Label - Salvatore Piccione
The aesthetic of my collection is very feminine and somewhat seductive
Salvatore Piccione, founder of his eponymous label, is known for his designs that encapsulate the simple vitality, joy, and passion of youth, where enchanting prints in silk and cotton and hand embroidery speak to a world of whimsey, magic, and fairy tales. Designs from his collections have been worn by many renowned celebrities. In an interview with Kiran Sahija, the designer reveals his journey, inspirations, and accomplishments.
Fibre2Fashion: What intrigued you towards the fashion industry and how would you illustrate your journey?
Fashion has always been my dream and aspiration since a very early age, and as a child I was always drawing and creating constantly, both in my head and on paper. By nature, I am a very visual person, so I was often attracted by the mix of colours that designers used, the relationship between clothes and the body, but also seeing the body like living art, like a ‘painting in motion’, where the same garment can change through the person who is wearing it.
Fibre2Fashion: How would you define the aesthetic and vibe of your collections?
The aesthetic of my collections is very feminine and somewhat seductive, but it is also underpinned by an energy and a vibrancy, and it always has a sense of fun and vitality. My collections emphasise the power of the female form, with narrow waists, plunging necklines, flowing lines, with some surprises or dramatic contrasts, like puffy shoulders on very short mini dresses. The recent collections are more structural compared to my previous work since I decided to work more on the seams of the pattern, and using solid colours compared to the past when the shape was simpler because I was focused on the power of the graphics I had created.
Fibre2Fashion: What inspires you to create such elegant and intricate designs & prints?
I am inspired by beauty in general, but like all of us, I am also product of my childhood. Growing up in the south of Sicily, I was surrounded by the grandeur, drama, curvaceousness, and an often-dizzying array of rich bright colours and vividly painted ceilings of its Baroque architecture. I was also constantly surrounded by the light, colour and vibrancy of the Mediterranean world. All of these elements influenced who I am and what I have created. But I am also attracted by very simple things…a flower, an animal, a tree, even a cake, that I love to replicate as a layer, creating a story on its own.
Fibre2Fashion: Could you walk us through some of your memorable achievements and your favourite projects?
Looking back over the last decade, I feel so lucky and privileged to have had some many amazing experiences and highlights in my relatively short career, including: the opportunity to design a one-off costume as part of Vogue Italia’s Barbie Global Beauty Design, an initiative involving the new generation of designers – 10 established and 10 promising designers – in a project that sought to express the global appeal of Barbie’s beauty; participating as a special guest at the exclusive White Milano show in 2015; my two-year collaboration with global tissue brand Tempo, where I created a limited-edition box design to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Tempo tissues in Italy, with distribution extending into Spain, Italy and France and promoted during Salone del Mobile and Vogue Fashion Night Out; designing a ‘capsule’ collection for Sylvian Heach; an invitation from MyStyle events to participate in a tribute to the life and work of Gianni Versace in Warsaw; winning a coveted Chi è Chi Spring Award and also receiving three annual awards (2017, 2018 and 2019) from Taomoda, the fashion, design, art and culture events; showcasing collections for Lviv Fashion week in Ukraine in 2018 and 2019; and participating in a unique fashion show at 10,000 metres organised by easyJet in collaboration with Vogue Italia to present the Spring/Summer 2019 collection on flights.
Fibre2Fashion: Do you follow trend reports before designing your collection or do you prefer to stick to your own niche?
I do not follow trend reports at all, and I think that especially after the last two years with the struggle of the pandemic we had to deal with and our world changing in such constantly unpredictable ways, trend reports seem even more irrelevant. My creative process is so personal and a representation of my own world view that I have always chosen to focus more deeply on my own aesthetic and the evolution of my vision. Generally, I never follow trends, and I am more interested in developing a recognisable style where the mix of colours with the development of intricate details gives a precise and unique aspect to my garments. I do not want to create something that is so ‘now’ that it is worthless tomorrow. I want my clothes from any season to still be beautiful and relevant in five, ten or twenty years from now and I am confident that’s what I create.
Fibre2Fashion: How would you describe your experience working with top-notch celebrities such as Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Taylor Swift, Kendall Jenner, Amber Heard, and many more? What things are to be taken care of before designing for them?
I was very glad when I saw my collection on big names as you mentioned and hopefully this will happen even more often. Rather than work with these celebrities directly though, I saw these outfits on them after I designed them, which is still an amazing feeling. Usually, it is more a job between a PR office and a stylist who love some items and they then show them to the celebrity they work with. In my case, I did not develop this connection personally, but I love the fact that these amazing talents loved what I do. As I have mentioned, I design beautiful garments for any woman who wants to feel beautiful. All of these celebrities represent such different looks and shapes and styles and yet they all felt confident and beautiful in my designs. That’s an amazing accomplishment for me personally.
Fibre2Fashion: How would you include sustainability in your creations?
As someone who is inspired by the beauty of the natural world, sustainability is something that I am increasingly conscious of and passionate about, but it is more challenging for a smaller brand to make a big impact in this area. For example, larger brands have a greater influence over the environmental impact and social standards of their supply chains than a smaller company. But I believe you have to start small and think local.
Fibre2Fashion: With so many fashion brands coming into the picture, what makes your label stand out?
For me, as I mentioned, my creations are often the external balance and order I bring from what I perceive as my own internal mental chaos. That’s right…what you see on my fabrics and prints is what it’s like in my mind at times! All of my fabrics are created from graphics and prints that I design from scratch, and because my creative process is so internalised, they are uniquely my own.
Fibre2Fashion: What are the five trends to follow this year to slay in style?
As an avid avoider of trends (and trend reports) I am going to take a different approach to this question. To me, trends only help people to look alike, creating stereotypes, and we can’t really feel like we are truly representing or expressing ourselves if we simply follow what we are told. Even if an individual doesn’t closely follow any trends or is not aware about what’s ‘now’ or ‘next’, the industry is set up so that a few weeks after any important global fashion week you find items in a store that came straight from the runway, with different cheaper fabric and lower qualities of embellishments, creating a commercial version of this cult and ‘must haves’ of the following season.
Fibre2Fashion: What is your vision for your label for forthcoming years? Are you planning to introduce other categories?
My vision is for ‘Salvatore Piccione’ to be a leading global brand through the creation of beautiful, high-quality products across a range of fashion and lifestyle categories.