Italian designer Federico Cina impresses at Milan Digital Fashion Week
Jul 20, 2020
The last day of the Milan Digital Fashion Week turned out to be both intense and full of surprises. Among the latter, Italian designer Federico Cina was the one not to miss, as he made his maiden appearance on the Milanese calendar on Friday. Among the plethora of videos released in the course of the event's four days, Federico Cina’s does stand out, revealing an open, generous personality, embodied by a fine collection blending the ancestral techniques of Cina’s native land, the Italian region of Romagna, with contemporary fashion design.
Simplicity and authenticity are the words that immediately come to mind when first looking at Cina’s work and attitude. The young designer grew up in Sarsina, a small town in the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region, nestled in the foothills of the Apennines, between Rimini and Florence. For years, Cina scorned his Sarsina roots, dreaming instead of a big city’s bright lights. Yet, as he told FashionNetwork.com, he has now returned to Sarsina, where he has set up his business. Explaining why he decided to do so, Cina told a captivating story.
His metropolitan dream came true in 2013, when he moved to Florence to study fashion design at the Polimoda academy. He then travelled to Japan, where he studied at the Osaka Bunka Fashion College, and later made his way to New York, where he settled for some time, before returning to Italy, working for a major label in Milan. But he found relationships there to be chilly, less than sincere. It was then that Cina had his epiphany, and decided to return to the fold, to enjoy again his people’s “sincerity and honesty, and the values of his native land,” launching his own label in 2019.
Last year, Cina won the ‘Who Is On Next?’ emerging designer competition, and has had the clever idea of taking advantage of the platform offered by this unusual digital Fashion Week to present his work in a coherent, articulated manner. In a very simple video, Cina introduces himself and tells his own story, in another, attractive film, he unveils his collection, and in a third video, he gives a voice to the artisans of the Antica Stamperia Artigiana Marchi, a printing factory founded in 1663 where Federico Cina’s fabrics are printed using ancient methods.
Cina, who is also a consultant for a textile manufacturer, likes to work with local craftsmen, notably using Romagna’s traditional cloths with their country motifs, which feature extensively in the label’s garments, bringing back memories of Sunday dinners with the family and the simple rural life, as illustrated in the video of Federico Cina’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection.
It features a handful of characters, members of an imaginary family, walking in the countryside bathed in warm sunshine. An aged couple, they could be Cina’s grand-parents, dances in a vineyard, while a young man draws with felt-tips in a shaded terrace, and a child runs around in a garden.
The collection consists of a few essentials for men, women and children. A white blouse is worn long, as a tunic, another is decorated with red vertical ribbon-like stripes slipped into a series of belt hoops, a gilet is hand-made in a thick cable-knit pattern, and trouser sets in burlap fabric are worn frayed, unfinished, or dyed in the colours of an Impressionist painting.
Old family portraits are layered on a sleeveless shirt with raw edges, while a white top’s back is decorated with red rural motifs.
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