There is one thing that can be said about the made in Italy, if we talk about fashion: whatever is today’s news for the rest of the world, in Italy it is how it is already done since 20 years. At times even since 100 years.
Passion translates into research, research together with old traditions create advanced experience, and it is indeed very hard to compete with the made in Italy, but it is also true that designers are often happy to share their knowledge. And so we had the pleasure to meet Daniele Fiesoli in person to learn about how above all his knitwear comes to life and how the Tuscan skills translate into today’s clothing.
There are working techniques that have become trendy today, and there are techniques that have been available and used by design masterminds since longer than you would imagine. One of these techniques, is the upcycling process. Much of the fashion business seem to be on it since some years, but the made in Italy has been dealing with refining the quality of upcycling since world war I. This is why it is so hard to compete with the made in Italy. And Daniele Fiesoli is the leader in the use of the upcycling processes.
Now, to speak about Daniele Fiesoli, we need to speak about history, and how his business is rooted under the Tuscan sun.
Italian fashion is often a local business in the sense that designers can rely on the people within the territory to create their apparels, hence there is a lot of reliable references and Italy is blessed by being a hub for fabrics and leather.
There is a know-how taught by necessity, experience, privileges of a territory and Italians are fond of their way of doing things. You will often hear them say “this is how we’ve done it for 100 years”, and you would think that is not progress. But the way they mean it in fashion, it is. Because it does not mean “we are stuck on the same process since 100 years and we do not know how to do it differently”. What that means in Italy is: it’s since World War I that we are working on this, it is not an improvised choice to go this way and see how it ends, there are decades and decades of failing, winning and understanding how to get to excellent and reliable products.
It means you can trust they really know what they are talking about: how necessities came to life, how they much likely develop and be sure, in the fashion business, the made in Italy is by its nature prepared to adapt.
In case you are not familiar with the name, know that Daniele Fiesoli is not only on top of the chain leading the Italian knitwear solutions, he has assured top quality knitwear to brands you see regularly around you.
The first that jump to my mind, if you bought a Massimo Dutti’s sweater, you much likely already have seen Daniele Fiesoli in action, you just did not know about it.
Many brands rely on the know-how and excellence of these designers, and I will talk about more of them as I will get into the Milanese fashion weeks.
Brands know who are the best at doing something, they co-work to create parts of collections. And more names than you would imagine, chose Daniele Fiesoli.
But Daniele Fiesoli is also a brand on its own, and I am here to tell you why you have to put this name in your list of to-choose names. A timeless, neat, insanely soft at the touch set of knitwear, acceories and total look, head to dress men off all ages that like to feel good in their skin as much as they love to feel good in their clothes.
It does not require any specific body shape, age, favorite approach, Daniele Fiesoli is inspired by the four element of nature: air, water, Earth and fire and adjusts to your personality and age. There’s one for all tastes. Here’s a video to watch and get inspiration
Joyful spoiler for the ladies: female collection in progress, so stay tuned for more.
The first thing I need to say about Daniele Fiesoli, is that his passion is addictive. He is a very bright soul, that talks about his work with the true enthusiasm of an artist.
It happens often, when you talk to Italian designers, to find them baffled about how the world is discovering alternative ways to produce fashion, that are absolutely no news within the borders of the country.
Daniele Fiesoli as a brand was just celebrating its 20 years anniversary at Pitti and has been creating first quality knitwear in harmony with the environment since its very first steps in the business. It has always been a mission, it has always been the vision.
The focus at Pitti was on upcycled cashmere, a challenge the designer took and won having two elements on mind:
- there is a lot of good quality first hand fabrics that is wasted and that is a huge loss of e.g. absolutely usable solid cashmere;
- Italy has a lot of skilful professionals in the fashion business and the real risk of a relocation of the productive process, at some point of Italian fashion’s history, would have had a devastating effect on another waste: knowledge and skill of highly professionalised profiles
Give me a second and I will tell you how the two things connect.
The territory is what makes all of this possible. Daniele Fiesoli is proudly born in Prato. Prato is in the blessed region of Tuscany, an area blessed not just by its natural beauty, but by being, historically, home of the hardworking creative souls of Italy. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Dante… the list can go on forever. When you start having those icons to live up to, you just roll up your sleeves and work on staying a legend.
Tuscany is the heart of Italy in every sense. And it is the heart of fashion too. It’s one side of that pumping heart, but an important one.
Let’s go back to Prato at the beginning of the 1900, when the city was already a capital of the textile reality. Here, knit bales from all over the world were collected. Years of work on the textile, and in the 1940-1950, the Cardato Di Prato is born. The ‘carded’ from Prato was/is a mostly valuable regenerated wool. 1950, folks, and upcycling was already a process in the making of the fashion business. Not a trend, not a reaction to anything but the fact that if there is a good practice to develop and a good quality to save, why not do it?
