“Content that opens containers. People who become subjects. Objects transformed into visions. The creative act expressed with simplicity because simplicity gives rise to beauty”.
An open formula. An infinite journey, led with awareness towards the lightness of things, of the world. This is the concept that has always inspired the menswear designer Stefano Chiassai. The Italian designer decided to invest on his personal experiences and observations on fashion and launched, in the ‘80s, his first collection, creating his brand in the fashion scene with his experimental and futuristic total looks, as soon as he completed his studies in Fashion Design at Polimoda.
In 1994 Stefano and his wife Alessandra decided to start their own design studio. Today, Stefano Chiassai Studio is considered one of the top creative hubs in the Italian fashion scene.
Stefano’s clothes are designed to be mixed and matched in a spontaneous and relaxed way. Be ready to let yourself get carried away by imagination and the desire to get out of the box of the fashion system, with style. Playful and wearable garments targeted to unconventional, curious, romantic and mysterious men. Able to freely communicate carefree without ever losing personality and authority.
Generous, open and positive. But also enigmatic. These are the extraordinary feelings that the bright and vivid colors used by the designer for his collections are able to transmit. New fantasies, patterns and color blocking outfits give the opportunity to get closer to the fresh but glam world of everyday life. A clear intent to make elegance and bon ton central in our moments.
VOOM was lucky to speak with Stefano Chiassai about his artistic development, challenging the complex and multifaceted shadows of the fashion world, and the way he achieved so many successes.
How would you define your style?
Continuously evolving thoughts. A vision of fashion in movement.
It is a continuous research, which I have been doing for 40 years, both within myself and around the world. Research, a keyword, for those who want to do this job, always beating in my head, always, always. “My perpetual motion” that never abandons me.
The continuous curiosity that leads me to take an interest in art, music and sport.
The word “ENERGETICS” which show the dynamism of going around to see shops, museums, concerts, sporting events, markets and second-hand shops. This leads me to buy everything that creates a “VISUAL EMOTION”. A way of thinking, of living, involving, sharing life also with my family. A “WORKING LIFE” that has become a way of thinking and behaving for those who work and live with me, with respect for everyone, in a world, the fashion one, where respect hardly exists.
Where do you find inspiration for your collections?
A life/work condensed into a cube where you can see and touch the fruit of my research. All these garments, objects, books, magazines, bought in forty years, have become an archive that is my “Daily Library”. The place to go in search of the spark and inspiration for the new season. A particular fabric, a detail, a shape, a color, a photo, phrases, anything that triggers the motivation for a new story.
And can you tell us about your creative process?
Inspiration is the beginning of the “CREATIVE PROCESS” …
Inspiration guides us to deepen our research, the color chart, shapes and lines. Here begins the work of the team. Our Studio is composed of Corinna, Alessandra, myself and more than 11COLLABORS / ACTORS, as I like to call them. Corinna is now in all respects my big shoulder and now we work almost in symbiosis. Alessandra is practically the real boss and keeps us all down to earth. A work of meetings, every morning with continuous updates and even changes. Appointments with weavers to put ideas and exclusive fabrics into work. Appointments with embroidery factories, printing works, technological processing companies, button factories, accessories companies, all important events to develop and personalize our “FUTURE STORIES”. Appointments with those who will physically and manually make the collection and with their model makers. Jackets and shoulder garments companies, shirt and Jersey companies, knitwear, leather, fur and so on. A long, difficult, meticulous, stressful and full of pressure and fear process. A job that lasts 5 months, full of meetings, meetings, discussions, changes. Changes that can take place up to the last minute of the collection’s release.
What makes a fashion designer successful?
Without any doubt, I will say it again, “Research” the knowledge and unfortunately also public relations. However, it is also knowing how to transmit love, passion, professionalism in each of the garment in the collection. Everything must be treated with greatest details. Nothing should ever be left to chance, because continuous meticulousness, it helps you becoming aware and confident that the work done will be a job full of positive energy and knowing how to transmit positivity is already a step towards success.
Describe yourself in one sentence.
I love my job, I live dreams, I fight for what I believe always.
Tell me something about you that nobody knows …
I think nobody knows that in 1987 in a Castrocaro where the singers were paired with the emerging stylists of that moment (who dressed them) me and the group I was paired with and I came first by winning the TELEGATTO and participating to Sanremo.
What would you say is your biggest achievement?
They are two. Firstly, working with my daughter Corinna and have had two books written together called “CAOSORDINATO” and “RITMOEMOTIVO”. Secondly, being the design director of FENDI UOMO collection since 2009.
What advice would you give to other fashion designers who want to pursue your career?
Giving advice is always very difficult, everyone in his or her job must always strive to achieve the goals they set. Of course, it is important to do things well, with commitment and a lot of passion. Passion and commitment are the key words. The path is long in a job where you never stop learning and where any success or failure must always be a starting point. It is important to always start again, with humility and with reflections, so that the new experience to be faced is enriched with awareness.
Article by Sofia Malatesta
Photography by ‘Courtesy of Stefano Chiassai Studio’