Designer Matteo Maiorano mixes the classic with visionarism.
The renewed aesthetics chosen for FW ‘21/'22 resulted in an irresistable mix of classic and visionary.
Matteo Maiorano is unstoppable when it comes to expanding his own artistic expression.
After our recent encounter with him during Milan Fashion Week at White Milano fair, we could tell that his Fall/Winter '21/'22 collection is a real turning point for MAIORANO.
But why? Well, the high-end footwear creative has proved that seeking uniqueness involves not only a great design but also the ability to turn the abstract into reality. That way, Maiorano introduced us to a completely new step of his creative process, after having faced the hard times imposed by the lockdown.
The Italian designer’s new approach brought together excellence and refinement in every single piece produced, with a fresh art-like touch present as special brushstrokes contrasted with the finest leather.
MAIORANO’s FW '21/'22 collection came up with go-to slippers, power heels, and rounded toe cap necklines, which are adorned with distinguished engravings resembling corals and sponge-effect paint in different shades.
Aiming for exclusivity above all, Matteo presented us with pieces that are not reproducible, products of some deep diving into his own feelings, purposes, and of course, art.
All of it left us wondering if this third creative step developed during the lockdown would get along with his already-known ode to Italian craftsmanship in the next collections. But he proved they can definitely work together through MAIORANO’s FW ‘21/'22 and glimpses of the forthcoming SS ‘22 creations presented during MFW.
So, it’s time to put yourself in Matteo Maiorano’s shoes to understand the process of expressing such sensible ideas.
Can you dive into what this third step entails?
It simply is how I see fashion and an evolution of my philosophy, already strongly focused, from the beginning, on an artistic vision of fashion itself and the subsequent creation of products with a distinct soul and a renewed value. I should be clear on what I intend for the third step and what the other two phases are. A standard production process is usually divided in a first design phase and a second manufacturing step. This is how most products are made, and it’s the same scheme I used to follow until we all faced that big stop caused by COVID-19.
“The lockdown life forced me to change my schedule and gave me time to check and re-evaluate all my work. It also gave me time to know myself better, my aims and my deepest feelings.”
The addition of a third step is intrinsically related to that basic urge for creating uniqueness, but it couldn’t be only a design matter — my artistic background gave me the key. So I decided to use it to leave a unique and unrepeatable mark on every piece produced, treating them as if they were art pieces, with brush strokes and carvings on the surface. The result is always different. Here is the uniqueness. This is the third step.
Do you consider this collection to be the start of a new path for MAIORANO?
It definitely is the start of a new path. My work has always been focused on the research and the achievement of that which is new. It is an essential part of my own nature. In this sense, the brand is always true as a reflection, and the evolution is about both the aesthetic and the conceptual sides. The image has changed, but it just turned its face. It is now viewed from a wider angle, not strictly focused on the sculptural side, but on a more comprehensive aesthetic sense. It doesn’t look like something, it has to be that something. The concept still embraces all the previous principles but also includes that exclusivity value put into practice with the third step. The brand now also has a new men's line, following the same style of the women's collection, minimal and androgynous.
“MAIORANO has always aimed to represent a very distinct reality on the market, and now it also gives the public the chance to own unique unrepeatable products.”
This is very important for me, and I believe it can be important even for those who share the same feelings. I like the idea of giving one more way to people to really be themselves and to express their own uniqueness through a unique product which belongs only to them.
“The whole concept is pointing toward this direction and it expresses very clearly my philosophy on fashion and production and how I feel a sensible commerce should be.”
What were your inspirations for this year's collections?
I remember when we were discussing inspirations, last year during our last pleasant interview, I was already trying to look beyond what my established aesthetic vision was. There were a few mentions about new research, inspired mainly by pre-classical art and all those we may call first art expressions, from several different cultures. Well, it all started there.
“In the meantime, I grew an insatiable passion for historical art pieces, especially related to ancient art.”
And in parallel, I started studying the history and development of what is considered applied arts (the old-fashioned way to call “design”). The whole research was focused on ancient times, mainly on pre-industrial and very little on fashion itself. However, fashion is always the backbone inspiration when it comes to creating an inevitable complete image, matching a body and a full look to the shoes, and giving a contemporary marketable value to the products. The inspirations for the collection were alternated through these fields and others I couldn’t say for certainty. There are always so many, and I like to let them flow even when the mood board is done.
How do you add your own personal artistic technique to every single piece produced?
The artistic technique for every model of a collection is already defined in the design process and then accurately tested during the sampling phase. So, when it comes to the production step, I know how to deal with every single piece.
“The beauty of this is that the result will never be the same. And the reason is specifically related to the techniques I use. I chose to approach this phase through the abstract expression, which is the same way I used in my paintings, and it’s what makes the result unrepeatable.”
In this sense, the techniques I choose for the models are based on a determined scheme, but I have the freedom to reinterpret this scheme differently every time. I give the opportunity to the customers who request it to personalize the single product by matching a different technique on the chosen model or by choosing a different color. In this way, there is an even wider spectrum of possibilities to reach that core goal, which is the creation of uniqueness.
How does working with leather provide you with an opportunity for experimentation and expression at that level?
The importance of leather in all this is always central. You would be surprised how much it changes when it comes to applying these techniques to good or bad quality material. Fine leather always makes the difference and that’s why the selection must be rigorous. The different results of the artistic techniques on different kinds of leather create another uncountable series of options.
“All of this is a real constant inspiration that fills me with joy and makes me every day enthusiastic to discover these infinite chances of expression. I wish to give life to all of them and share them with the world out there.”
If art can be a weapon against standards and the challenges faced during quarantine, we know for sure that Matteo is prepared for any battle.
Take this chance to find out what else can be unreproducible.