This is why the made it Italy is the made in Italy: foresee by identifying good practices.
For this, there is a legendary professional figure in Tuscany, that would look more like a robot or a wizard to you, rather than a human to you: il cenciaiolo. These people can just touch a bale and tell you: this is 5% cotton, 15% lycra and so forth. And they are as good as the most advanced machines. They can feel by touch how poor or how noble the fabric is and address it to its best use, or no use at all. These people are crucial for an upcycling process that the buyer can rely on.
The conciaioli (plural of conciaiolo) from Prato, where he embraced the business, are the ones in charge of giving Daniele Fiesoli the best first hand 100% cashmere to be transformed into his knitwear. Right there, in Tuscany. Nothing moves a step outside the region until it is ready to be sold. Traceability from the person who chose the cashmere to the tailor who sewed.
See some examples of cashmere in early stages as shown to us by Daniele Fiesoli himself
And this is how Daniele Fiesoli is not just made in Italy, it is absolutely made in Italy. Right on the label.
How about colors? Well, these bales arrive already coloured. So if you want a new color, you blend them. Blue and yellow make green, and so forth. No need for water or anything. Just mix: looks good, stays good, works for years without discoloring.
Let’s talk economy. Now, the good thing about this, is that since part of the process for the fabrics was already done, and part of these knit bales are unused extras from other productions, the craftsmanship is all literally one block ahead, then it allows the costs to be less aggressive. Same quality, a little less expensive. The durability is exactly the same.
Imagine you have a sheet of paper, you need just half of it. You buy your sheet, you cut your part, what about the other half? You put it on a paper pile and someone else is looking at all the paper that was put on the pile. Notice yours is brand new, good quality thick paper, in perfect condition, just cut in a half, and sees a lot of use for it. Drops the other paper that were in worse conditions, and go making something with the half you did not use. See the picture? Just this easy, and the good part, is that there are craftsmen who have passed a 100 year experience already into selecting best quality fabric leftovers.
This is what it really means: the world is talking about new trends to clean up the fashion business, and in Tuscany they go: how is this a new thing? We are doing this since the 1900 and we created a business on that in 1940.
And Daniele Fiesoli has a florid business since 20 years, expanding on the the international market and if you care where you put your money and you you wear your clothes, you should know about all of this.
So whoever you hear about the fashion business destroying the world, not being updated, or environmental friendly just being a trend, remember: it is not always so. There are parts of the world where there are business that were never so, and that have always been on top of the chain of the fashion business.
Know better, buy better.
We who write about fashion have the responsibility to let you know that fashion evolves, and some brands are more competitive thanks to their vision, experience, risk-taking winning decisions, and a particular love for the territory that involves the affection to the landscape as well as the respect for the professionalisation of the craftsmen that evolves into new eras, and can’t be replaced by cheap, low quality standards.
Because that way, we all loose, you who spend your money to wear poor clothes and even the brands, who create in a way that is no longer credible or justified on the long sight, just for the sake of being way too cheap.
And if it turns out it is not even outrageously expensive to wear 100% cashmere today, that’s thanks to a 100 years old refined technique that all at once seems to have become a requirement, a trend, whatever that is, surely good business in the circular economy district that will also grant younger generations to access the same privileges we have had to choose among good reliable fabrics to wear.
The option to dress up with rags or don’t buy clothes at all is really not the only available, but we who write about fashion, must let you know what’s out there for you. Daniele Fiesoli is absolutely wearable fashion, and absolutely in an affordable range, considering the purity of the material and the level of craftsmanship.
Italian fashion is all about buy less and buy better. The devotion to the fabrics, the environment and the passion for beautiful things, make it stand out. And it wins on the entrepreneurial side too, 2019 closed for Daniele Fiesoli – Absolutely Made In Italy, with an 18% increase in turnover with a strong increase in demand for export.
Doing the right thing does pay and it is hard not to feel the commitment for the environment, the vision and the strong connection that the designer has with the potential of his area, that he uses to the best of its crafts.
This long article is not only to celebrate the brand, Daniele Fiesoli is not alone being steps ahead in the creative processes that will allow fashion to survive the waves of miscommunication today, but because he passionately loves his work, his region and his people, took a risk and crowned with a 20th anniversary on the way up, then he is strongly the representative name of what the Made In Italy is all about.
If you want to learn more about his collections, the former ones and stay tuned for the upcoming women’s collection, stay put for my more news from Italy and while waiting, check the website
Also, if you want to use the chance of the ongoing sales, give a look at Daniele Fiesoli’s new online store