalness was also reflected in the creative phase, which involved a constant repartee. Two raging rivers.
What attracted you to each other’s work?
S.: Matteo managed to reinvent the way we see hats in a very singular and unique fashion, proving his ability and his sense of innovation. To me, what is most important is that he has always preserved a link with history and tradition.
M.: The link with tradition is certainly a very strong identifying factor for Camo too. Local production and a strong emotional attachment to the local area is something we share. It is something we still believe in, even if no one else does.
Can you give us a little preview of the project?
S.: We are two people who really want to pedal. In all senses.
S.: Because, among the many other things we have in common, we were both lucky enough to have grandfathers who were cyclists.
M.: Although they passed away without being able to see what we have done with our lives, they were the ones who inspired us to join forces.
What have you learned from this new experience?
M.: I believe that a project like this, albeit simple, is very difficult for just one person to manage. We could only achieve it by working together.
It’s not the first time you have chosen to work with other creatives. What benefits derive from working with others?
M.: Everything becomes easier when you manage to work on the same frequency, as if you were one person. In fact, the image of “ARRIVO” is a face formed by our two faces.
You both have associations with the WION competition. How important are competitions like this, now that you can look back on it from more of a distance?
S.: WION certainly had a big effect on us both, giving us a great opportunity to analyse our work. Opportunities such as these are what enable us to take a critical look at our work.
You also have strong links with Pitti. Can you tell me about a moment in your career or an episode linked to this fair which really made its mark on it?
S.: In my case it has to be my first guerrilla marketing campaign with CAMO, when I staged a picnic in the fortress garden. I would never have imagined that, within the space of a couple of seasons, this would go on to become an official event at the fair, now known as the “Alternative Set”.
M.: My catwalk show from last winter is an unforgettable memory. However, for SuperDuper, Pitti was the start of everything, the big bang that enabled us to present our first work.