This week I was lucky enough to interview Canadian/Italian designer Julia Di Lorenzo (@JULIADILORENZOCOLLECTION on instagram). She had such a kind and warm energy about her, and gave me a great insite in to her career, where she started and what her brand stands for. The designer and her brand are currently based in Milan, one of the worlds fashion capitals.
I love the message of the brand, FUNctional wear which is also sustainable.
Julia is very passiate about making sure her brand is as eco friendly as possible and makes sure she is a zero waste business. Which is so important, especially when you are working in an industry which is one of the worlds biggest polluters.
Anyway enough of my rambling, lets get in to the interview....
Firstly thank you so much for giving me some of your precious time. So, when did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer and how did you go about the idea? Did you study design at university, are you self-taught, did you shadow other designers before starting your own brand…?
I knew I wanted to become a fashion designer after I graduated from Graphic and Digital design school in Canada, I started screen printing t-shirts in my Toronto apartment and were later sold in some stores in Toronto and Montreal. I was also highly influenced from visiting New York city and discovering many small brands in boutiques just by exploring the city.
So, I self-taught myself to design more casual wear and street style in the beginning, hence screen-printing t-shirts. After, I was hired for other clothing companies (total of 5 years) in Toronto to be their digital apparel graphic designer. Years later, I saved money because I decided to embrace the clothing industry and study women’s digital fashion design in Milan for a short period.
No, I never shadowed any other designers.
How would you describe the style of your brand?
I would describe my brands style as far out, yet vintage that’s FUNctional to wear.
I have been following you on Instagram for a while now and I love how you're a sustainable fashion brand, how do you make sure you have zero waste and why is this important for you?
I make sure we have zero waste when all purchases are pre-orders or made to order only from online and professional retail buyers.
This way in the end of the year, we have zero waste/stock accumulating in the office. Another way we are zero waste is from low quantity/high quality production. These rules are very important on how we operate.
Where do you find inspiration and ideas for your designs?
Oh geez! I find my inspiration from modern day magic, alchemy, to cyber art, anything mythical and fairytale, to witchery and history of art which I studied in College. I was an artsy quirky girl growing up and was really fascinated from these types of stories. Still am!
What advice would you give to people reading this who want to become entrepreneur in the fashion industry or / and a designer.
Dream it. Believe it. Do it …... and nothing can stop you.
Must be determined and persistent with the capability of a great work ethic. Be open minded, be cultured and learn from your mistakes, if any ;)
What piece are you most proud of in your collection?
The piece that I’m most proud of is the 2021-2022 waterproof sustainable coat that is made from up cycled bottles from the ocean. Save the Ocean Initiative program. That coat is a gem and has the signature yellow border and pipping look. I’m also proud of the sparkle timeless turtleneck, it’s very pretty.
What is your favorite part of the fashion industry?
Designing the collection and the creative direction of course.
What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew right at the beginning of your career?
One thing I know now that I wish I knew at the beginning of my career is how to engage better in marketing online and I’m still learning till this day.
I really like your metallic tie neck blouse, I think it’s beautiful and great day to night piece as you can dress it up yet also wear it with a more casual outfit. How did you come up with this design?
That’s so nice, thank you for the compliment. I wanted to create an early 80’s disco era type small collection with the sparkle fabric so its inspired from late 70’s merging into the 80’s. Disco sparkles with a retro vibe.
From what I understand you are based in Canada and Italy, what are the differences between the two countries, fashion wise? Is one more classical than the other, is one maybe more casual etc?
This is always an interesting question. I will say that Canadian fashion is definitely simpler, cautious & casual ( a cute sweater or plaid shirt with jeans is the go to outfit ) and also street style popular among Gen Z ages.
In some cities, Canadians tend to have a hipster bohemian style, which I love because it reminds me of an easy going, comfortable life.
Living in Italy really gave be a good idea on boldness! The attention to details with high quality fabric or embellishments are manufactured all over Italy. This includes the art & craftsmanship is taken very seriously. Italians love color, they love all sorts of patterns. There’re no such thing as matching bottoms with tops. Anything goes!
Italian fashion is definitely very inspiring, futuristic and zeal, vastly evolved thanks to the beginning stages of the early Renaissance.
Are there any fashion trends you love that you wish would come back in to fashion?
Yes, I do know some, but I won’t say anything because I’d love to hopefully bring it back one day. Haha
Lastly, where can people see your work and purchase your clothing?
We hope to be in more boutiques in Canada, UK, USA and Italy by the end of 2021 and the start of 2022.
Our user friendly online store is for anyone in EU, UK and North America that includes free shipping. www.juliadilorenzo.com